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Bracket Busted! I Picked CABARET to Win March Madness, But That's Not a Basketball Team

by Caitlin Bitzegaio. @caitorade.

CHICAGO. - My bracket is busted! Unfortunately, I will not be winning my office’s March Madness basketball pool this year, because I chose the transcendent musical Cabaret to win it all and apparently I’ve already been mathematically eliminated because that’s not a basketball team.

Yes, I understood the rules that you were supposed to choose a winner from only one of the 68 teams in the tournament, but I thought that was more of a “you have to know the rules to break them” kind of thing, and not a “No, Marina, these are definitely the rules” kind of thing.

No matter the outcome of the games, I felt that none of the teams could really compete with the 1972 musical period drama about the inner workings of the Kit Kat Club in 1931 Berlin. Sadly, my coworkers insisted we determine a winner by “points” in a basketball game and not “the way Kander & Ebb make you feel.”

Before you criticize, I did study the field, but I remain unconvinced that Houston guard Marcus Sasser could put in a more dominating performance than EGOT winner Liza Minnelli; nor could Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year candidate Mick Cronin of UCLA really draw more production from his players than Mr. Bob Fosse did from theatre legend Joel Grey. What is an Indiana Hoosier? It sounds like a song Meredith Wilson wisely cut from The Music Man, if you ask me.

My participation in this bracket hasn’t forged the connection with my coworkers I’d hoped.

When my cubicle-mate was despondent after learning his alma mater Oklahoma State didn’t make the NCAA tournament, I tried to explain how everything happens in its time: for instance, Fosse’s 1969 Sweet Charity was not nearly as critically or commercially successful as his follow-up Cabaret (though I maintain its underrated), but he told me “that situation isn’t related” and to “stop talking about Cabaret.”

No matter what draconian rules this office pool abides by, for me, the MVP (or “most valuable performance”) could only go to the otherworldly Sally Bowles. Also, I picked Kansas as runner-up so there’s a chance I can still get $10.


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