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The Bracket Boys emerged one March in my sophomore year of high school, wearing the same sweaty jerseys for days on end and trading wrinkled dollar bills under the lab tables in chemistry class. Or maybe they had always been there, furiously scribbling on those all-important flowcharts, and I had simply never noticed them before. After all, I had only just realized that March Madness was not, in fact, an insanity-inducing disease brought on by a seasonal resurgence in bacteria.
Dressed in a Harvard jersey and hat, I received some inquisitive stares as I flagged down one of the bartenders and asked if she could possibly put the Harvard game on. Figuring this might be a long and lonely two hours, I settled in to watch Harvard take an early lead.
While winning tonight’s matchup would’ve advanced the Harvard men’s basketball team to the Sweet Sixteen, the final result of the Crimson’s contest against Michigan State was, instead, bittersweet.