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March Madness Upsets May Prove We Are Living In The Matrix

March Madness Upsets May Prove We Are Living In The Matrix
  • Scott Engel

Are We Living In An Alternate Universe?

By Cam Giangrande

A little over a year ago, on February 27th 2017, writer Adam Gopnik wrote an article for The New Yorker, where he questioned whether or not we were living in some sort of alternate universe similar to Keanu Reeves in the movie, “The Matrix”.

The stimulus behind the article was that many; too many unusual occurrences were happening, and that the most logical solution was there must be some sort of entity that had taken over controlling us like a snowglobe being turned upside down and shaken.

The final straw for Gopnik, which led him to that conclusion was the Academy Awards, when Warren Beatty called out the movie “La La Land” for Best Picture, when in fact, the movie “Moonlight” was the actual winner.

He cited two other recent events which proved to him that at minimum a mischievous creature like the Norse God Loki was at work, and at worst, that some sort of evil task master or overlord was pulling the strings to create chaos and turmoil which would lead to our destruction.

Gopnik used the 2016 presidential election as one example and Super Bowl LI as the other. Both events are of course famous and historical; and both events had implausible outcomes which defied logic and reason. Not many prognosticators predicted Donald Trump would be our country’s 45th President. At 6 pm ET on election night, most, if not all, stations showed that Hillary Clinton would win, based on exit polls. As the night wore on, many cheers turned to jeers, and tears, as President-elect Trump walked onto a podium at 3 am to declare victory.

No team in the history of the Super Bowl had ever come back from a 25-point deficit. With the score 28-3 as the third quarter was winding down, that’s just what Tom Brady did, as he led the New England Patriots to the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, winning in overtime 34-28.

And, this past Super Bowl, turnabout was fair play for that mischievous entity. Even with Brady putting up the greatest numbers in Super Bowl history, passing for over 500 yards, his Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 41-33, behind backup quarterback Nick Foles. In the past, we may have simply chalked it up to some sort of karma, but there must be something more at work.

Tragedy and jubilation seem to be almost daily occurrences.

The most recent example is this year’s NCAA basketball tournament. In the history of the brackets in this format, no 16-seed had ever beaten a 1-seed. That all changed Friday night when UMBC beat top seed Virginia. And, they didn’t just win in some sort of fluky way, with a bad call, or last second heave; they thoroughly thumped the Cavaliers, winning by 20 points, 74-54.

Aside from that there have also been the usual, ho hum, common variety first round upsets. In a 13 vs 4 tilt, Buffalo destroyed Arizona, 89-68. And, in another 13 vs 4 game, Marshall defeated the Shockers of Wichita St., 81-75.

If UMBC’s victory Friday night wasn’t shocking enough, the second round saw even more “Madness” over the weekend. Of the remaining 16 teams in the tournament, six of them are seeded seven or higher, with two teams seeded in double digits. Both Syracuse and Loyola of Chicago are 11-seeds. Syracuse defeated 3-seed Michigan St, and Loyola of Chicago dispatched Tennessee. Second seeds North Carolina (defending champions), and Cincinnati were dispatched by 7-seeds Texas AM and Nevada respectively. And Virginia wasn’t the only top seed to falter before making it to the 16. Florida St. pulled the upset in the round of 32, defeating top seed Xavier, 75-70. It is the first time since 2004 that two number one seeds didn’t get past the first weekend of basketball to advance into the Sweet 16. Ninth seed Kansas St. will also be playing next week, but technically they didn’t pull off an upset to advance. They are the team which dispatched 16-seed UMBC in the second round, Sunday night.

One thing is certain; anyone who tells you they know how the rest of the tournament will play out is crazy. Maybe Gopnik was right after all, that we are all just hooked up to some wires and used as some sort of battery to power the computers, and they have decided to shake things up a bit with these unusual occurrences. Or maybe they don’t have control of it either, and some outside force has taken over, wanting to see to what lengths they can disrupt the grid before a catastrophic event occurs.

Either way, my bracket is busted.