March Madness

Allow me to preface this with the qualifiers of, it is March, and it is my birthday. So you’ll have to forgive me for the basketball reference…please.

In case you didn’t know the longest streak of correct NCAA tournament bracket picks to start the beloved March Madness tournament now stands at 49, 10 better than the previous tracked record of 39.

Gregg Nigl, of Columbus, shattered that record when he correctly predicted the first 49 games of the 2019 tournament before busting in game 50, when 3-seed Purdue beat 2-seed Tennessee 99-94 in overtime of the second game in the Sweet 16.

That may not seem like a big deal (mostly because it’s not), but the odds of a perfect 63-game NCAA bracket can be as high as 1 in 9.2 quintillion — though those are the perfect bracket odds if every game was a 50-50 coin flip. If you take NCAA men’s basketball knowledge into the formula, the odds of picking a perfect bracket can be as low as 1 in 28 billion. (

And in life, in a small way, as it goes with college basketball in March, things get thrown into the mix that we don’t fully anticipate or are unable to readily predict, and have the potential to upset everything.

A diagnosis. A career transition. The ending of a relationship. All at once, uncertainty, fear, and doubt become a part of the story. And they aim to extinguish our hope.

But God’s Word tells us, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor 4:16-18)

We’re not asked to treat pain as pleasure, or grief as joy, but to bring earthly adversity into comparison with heavenly glory and thereby be strengthened to endure.

We’re with you in this.