NCAA Tourney–Book Geek Style!

March is a beautiful month for us sports fans, right?  I mean when you eat and breathe basketball, what could be better than curling up on the couch for hours worth of uninterrupted hoop. 

And inevitably, the tourney makes it's way into our classrooms as well, doesn't it?  Math teachers talk about probabilities, language arts teachers talk about the metaphor of sport, and marketing teachers pour over commercials all in an attempt to engage their kids in content that is fresh and exciting.

But is it REALLY exciting for every kid?  I mean, how likely is it that the hard core book geeks in your class are rolling around with brackets in their pockets and arguing about the upcoming Sam Houston State versus Baylor matchup?

Right.  They're not.

That's why you've GOT to stop by the blog of the Salem Middle School Guys Read club—run by my brilliant friend Mike Hutchinson.  Recognizing that following brackets would be a whole lot more fun if books were competing against each other—instead of random MEAC tourney champions—-Hutch and his Guys Read gang of middle schoolers assigned each team in this year's tourney a book that they believe deserve an equally high ranking.

They're calling this book-lovers' March madness The SMS Guys Read Books and Basketball Challenge.

So a #1 seed like Duke becomes a #1 book like The Hunger Games in their minds and on their brackets—-and Duke's #16 matchup (either Arkansas-Pine Bluff or Winthrop) becomes a #16 book like Airman in their minds and on their brackets.

Brilliant, isn't it?! 

I mean, I can JUST IMAGINE some of my boys rooting RABIDLY for Duke simply because they don't want The Hunger Games knocked off of their brackets.  It's THAT good of a book.

Personally, the first round matchup I can't wait to watch is in the East.  In the SMS Guys Read Tourney, #3 New Mexico is ACTUALLY The 39 Clues Series and #14 Montana is ACTUALLY The Lightning Thief.  Normally, I couldn't give two rips about a New Mexico v. Montana matchup, but I'll be pulling for the Lobos HARD because I HATE THE LIGHTNING THIEF!

Hutch is also going to be Tweeting about the SMS Guys Read Books and Basketball Tourney, too.  While he doesn't Tweet a ton, he's pretty darn witty and he's read every stinking book in the tournament, so I suspect that what he writes will be fun to read.  You can follow him at @hutchinsonjm

So if you've ever felt out of place and awkward in the bar as everyone else pours over their brackets in some kind of strange adult athletic ritual that you never quite understood, get involved in the Books and Basketball Tourney.  You'll suddenly start to care again!

And your book loving kids might, too!

Fun stuff, Mike. Thanks for putting this together. 

3 comments

  1. David B. Cohen

    Yes, that is a great idea! I think kids would get a kick out of the tourney selection and ranking process, because in hoops or in books, it’s sure to inspire some great debates.
    For instance, how can you HATE The Lightning Thief?!?! What the heck is wrong with you!!? Do you have no sense of humor?!? No imagination??! Hey man, Percy Jackson rules! He goes under the sea, goes down to Hades, takes on Ares and saves the day!! Bill, I am not kidding – you’re wrong on that one!
    😉

  2. Rachael Locklin

    Mr. Ferriter,
    My name is Rachael Locklin and I will be following your blog for the next three weeks as part of an assignment for Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. You can follow my blog by visiting: http://locklinrachaeledm310.blogspot.com
    where I will be summarizing your blog and my comments to you.
    I think the idea behind Books and Basketball is fantastic! This is definitely something to consider when I become a teacher, and not necessarily just with sports and books. Getting kids interested in reading, or any other educational material, through something they like is wonderful! Thank you for your post. I will share this with the rest of the class.