March Madness Turns into March Insanity

Written by: Farhad Taraporevala

“I got my final grade from my physics class,” said Riordan. “This is the first time a professor has cheered when I’ve gotten an F.”
Photo by Maria Dhilla

This March, many professors competed in a fivedollar buy-in bracket challenge. The bracket pitted students against each other, eliminating the student with the lower GPA at the end of each week. This exercise in random numbers was a staff bonding exercise designed to facilitate communication between students and the staff. “I love the idea of a bracket-based betting game,” said statistics professor Eric Graham. “Chancellor Khosla is a genius for coming up with the idea. And the name, ‘March Madness’ — I just love the alliteration. So creative.”

The friendly competition took a turn for the worse after rumors spread that business professor Gary Zakkerson was rigging students’ grades to fit his bracket. “After I heard what that weasel Zakkerson was doing, I was outraged!” said Graham. “Why didn’t I think to cheat first? It gave him the advantage, but I was determined to make up for lost time by cheating better.” As word spread, professors all over campus began to alter students’ GPAs to fit their brackets, some less subtly than others.

“One of my professors had a one-question midterm worth 50% of my grade,” said an outraged Karen Henderson. “How should I know what Susie Clemens ate for breakfast last week? It wasn’t anywhere in the textbook!”

Other professors used a more subtle approach to altering grades. “I woke up and decided to check my grades to see if I needed to study for an upcoming quiz,” said freshman Fozzie Forsberg. “I was shocked to see that my grade in CAT 2 had been changed to a zero, with a comment saying I had cheated off of myself.”

By the time March Madness had reached the Final Four, professors had honed their cheating abilities and formed alliances based upon which students they needed to win. The final four students were Simon Siegenthaler, Grace Gottsberg, Anders Anderson and Ryan Riordan. “The day before my test, three men broke into my dorm room wielding copies of Roger Freedman’s University Physics, threatening to break my knees if I didn’t fail my exam,” said Riordan. “I tanked that test. I really need to have functional knees.”

After Riordan and Siegenthaler were eliminated, all focus was on Anderson and Gottsberg. To preserve the integrity of March Madness, both were placed in witness protection for the final, which was administered by professors from SDSU. Although the students were sequestered, Gottsburg was still the target of bribes and threats. “One professor offered me $50,000 and a paid research opportunity if I simply failed the test,” said Gottsberg. “I was tempted to take the money when I remembered my mom telling me integrity is important. So I rejected the bribe, took the test, and stayed in crippling student debt. Mama would be so proud.”

After the final test grades of the tournament came in, the winner of the bracket challenge was declared. The winner, Chancellor Khosla, said that he was “shocked and honored” to receive the $9,530 prize for his perfect bracket. “I am so happy to have won the bracket challenge,” said Khosla. “As I tallied the results, I was elated to see that I had won in a landslide, achieving the first ever perfect bracket. This is truly a wonderful ending for the inaugural March Madness tournament.”

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