The first two rounds of the NCAA tournament are in the books and the Cats have managed to make it to the second weekend unscathed. It’s funny that we, as UK fans, look forward to March Madness all year and when it finally arrives, we are generally miserable. The crippling anxiety that the tournament brings causes us to behave in ways that are both bizarre and irrational. Our superstitious behavior during tournament time is a coping mechanism and almost all UK fans have their own unique superstition. For me, when the Cats really need me in a close game, I sit on the floor Indian style, a spot from which I do not move until the game is over. It’s silly, but it makes me feel as I have some control over the game. Ultimately, what I do in my living room has absolutely zero impact on how the Cats play…or does it?
Science actually may suggest our crazy superstitions aren’t quite as crazy as we think. Ok, we’re going to get a little weird for a moment, so buckle in. Quantum mechanics is one of the two theoretical frameworks that make up modern physics. My understanding of quantum theory is extremely primitive so please bear with me. Quantum mechanics, in a nutshell, is a theory of nature that deals with the behavior of subatomic particles. It allows for all kinds of outlandish ideas you’d never think were possible. One of these crazy ideas is the concept of the “Quantum Mind.” To explain this concept in detail would take much more than the space I’m allotted on this blog. It is extremely complicated so for convenience sake it’s essentially how our consciousness determines the existence of everything we observe meaning if any form of matter in the universe hasn’t been observed by a conscious mind it literally cannot exist. It’s a tough one to wrap your head around so here’s a link to a video of a smart guy explaining it.
It’s about to get even weirder in here. Physicists have studied this “Quantum Mind” idea through experimentation using random number generators (RNGs) based on quantum tunneling that produce completely unpredictable sequences of 0’s and 1’s. When significant societal events occur, however, these RNGs have been observed to become slightly structured, meaning the sequences of 0’s and 1’s become more predictable. The odds of such a thing happening by chance is about one in a trillion, which suggests the human consciousness could have profound effects on the inner workings of our universe. Using this we can extrapolate that anything we do in any given instant may have an effect on another event occurring in the cosmos. I promise I’m in good mental health and not making any of this stuff up.
So what does all this scientific mumbo-jumbo mean to us Cats fans? Well, mojo could be a real thing, theoretically. I said earlier our superstitions act as a coping mechanism to the anxiety tournament games bring. They put us slightly more at ease. Now that we have this radical idea of the “Quantum Mind” at our disposal I would argue that our loyalty to our superstitions is a good thing. Our collective state of mind as a fan base alone, could theoretically have an impact on any single possession, shot, or even, bounce of the ball during the game. An uneasy mind during tournament time could be a fatal disruption in the universe which could result in a dreaded loss. Now, most of Quantum Mechanics is based on unpredictability and uncertainty, so it’s very unlikely that fans have any impact on the game’s outcome, but it’s possible! (theoretically)
You can believe in these theories or you can think they’re a load of crap, which they very well could be, but I’m willing to consider anything that gives Kentucky an edge in the tournament. I urge you to keep these ideas in mind for the games later this week. No matter how dumb, or irrational your superstition makes you feel, follow through and just do it for the Cats. Don’t be the reason we lose. Stick to your mojo and own it. You just might be the reason we win. It’s science, after all.
To get you through these tough few days without basketball, I made a nice SEC Tournament highlight video to curb your appetite. Nashville was a good time.
Here it is. Enjoy.