My first disclaimer is that I don’t care about college hoops. Every couple years I get moderately interested in mid-March and sorta follow – but really, Don’t Care. However, on a particularly dull day at work a few weeks ago, I joined the company’s “NCAA Challenge” and filled out a bracket. My “method” was largely random, but a few predictables drove the outcome: I’m a Wisconsin girl, and more specifically, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin girl – so my two teams in the championship game were the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University (in downtown Milwaukee.)

Well, the Badgers of Madison fame played their own game in the first round – but unfortunately, it wasn’t basketball. Marquette fared better and made it to the Elite Eight. Over the weekend, I flipped channels a few times to check in on the Final Four – and when I saw the bracket for Monday night, I thought, “Hey! That’s what I said!”

And that head-scratching statement brings us to my second disclaimer. Blogging and book contracts have me a little preoccupied with the book of Daniel, and although I’m still working my happy way through the narrative half of the book, I do know what’s coming – and it ain’t pretty. What’s coming is apocalyptic literature, the scary beast of biblical literature if ever there was one.

And this brings us to the heretofore unstated subtitle of this post: “A Convoluted Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature.” In apocalyptic literature, symbolism abounds, and the maddening part of trying figure out what a text means is knowing what’s symbolic and what it’s symbolic for. Symbolism has ruined many hard-fought theories (and magnificently detailed charts) about the End Times.

So, back to basketball and how my amazing bracket gets it right. Monday night’s game is between the Cardinals of Louisville and the Wolverines of Michigan. In the interest of avoiding logo copyright issues, I’m sending you here to see a picture of the match-up: it’s a cardinal vs. the blue and gold “M” of Michigan.

In my bracket, I picked UW-Madison, whose colors to the uneducated observer are red and white. Actually, the school colors are cardinal and white. Really, I’m not making this up. I also picked Marquette, whose colors match Michigan’s and whose athletic logo includes a huge “M,” like Michigan’s. Pretty much, I nailed it…that is, in the slippery symbolic world of apocalyptic literature.

As one of my good friends (a die-hard Michigan fan and a Daniel devotee) said, my bracket is “a sports version of apocalyptic imagery”: it is “complex, yet simple. Straightforward, yet convoluted.”

After all this, I’m sure you can hardly wait for this blog to get to Daniel 7…

P.S. I’d tell you who wins the game Monday night, but I’m more of an ex eventu prophet. And for that definition and explanation, you’ll definitely have to wait until we get to the apocalyptic section of Daniel.

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