Our besotted sports writer has an idea on what to do since your bracket is shot.

After the first round of the NCAA tournament, everyone’s hopes of completing the perfect bracket for a billion dollars were shot.

After the second, most people are still struggling to keep some semblance of a bracket together.

Personally, I have given up on this year’s NCAA bracket.

Ok. I’ll admit that circumstances left me realizing last Thursday that I hadn’t filled out my bracket prior to tip-off, so I was out of luck for the billion anyway.

Now that most people in the country are looking at brackets that have more strikeouts than checkmarks, I have a great idea: Let’s start thinking about the World Cup.

I know that this is the USA, and soccer is not as big a deal as it is in most of the rest of the world, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore one of the largest sporting events in the world.

You may remember last year that I wrote a column about how bad the draw was for the US.

Yes. We do have a tough road ahead of our team, but that does not mean that we should forget about the world’s largest soccer tournament that kicks off in three and a half months.

The US will start their run through the tournament on June 16 against Ghana, a team that ejected them from the 2006 World Cup.

Ghana is at the top of their game with players like captain and star striker Asamoah Gyan, central midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah, midfielder Michael Essien and wing Andre Ayew leading the team, and they look ready to take the team to the second round of the tournament.

The US will then face off against Portugal on June 22, another tough team.

The US and Portugal are 2-2-1 against each other in their last three matches, but that doesn’t mean that this is not a key match.

The winner of this match has a chance of making it to the second round, if they can defeat either Germany or Ghana. This is a pivotal game for the US and a must-win.

The final Group Stage match for the US will be against Germany, a team that has a 6-3 record over the Americans, outscoring them 21-15 in those nine games.

Germany is all but guaranteed to be a shoe-in for the second round, but there is a possibility of the US surviving as the underdog of Group G.

The US has a knack for coming out ahead as the underdog, but this could be a year where the Cinderella team remains in the shadows as the ugly stepsisters move on to the Round of 16.

(James Leigh writes an occasional column delving into the world of sports. Contact him at 246-5525, via email at jleigh@siftingsherald.com or on Twitter at @DSHSports.)