It’s that time of year again. The madness is upon us. As we spend the first half of the week filling out, scratching out and reworking our NCAA brackets, let’s take a moment to point out the real madness we are dealing with this March:

The New England Patriots have built the model NFL franchise. They are the defending Super Bowl champions and are not going to change the way they do business. They refuse to overpay to retain core members of their team. They never have, and they never will. It has led to some unsettling offseasons over the years, but it has also led to four championships in the Belichick/Brady Era.

And we’re surprised they didn’t pay to keep Darrelle Revis? That’s madness.

 The Boston Bruins have battled their way back into the good graces of New England sports fans with five wins in the last six games. Despite Sunday night’s loss to the Capitals they are just two points back of Barry Trotz’s team and there is hope they could face someone other than the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. A win over the Caps would’ve been a big step toward that goal, but the B’s were clearly running on fumes playing their third road game in four days. It’s become a common ailment in the NHL – teams playing in their third city in four nights almost always lose. It’s the same in the NBA.

Not taking this into account when scheduling key games with playoff implications? That’s madness.

 The Boston Red Sox are less than three weeks away from opening day. On Sunday, Justin Masterson and Wade Miley both struggled in a loss to the Phillies, the team Boston faces in the opener. One game like that and Sox fans are once again up in arms over the lack of a true ace on the staff. It seems the team is content with Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello at the top of the rotation.

Thing is, the AL East is made up of good – but flawed – teams. It would be truly surprising if anyone runs out to a large lead in the division over the first two or three months of the season. That’s why the Sox have time to make a move if they need that ace.

If Cole Hamels really is their target, he might cost less in June or July. That’s because pitchers like Johnny Cueto, David Price, Jordan Zimmerman and Jeff Samardzija will be free agents at the end of the year. If a couple of those starters become available, the price to obtain a top-of-the-rotation arm will go down.

Overpaying for Hamels now, before the season begins? That’s madness.

 Reports say the Boston 2024 committee will spend the coming weeks trying to build a narrative that will sell Boston as the best place to host the Summer Olympics in nine years. The committee is expected to use Boston’s reputation as a city with brainpower (thanks to its great colleges and universities) and a world-class sports city.

They will meet as the struggling MBTA system tries to get back on its feet after the snowiest winter in Boston history. Commuters are still dealing with delays and stoppages. The transit problems couldn’t have come at a worse time for a group trying to make this an event the city can afford.

Holding the Olympics in Boston without a complete overhaul of the transit system? That’s madness.

 A year ago, Warren Buffet and Yahoo! Inc. offered $1 billion to the winner of a contest asking people to pick a perfect NCAA basketball tournament bracket. No one won. It’s been said the odds of filling out a perfect bracket are higher than 1 in a billion.

Yet we often think we’re experts on teams we haven’t watched once this season. We’re looking for the 12-seed that can knock off a fifth-seed, and wondering if we’ve got too many favorites in the Final Four.

Thinking I am a college basketball expert when I spent the last week watching hockey and spring training baseball? That’s madness.

And yet I give into the madness every year.

Tom Caron is the studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.