Monday, March 14, 2011

The Best Method for Picking a Winning March Madness Bracket

Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. And no I am not talking about daylight savings time or Easter or even spring (although I do love spring). What I’m talking about is the NCAA Basketball Championship, also known affectionately as March Madness or the Big Dance. I think most of you might know what I’m talking about… that crazy time of year when filling out brackets and discussing obscure basketball teams while gathered around the water cooler during breaks at the office is as common as TMZ exposing Charlie Sheen’s latest crazy shenanigans (I mean seriously, what’s up with that guy?); the time of year where everyone is pretending to work but in reality is tuning into the games via the computer, smart phones, or television sets; you know, that time of year where going to work is actually enjoyable because very little work is actually being done.

Gone are the phrases, “Have you seen the price of gas lately?” “Can you believe what’s happening in the Middle East?” or “I just got my Justin Bieber concert tickets and can’t wait to go,” which are typical topics of discussion amongst friends, family, and fellow workers. At this time of year those phrases are replaced by things like, “Did you fill out your bracket yet?” “You picked who to go to the Final Four?” “Well there goes my bracket…it’s completely busted,” and “I knew I should have picked that team.” Nothing seems to be able to bring people together like March Madness, where it is the individual against the masses in bracket pools across the country in hopes of predicting the eventual winners, all in the spirit of friendly competition… and of course a little cash to sweeten the deal. Whether you are a sports fan or art fan, Jew or Muslim, Republican or Democrat, nothing can bring two sides together like the bracketology of March Madness.

The greatest thing about March Madness is that you don’t have to be an expert or even a fan of college basketball for that matter to be able to do well in a madness bracket. In fact, often times knowing less is better when it comes to filling out the coveted brackets. It’s one of the few things in this world where the less work you put into it, the more you will get back, which (INTERESTING FACT ALERT) is why democrats as a whole usually do much better than republicans on their brackets. I’ve seen people who didn’t watch a game all season long win their pools because they didn’t spend as much time contemplating the intricacies of each individual matchup like some of the scholars of the game would. As they say (and by they, I mean the so called experts who usually do poorly in the end), when it comes to March Madness, expect the unexpected.

It is for this reason that I am offering my services today: the 3 best ways for filling out a bracket and ensuring that you finish in the top 25% or better in your bracket pool. These are tried and tested methods that have been proven over the course of years of intensive studies. So without any further adieu, here are the methods for filling out a winning bracket.

The first method is to choose your bracket according to team uniforms. I know it sounds funny but try it and I think you’ll end up pleasantly surprised. Look at the matchups and decide which uniform you like best of the two teams and pick them to advance. Or you could do the opposite and decide which uniform you dislike the most and choose that one to advance. Either way be consistent (either advance the ones you like or the ones you dislike, but don’t mix it up) throughout the bracket and you’ll be amazed at the results. (Hint: I like to consider shoes as part of the uniform. The reason for this is because I once picked a bracket using the uniform method but didn’t consider the shoes as part of the equation and finished seventh in my pool of 30 people. But I learned my lesson and the very next year, after taking shoe style into major consideration, I jumped to second place in my pool of 40. The shoes made a huge difference. You’ll be surprised at how often you may really like a uniform but hate the shoes, or love the shoes but hate the uniform. Going with just the uniforms is really basing your pick on just half of the information.)

The second method is very similar to the first but involves team mascots. Don’t look at it as Team A versus Team B. instead look at it, for example, as the Wolverines versus the Buckeyes. Decide for yourself who you think would legitimately win if they were thrown into a ring with each other, and advance that particular team. Some of you who are looking at my example might be saying “well that’s easy then, the Wolverines would beat the Buckeyes every time,” but if you do a little digging you will find that a Buckeye is in fact a poisonous seed. So sure, maybe a seed seems harmless sitting in a ring with a wolverine, but what would happen if the wolverine happened to eat that seed? I’ll tell you what, it would probably kill it. And not just kill it but sprout in the wolverine’s dead carcass to become a large healthy buckeye tree whose roots disintegrate and obliterate any sign of life that once inhabited that poor animal. So yeah, don’t just assume the wolverine would win every time. Do your homework and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your accuracy.

Finally, the third and probably most accurate method for picking teams in the bracket is the coin toss. That’s right, the good old fashioned tossing of the coin and assigning each team either the head or tail. (side note: this also works quite well when taking tests.) Let the coin gods decide your bracket fate. This method is as good as using a Ouija board but a lot less scary and you don’t have to sign your soul over to the devil to do it.

So there you have it folks. A surefire way, or should I say three sure fire ways, to pick a winning bracket. Don’t thank me now…go out and try it, and then after you’ve been wildly successful in your own March Madness pool, come back to thank me by posting on my blog. Seriously though, best of luck to you budding March Madness bracketologists out there. See you in the Final Four.

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Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously