My favorite time of the year (more like 3rd favorite if I’m being honest) is upon us. MARCH MADNESS. The NCAA Basketball Tourney picks 64 teams to compete for the national title, ranks them, and then they duke it out. It has become a sport in itself for basketball fans to fill out their “bracket” and guess which teams will advance. The good news is that the games start this morning at 11 am (Thursday March 19), so you still have time to get your picks in and join that office pool!
Being the deathly competitive person I am, I live for this time of year! I also really like basketball and rooting for the underdog. Out of the 20 pools I have been involved in during my lifetime, I can say I have only won 2 of them, which is a terrible record haha…but I have a good time doing it! I should also note that I have seen people win March Madness Pools with absolutely NO interest in basketball…it’s a crapshoot!
So for those of you who may avoid your office pool in fear of embarrassment you’re in luck, I’ll give you my…interesting….guide to how I fill out my bracket. You’ll see that there is no method to the madness and that bracketology is for everyone!
Rules I live by when filling out my bracket every year:
1. Do I like the school playing? There are only 2 schools that fit this: Wisconsin and Iowa State. So they typically at least win one game in my bracket every year. This year, I have them both going…far. I typically follow logic, but this year having both my teams do so well I had to go with the heart. We’ll see how badly I lose.
2. Are there any other schools from my home state (IOWAAAA)? This year there are. Iowa (the hawkeyes)– I guess for the sake of unity in the state of Iowa, I’ll root for them to win one game, but that’s about it (I’m not a hawkeye fan if you can tell). The University of Northern Iowa Panthers are also in this year– I’ll pull for ‘em!
3. Do I like the area where the school is? Meaning, is it near a beach or the Pacific Northwest?…. I’ll probably pick that team.
4. Does my dad like their coach? My dad has some crazy stories about running basketball camps with some coaches that went on to do badass things (think Bo Ryan, Coach K…yes, my dad has a story about Coach K). Typically if Jer has said good things about them, I’ll give their team the W.
5. Have we ever been on a plane with the coach’s family? One time Bill Self (Kansas) and his family were on our flight home from spring break. My dad was in heaven. I’ve rooted for them (as long as they weren’t playing Iowa State) ever since, but they have a habit of choking, FYI.
6. Random Posts on msn.com about upsets in the tournament. I’ll usually pick 1 or 2 of these
7. Is anyone on their team cute? Pick that one.
8. Is it a game with 5 seed vs. 12 seed or 7 seed vs. 10 seed? Pick the 12 or the 10 seed to pull off an upset, but not both of them, in each region –> I have tried to abide by this rule since high school and when I do, I swear I have ended up in the top 5 of every NCAA pool I’ve done it in.
9. Is their coach good looking? Pick them. Ummm, and can we also say HOW GOOD LOOKING IS THE MAYOR?!
10. For the final four/national championship/national champion. Did Obama pick them? Don’t pick them. He hasn’t guessed a national champion correct since 2009** However, see 2015 guidelines below.
When I’m in doubt on a game, go with the Big 10 conference team if they are playing. There are some matchups with Big 10 Teams that I wouldn’t choose that team, but if I’m stuck, I’ll go with a team from the Big 10 conference. I may be flushing my bracket down the toilet this year, but although Michigan State and Ohio State are ranked with lower seed in their games, I still pick ‘em to win for the upset and advance at least 2 wins.
Go with emotion the first two rounds, then go with logic.
It’s honestly a crapshoot. Remember when Warren Buffet offered 1 billion dollars to one person who picked a perfect bracket last year…and no one won it?
I will tell you now that Kentucky is undefeated. Normally, I would say this would get them far in the tournament but not a championship (as history shows us). However, I’ve watched some Kentucky bball this winter and they are damn good. Not a bad overall winner.
And thats it!
So how many of you fill out brackets? Who are YOUR favorite teams?