When it comes to March Madness, everyone fills out a bracket. The butcher. The baker. Even the candlestick maker. Wait – are there still candlestick makers?
Someplace somewhere, there most certainly are, and we guarantee that the folks working the wax at the candle factory are also working out strategies to fill out their bracket. Is there an office anywhere in North America where someone isn’t stalking around the office, holding paper sheets of printed brackets in one hand, while working every corner in the office and every corner office in order to get as many people to fill out brackets as possible?
Of course there isn’t and that’s because it’s fun and easy to do. It’s also great for office unity, giving everyone something to share and discuss over the few weeks of the madness in March that is the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Finding brackets to print out is the easiest part of the equation. Every reputable Las Vegas sportsbook offers a printable version of the bracket on their website to enable simple download.
From there, the real fun begins. There’s a page with 68 games scheduled on it in front of you. All you need to do is pick the winner of every one of them and you’re a sure fire winner. By the way, research undertaken by NCAA.com showed that the chances of completing a perfect bracket are one in 120.2 billion.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. Maybe you don’t know Gonzaga from Gorgonzola and your eyes glaze over when someone begins to tell you about Alabama’s KenPom ranking. No matter. There are many ways to crack a bracket and insider knowledge, or any knowledge whatsoever of college basketball, isn’t a requirement.
Flip A Coin
You’ve probably chosen a restaurant for dinner, or the wallpaper for the kitchen in this manner. Why not utilize the 50-50 outcome of the coin toss to fill out your bracket? It’s how they decide which team gets the ball first in a football game, so there’s even a sporting motif to this option.
Assign one side of the coin to each half of the bracket. Lower-seeded teams are heads and the higher seeds tails, for instance. Flip away and fill in your winners.
Use A Dart Board
Taking random outcomes via a different manner, the dart board can make picking your bracket a fun-filled experience. Again, assign each side their numbers. Suppose you go with even numbers for the lower seeds and give the odd numbers to teams with the longer odds, the higher seeds?
Start throwing those darts and see what sticks.
Every school has a mascot and there are a number of ways to pick games based on mascot etiquette. You could select the teams based on which mascot is more adorable.
Or you might go completely in the opposite direction and choose the team whose mascot you figure would be able to beat up the other team’s mascot in a fight.
Every school has a nickname. Some, like Gonzaga (Bulldogs, Zags) and Georgia Tech (Yellow Jackets, Ramblin’ Wreck) have more than one nickname.
There are a myriad of methods to select teams via nickname. Take the team with the nickname you like the best. Perhaps go the wildlife route and choose all the cat nicknames (Panthers, Wildcats, Cougars, Tigers), or the dog nicknames (Bulldogs, Greyhounds, Terriers). You could even go with ancient civilizations (Trojans, Aztecs).
Here’s a way to look at your bracket through an entirely different spectrum. Pick your teams based on favorite colors. If you like blue, there’s the Blue Wave, Blue Devils and of course, Navy. Fans of red can work with the Crimson Tide or the Red Raiders.
There are even schools that are colors – Auburn, Brown, Siena.
Play the Lottery
This method is more complicated and therefore, more time consuming. But it’s a unique way to fill in a bracket. To begin, write all 64 team names on pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in a hat or a box. Then begin pulling out the slips of paper.
The first team to come out is your NCAA champion. Pencil that school in all the way to the title. Next team out goes as far as they can in the tournament until they lose to your champion. And on it goes until all 64 teams are pulled and your bracket is completed.