How to Pick Your March Madness Bracket

It’s that time of year again. March Madness is just around the corner. The selection committee has released the bracket for the NCAA tournament, and millions of sports fans across the country are beginning to furiously fill in their hopeless tournament predictions. If the history of this tournament has taught us one thing, it is that actual basketball knowledge and reason have nothing to do with what eventually ends up happening. Lucky for you, the Gavel is here to give you some options about how to actually go about the treacherous process of filling out your NCAA tournament bracket.

Mascot Madness

Photo Courtesy of Karen Blaha/ Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Karen Blaha / Flickr

This method requires some imagination, but it is far more likely to produce an accurate bracket than reason alone. All you do is look at the mascots in each game, and then decide which would win in a fight. For example, when you are choosing who will win the first round matchup between Michigan State and the University of Georgia, don’t even consider the teams involved. Just realize that a Spartan would take down a Bulldog without breaking a sweat and advance MSU.

Coin Flip

Photo Courtesy of Patrick Andersson/ Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Andersson / Flickr

This method is pretty self-explanatory. If Duke can lose to 14-seed Mercer and 15-seed Lehigh in consecutive years, then really anything can happen. If you are reading this and telling yourself that you think you remember picking those upsets, you’re wrong—stop lying to yourself. You are also probably one of those people who says Newton is better than Upper because of the “community feel.” You have a problem. Start being honest with yourself, realize you have no idea about any of these games and just flip a coin to decide each winner.

Look Good, Feel Good, Play Good

Photo Courtesy of Paki Su/ Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Paki Su / Flickr

The better you look in your game gear, the more you want to play, and the more you want to win. No sporting philosophy holds truer than this. So, don’t bother looking up RPI rankings, records and offensive efficiency statistics, since you aren’t going to suddenly become the Bill James of basketball and figure out something with the numbers that others can’t see. What you can do, though, is look up each team’s uniforms and pick the winner of each game based on who will be in cooler threads come game day.

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Photo Courtesy of Cassia R/ Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Cassia R / Flickr

When picking your bracket, just think of Scarface and Al Pacino. Go find a little friend—small children never overthink anything. In fact, reason isn’t something they are concerned with in the slightest. I mean, I have seen a child eat a crayon. No one who eats crayons will try and compare tournament resumes. Let your little friend pick the winner of each game because he will just go with what he feels in his gut, and he'll probably beat the nervous over-thought wreck that is your bracket.

Gameshow Showdown

Photo Courtesy of John Corbett/ Flickr.

Photo courtesy of John Corbett / Flickr

The heart and soul of every basketball program is the coach. He decides the plays, who runs those plays and who is allowed to eat up space on the bench. Coaching is the most important part of the NCAA tournament, so why do we always pick based on players? With that said, though, trying to pick based on who is the better coach will again hinder your already-proven-to-be-poor reasoning. Instead, think of your favorite game show and decide the winner based on who you would rather have on your Family Feud team.


In the end, you really just need to accept the fact that strategically picking a bracket is a pointless endeavor and that you aren’t going to win whatever sum of money Warren Buffett is offering this year. Instead, embrace your fate and choose one of these more creative selection methods. Happy picking!

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Unhealthy relationship with BC sports. Just a guy writing down the things he would usually yell at the TV.