March Madness is that spectacular time of year when basketball fans go invade sports bars and horrible chain restaurants to watch 64-ish teams battle it out to be NCAA basketball champions.
It’s also the time of year when someone in your office requests you spend five bucks to join the bracket pool at work. Which, TBH, you should probably do just to seem like a team player and someone who cares about office comradery. You don’t have to, but, you’re a betch, so you’re good at pretending to give a shit. Plus side: it also gives you a reason to look at pictures of hot college athletes instead of working and using the reasoning that you’re working on your bracket.
Anyway, take this advice with a grain of salt. After all, I don’t want to be sued because you lost some cash using advice from a site that focuses mainly on The Bachelor, Kardashians and wine to make bets on sports. That’s on you.
The Easy Way
If you want to take the easy way out, just pick the team in each match-up that has the better ranking. I assume the lower number the better. Just be aware it’s called “March Madness” not only to make it easy for sportscasters to come up with puns when upsets happen, but also because those upsets actually happen with alarming frequency. It’s madness, I tell you! But there’s no way to know who is actually going to pull off one of those upsets and who in the 1/16 seed match-up is just going to get their ass handed to them. Pro tip, the top-ranked team rarely loses to the 16 seed, but it can happen.
The Loyal Way
If you went to a school where basketball is, like, actually a pretty big deal and your team made the tournament, you can take that loyalty to the final round and pick your Alma Matter. As a Gonzaga girl, I would love to see the Zags take it all the way, but I’m also not an idiot and hate losing, so I’m not going to take them all even to the Final Four. I love my Zags, but not enough to fuck up my whole bracket for them. I’ll slide them into the Sweet Sixteen and then start using my head instead of my heart to make picks. Unless you went to Kansas or North Carolina, play it smart.
The Hard Way
If you want to do a butt-load of research and pick your winners based on stats, strength of schedule, regular season records and upsets, totally do that. You’re probably just supposed to be working or studying anyway.
Things to Keep in Mind
Whichever way you pick to fill out your bracket, there are some things you should keep in mind. Kansas seems to be the general favorite to win this year, followed by North Carolina and Virginia, respectively. Other teams that seem to be contenders—according to predictions from pundits and my dad—are Oklahoma and Michigan State. Oregon got the number 1 seed in the West, but most aren’t counting them to take it all the way. Teams that might be under-seeded this year are Duke and Kentucky. They have basketball dynasties and won’t go easily into the loser abyss.
Happy bracketing, betches.