March Madness is honestly one of my favorite times of the year, but I love basketball. However, every year my brother starts a group for a bracket challenge, he always beats be, and I
am bitter because I hate losing am so happy for him. I am a huge Kentucky Wildcats fan, and they’ve made a little run these past few games which has really rejuvenated my spirits going into this year’s NCAA National Championship Tournament. We just won the SEC tournament and took a victory where it counted over a team that beat us twice in the regular season (sorry Vols). So, since I know not everyone gets as hyped about March Madness as I do, I thought I’d help you guys find fun ways to fill out your brackets for those inevitable office, family, or friend pools.
- On ESPN’s website where you can fill out your bracket, they give you information about all the different teams, so you can make informed decisions. Keep in mind, different conferences don’t always cross over, so a team that came in first in their conference may not do well against a team that came in 5th in another. Pay more attention to their offensive and defensive rankings, as well as their main scorers, rather than their overall record. Do they have bench players (players that don’t start) that can help their team out when the starters need a break? If not, they likely won’t be able to pull out enough big games to go very far in the tournament.
- Pick by colors or mascots. One of the beautiful things about March Madness is that it’s a single-elimination tournament, so at any time a team can have a big game and beat a Goliath. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to accurately pick a bracket, so sometimes just picking based off team or color can give you equally good results to people who know their stuff and picked teams based on merit. When this season was going poorly and I wasn’t even sure my Wildcats were going to make it to the tournament, I was just going to pick my bracket based on who would win in a fight between the two teams’ mascots. I still think this is a good system. Also, 12-5 upsets are pretty common, so you might want to throw one of those into your bracket (although for me, please don’t pick Davidson over Kentucky).
- Follow your heart. On principle, I always choose Kentucky to win. I can’t bring myself to bet against them, because I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious (shoutout to my Office fans). Just in case it really does matter, I won’t bet against my Wildcats, because I don’t want to jinx them. If you do have a team you love, pick them. If they don’t win, chances are you wouldn’t have had a perfect bracket anyways, and if they do, you’ll look so smart. I also have Duke losing in the first round (sorry in advance to any Duke fans who follow me), because I cannot back Grayson Allen or a coach who won’t bench him for his antics (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just google “Grayson Allen tripping”. If you get a video with less than 2 minutes of footage, it’s too short). Plus they’ve lost twice as a 2-seed to a 15-seed in the last few years, so it’s not unheard of.
I’m very excited for Round 1 to start on Thursday, and I hope Kentucky can keep their streak going. How are you picking your bracket this year? Who do you have winning? What are your big upset picks? Also, if you don’t have anyone to play with, but you want to join in on the fun, let me know and I can create a group, so we can all play together!