Bracketology

12 03 2012

March Madness is here!  Sports pundits everywhere are offering up their best advice for the masses of people who are trying to create their brackets.  I’ve already filled out my bracket… it may look random to you, but I realized that I actually have a very elaborate system to determine my selections.  So without further ado, I now present to you:

Callie’s Super Scientific Guide to
Building a Better Bracket

Disclaimer: This method will in no way guarantee that your bracket will succeed.

Step 1. Always pick Carolina.  Just go ahead and fill in “North Carolina,” all the way to the center, “National Champion” slot.  That one’s a no-brainer.

Step 2. Eliminate Duke. Unfortunately, it’s not realistic to expect Duke to lose in the first round every year.  So, the fun comes in deciding where they will be eliminated and by whom. This year, I’m upping the stakes and allowing them to advance to the final round so that Carolina can do the honors!  (Fun fact: Duke and Carolina have never met in the NCAA tournament.  Why couldn’t this year be the first?)

Step 3. Pick schools where your friends attended. Forget stats: always make your selections based on emotional connections!  If I know someone who attended a particular school, that school will almost always get my vote. Other strategies: schools with fun names (like Gonzaga), schools in fun parts of the country (Colorado State), schools that I’ve heard are having a good season (Kentucky), and schools that beat Carolina earlier in the year (UNLV) all have made it to at least the second round in my bracket.

Step 4. Be sure to pick a few underdogs.  All of the best bracketologists will tell you that the key to a good bracket is being able to predict the upsets. Usually, completing step 3 ensures that your bracket will already have a few upsets thrown in.  However, if you notice that your selections have been following the rankings for four or five match-ups in a row, then it’s probably time to pick an underdog.  I usually pick way too many underdogs, but I figure, at least I have a better chance of getting a few of the upsets right!

Step 5. Once your bracket is complete, check and see if you need to change anything. I think it’s in bad form to have more than two No. 1 seeds appearing in the Final Four.  If you accidentally make that mistake, go back and redo the necessary quadrant so that you can advance a different team.

And there you have it!  I’ve entered my bracket in Obama’s Bracket Challenge (yes, I know it’s a cheap political ploy, but it’s an ingenious one at that!) and the “Youthworker Movement” Group on ESPN (if you’re a youth worker, come join us!)

Who are you rooting for this year???

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2 responses

13 03 2012
Linda

hmm— almost as complicated as “s-e-p . . “

15 04 2012
calliebdean

Hehehe…my poor bracket!! The good news…Duke DID lose in the first round this year!!! It screwed up my bracket a whole bunch, but it was totally worth it!

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