..::How NOT To Build A NCAA Bracket::..

Its March. The sun is proving to be a bit warmer and the post super bowl winter induced comas are lifting as we quickly shuffle into the next time consuming sports tournament, the NCAA college basketball tourney…AKA MARCH MADNESS!! Now, what kind of Hoosier would I be if I didn’t have at least have one post about this basket ball event? From what I’ve been told and observed the last 25 years, is that basketball is a pretty big deal in Indiana. For my Texas readers, you know how football is a big deal here? Yep, that’s what basketball is in Indiana. Still not convinced, then either Google the term ‘Hoosier Hysteria’ or rent the movie “Hoosiers” and learn.

   With all that being said, the tournament is only a few days away so to the brackets we must go! I have created my own bracket every year since Mr. Millikan’s 5th grade class(eek that’s been like 15 years) and I have successfully made thse predictions on my own. Let me clarify: By ‘successfully’ I in no way mean that I won ANY of these predictions, I simply mean that I didn’t leave any blank spots (go me!) I didn’t pick teams that were not included in the tournament and I, or someone else, kept track of the progress. I stand by my belief that my reason for not winning the last 15 years, was not because I didn’t possess the knowledge to correctly pick the team, but it was because I was going about it all the wrong way. So I am here to say that 2013 IS MY YEAR!!! I’m all in it to win it! What’s on the line, you ask? My reputation as the worst basketball manager that the Turkey Run Jr.Sr. Girls varsity basketball team has ever had. (no seriously..I was terrible…..).

I used ESPN to create my bracket. When you log in they give you the opportunity to educate yourself with 68 facts ‘before’ you  start picking your teams. These facts went something like this “ number 2 teams only have reached the big game 1 out of 10 times’…something like that. 68 of them!! Who has time for that? Not me. So I came up with a more manageable list that is sure take me and my bracket all the way to the end!

To start you need to pull up the full bracket with the first parings and use the next few tips to weed out the schools to you are down to the ultimate winner (Should look something like this at the beginning):

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1.) Whenever you come across a pairing that has a sate that you either lived in or a state that you have close ties with, they automatically advance.

** If two teams fit this qualification, pick the one that you may already be paying student loans . If this is not applicable (lucky) then you need to select the team that has the more flatting uniform color choice or has the best mascot. (you can choose which of those two)

2.) Eliminate any schools that hold bad memories that may one day cause therapy. For example: “My 8th grade boyfriend had a cousin who once stole my SpongeBob towel at the 9th grade summer pool party and never gave it back. I hear that she is studying physics at Michigan State University now…” using this equation…Michigan State University would be OUT!

3.) If you have NEVER in your life heard of a school in the pairing **cough cough IONA University cough cough** (2 points for a reader if they can explain to me where the heck this college is and why in 25 years I have never heard of it…) ..then its bye bye bracket.

**Unless the school has a fun name to say. For example..”Gonzaga..Gonzaga..Gonzaga” no idea where this school is located but oh how cool would it be to have a diploma that said BS of Gonzaga.

**Word associations always work too. Never heard of Belmont university but it makes me think of the EL train in Chicago, or Davidson university, which is obviously where all Harleys go to get an education.

4. Schools that are usually well known for other things other than sports should get at least one advancement in the bracket rounds. For example, I noticed Harvard was listed. Can’t say I’ve heard of anyone getting a four year scholarship to Harvard to play ball, but hey,  what do I know. 2 points and a bracket advance for being well rounded!  no pun intended.

As we start getting down to the nitty gritty, we need to start focusing on more important matters and facts to make sure our bracket is clear and thought out. Which why number 5 is important. This is where it gets real folks. 

5.) Which teams have the better mascot? If the school does not have have a mascot (which really should be an automatic loss in my opinion) look at the school spirit section. Are they well coordinated, do they have at least one student (or more) covered from head to toe in war paint? Is the pep band playing the Harlem shake, or a medley of who let the dogs out and the thong song (yikes)?

6.) Color coordination. In an ideal world where time is not an issue, I would look at the starters of each of the remaining teams in my bracket and cross reference their eye and hair color with that of their uniforms and enter them into an excel database that will then graph the statistical probability of being the most eye pleasing on a championship poster. Basically what we are looking for here people, is the team who “pops” the most.

7.)When you get down to the last few teams you need to think proximity. Which team are you most likely be able to visit in the even of a totally awesome championship parade? For example, you live in Texas (YEEEHAWW) and the schools in the final four are in California, Florida, Arkansas and Michigan. If the team from Arkansas were to win, you would have a better shot to reap the benefits from their win then you would from a team in Michigan.

8.) You’ve made it to the end, and now there are two teams left. Who do you pick? Up until this point, I have asked you to call upon the cold hard facts and scientific calculations to make all of your decisions (this gibberish is scientific..I swear). It is at this point that these equations wont help you. This last pick between the final two needs to come from your gut. Good luck..you got this!

 

Bam! I just did in 8 steps what ESPN felt needed 62. Who did you put at the top of your bracket?! Comment back and let me know 🙂 I am so excited to see how these predictions I made pan out. Here is how I see this years tournament based on my equations above. Enjoy!! 🙂 GO HOOSIERS!

 

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**Disclaimer: I, Jennifer Shidler, am in no way responsible for any money you the reader may loose by using my bracket selection method. I know absolutely nothing about basketball and am quite certain that if you listen to my advice you deserved to loose…that is all..Good Luck 🙂 lol
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4 Comments

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