7 Methods of “Bracketology”

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Today is an awesome day if you are a College Basketball fan – the bracket is set, the teams are seeded, and the contest invitations are suddenly outnumbering “Harlem Shake” video links.

The tournament kicks off in three days; unless you count the “play-in” games, which I don’t (until my team lands in one).  And yes they are play-in games, not the first round.  I refuse to tarnish the splendor that is the first Thursday of The Big Dance by referring to it as the “second round.”  Whether you are a casual watcher or a die-hard fanatic, it is hard not to get caught up “hoop”la that surrounds this special time of year in College Sports.

Millions of people are once again filling out their brackets.  Some do it for fun, some do it for prizes, and some do it for bragging rights.  And then they will sit back to see how their selections play out. As I begin the process of filling out my bracket today, I ponder the many different processes that people employ when making their bracket decisions.  Here are a few systems of selection that I came up with:

“The Seeder”
This person that goes straight down the bracket and picks the highest seeded team in every game.  They have not watched a college basketball game all season.  And they are only filling out a bracket because they can’t say no to peer pressure.

“The Statistician”
This is the guy that knows every detail about every match-up.  Right down to the shoe size of the second string small forward on a random 16 seed team.  He spends way, way, way too much time filling out his bracket.  And then spends even more time telling everyone about the hows and whys of each of his picks.  This is also the guy who will be cursing at the TV and telling everyone how jacked up his bracket is by the second round.

“The Fan”
No matter what the odds, they pick with their heart.  Their selections are based on creating the best case scenario for their team to make it to the Final Four.  And of course, once their team is there, they WILL win it all!

“The Flipper”
This person has no problem figuring out the easy picks.  But if the truth is told, when it comes down to the 7 seed versus a 10 seed or even worse, a 8 versus a 9, they pull out a quarter and let fate decide.

“The Buzzer Beater”
They will fill out a bracket at the last minute; just in the nick of time simply because they don’t want to feel left out.  They will rush through their picks because of the time deadline and they will spend the entire tournament second guessing themselves.  The regret and shame they put themselves through will turn out to be a far worse feeling then having just been left out of the contest in the first place.

“The Old School”
This is the person who hasn’t watched college basketball since 1980; and all their picks are based on the talent level of the teams as they knew them back then.  In some cases this is an okay thing.  In some cases this is a very bad thing.  These are also the only brackets that may contain “write-in” selections.  This is where they remember a team that was really good back-in-the-day and think they should be in the mix now.  So, they just add them to the list.

“The Color Coordinator”
Usually a sister, wife or a mom who decides it would be fun to jump into to your bracket tournament filling out contest thingy.  They make all their selections based on the team that has the prettiest colors or best coordinated uniforms.  And on a side note, these ladies’ brackets more often than not unexplainably finish near the top of the contest if they don’t win the whole thing.

What are some methods you or “a friend” have used?

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