Once again the Madness of March has come to take us away from accomplishing things that during any other time of the year would be deemed as “important”. The collective responsibility of the country is taking a nose dive due to time spent filling out brackets.
Lots of brackets.
But what is the best way to fill out your bracket? People have many different answers. Some go all chalk, hoping the favorites will do what they are supposed to do. Others will find a Cinderella story that they can attach to in an attempt to not only win their bracket but win the right to say “I told you so!” over the coming month. And still others will leave it to chance; flipping coins, pulling names out of a hat, or having a toddler decide their fate.
What I am getting at here is that there are a lot of options, and there is no right answer.
Well, not yet anyway.
In an attempt to amend this, I have created my own bracket. It is a bracket of brackets [bear with me]. Here are the details.
- I have constructed 16 separate brackets for this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
- I have separated those 16 brackets into 4 Regions (School Pride, My Brackets, Wing Man, and Madness) depending on how I constructed the bracket.
- All of the brackets in a specific Region will be bracketed against each other with the help of Prezi until we are down to a Final Four and eventually, the final bracket that I will use in my March Madness pools this year.
- Bracket v. Bracket decisions will be based on my own feelings of what is most likely to happen/what seems to make the most sense.
I know it’s a little much, but I have faith that you’ll get the hang of it quickly.
[Let’s do this].
The School Pride Region
This bracket is dedicated to those who wish to fill out their brackets with information about the participating schools that has nothing to do with basketball. The four brackets, and the rules that were employed while making them:
- School Mascots – Which mascot would win in a fight? Most credit was given to the actual mascot that appears at games, with special acknowledgment given to badass logos and adorable live animals (Butler!). Decisions made arbitrarily by myself and Ray Sheerin.
- Best Color Scheme – Which school colors were most aesthetically pleasing? Decisions made arbitrarily by myself and Ray Sheerin.
- Hottest Cheerleaders – When googling “________ University Cheerleaders”, which school was more attractive based on pictures available on the first three pages of the search. Decisions made arbitrarily by myself and Ray Sheerin.
- Basketball History – Which school has a richer history in collegiate basketball? Decisions based upon Championships, Overall Tournament W-L, and Tournament Appearances.
Here are the brackets:
Round 1 – Mascots v. Color Scheme
The problem with filling out your bracket according to color scheme is that if you’re doing it correctly, North Carolina will never lose. Maybe in a few years Roy Williams and company will be formidable again, but this is not their year. Winner: Mascots
Round 1 – Hottest Cheerleaders v. Collegiate Basketball History
Oregon destroyed this bracket from being a feasible reality this year when I stumbled across this picture:
Sorry, but the act of putting these girls in different outfits akin to the many jersey combinations of the Oregon Ducks is the Cheerleading equivalent of dropping the mic. They were beat in the championship by Florida:
So with the Oregon – Florida title game, the Cheerleading bracket was not the way to go this year. The College Basketball History bracket makes more sense; we have reason to believe that teams that have been good in the past may be good this season as well. Regardless, researching that Cheerleading bracket for 40 minutes was still by no means a waste of time. Winner: Collegiate Basketball History
Round 2 – Mascots v. Collegiate Basketball History
Since this matchup decides who will represent the School Pride Region in the Final Four, I figured that it would be logical to base the decision on each brackets respective Final Four teams.
- Mascots: Louisville, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Indiana
- History: Duke, Ohio State, UCLA, Indiana
WHOA. Mascots is almost all chalk. How did that happen? Well, I counted the movie Hoosiers as a mascot for the University of Indiana, and then Georgetown had this cute puppy, and everything just fell into place. Plus, the Collegiate Basketball History bracket gets thrown out of whack by UCLA’s total dominance from 1964-1973, so unless the Bruins are having a stellar year, it may be best not to allow tournaments of the past pick your tournament of the future. Winner: Mascots
And there it is! The first member of our Final Four Brackets to determine my bracket is locked in. Bringing us to our Second Region…
The My Brackets Region
This region is simple enough. I made four brackets at different points of tiredness and sobriety on St. Paddy’s Selection Sunday. I tried to go in fresh to each one, but some turned out very similar, which I guess is to be expected.
Here are the brackets:
Round 1 – My First Bracket v. My Second Bracket
I’m a pretty big believer in “Going with your Gut”, but that strategy has brought me a mixed bag of results over the years. The reason we’re doing this whole bracket of brackets thing is to get it right, so I’ll take my time here.
Wait a minute, first-thought-Tyler had Notre Dame losing in the first round to the Iowa St Cyclones who go on to the Sweet Sixteen (wouldn’t that be fun?), but second-thought-Tyler has Notre Dame winning a game? Gosh, what was second-thought-Tyler thinking. I am not picking a bracket that has Notre Dame winning a game. That’s final. Winner: My First Bracket
Round 1 – My Third Bracket v. My Fourth Bracket
HEY “MY THIRD BRACKET” WHAT DID I JUST SAY ABOUT HOW MANY GAMES NOTRE DAME WAS GOING TO WIN IN MY BRACKET? Winner: My Fourth Bracket
Round 2 – My First Bracket v. My Fourth Bracket
This is difficult for me. As much as I want to trust in the my Gut, it is hard for me to justify this huge project that has left me sitting in front of brackets for [without exaggeration] 12 hours if I am just going to follow what I was thinking 15 minutes after the bracket was released.
It comes down to a difference in Champions; can I see Duke [My Fourth Bracket] or Louisville [My First Bracket] more clearly at the top of the pile when the dust has settled?
In Ryan Kelly I trust, in Rick Pitino I don’t. Winner: My Fourth Bracket
This is getting pretty real guys. Half of our Bracket Final Four is set, and pretty soon I’ll have my Ph.D in Bracketology. And a HUGE thank you to Ray Sheerin for helping me determine who would win in a fight between an angry Cardinal and a Tiger that looks like a pushover, among many other things.
Part 2 Coming Soon.