[Note: If you missed Part One of Bracketology, please click here. It’s for your own good. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into.]
I am running on eight hours of sleep over the past two nights. I am doing that thing where I am one of the three people in my lecture with their computers open and I am typing way more words than the professor is saying so it is clear that I am not paying attention to him.
But I am on a mission to bracket my way to the perfect bracket. And the perfect bracket waits for no man.
The Wing Man Region
Sometimes with brackets you are your own worst enemy. Seriously, it’s like really difficult to fill those things out, especially with each of us bringing in our own concerns about past bracket mistakes and our personal bias’s against Notre Dame into the equation. I would argue that many of our brackets are doomed from the start if we are tied too closely to Collegiate Basketball. Our Pavlovian response to put Duke through to the Sweet Sixteen prevents us from penciling Creighton for a Second Round (I’ll be damned if ESPN gets me to call it the Third Round) upset. Our love of Trey Burke’s potential as a professional can blind us to the HAVOC that he’ll be meeting in the opening weekend of the tournament.
It is very possible to know too much when filling out your bracket. It is even easier to care too much when filling out your bracket. And it is EXTREMELY EASY to think too much when filling out your bracket [what I have been doing for the past 72 hours].
So free yourself from that burden by putting the stress of Bracketology on to another. And forget about experts. No one is an expert in Madness.
But if not an expert, then whom should you ask for guidance? It could be anyone. Your mother. Nate Silver. A randomly selected girl. Barack Obama. All of these characters could have the charm that’s takes your [read: my] bracket to the top of the league.
Here are the brackets:
Round 1 – My Mother’s Bracket v. Nate Silver’s Bracket
Okay, I know that I just said “Forget about experts” 50 words ago, so I feel the need to clarify that Nate Silver is not an expert. He is a wizard who correctly predicted which way every state in America would vote in the 2012 election using these things called “mathematics” and “logic”. Sounds like magic to me. And if I know one thing about life, it is to always account for magic. Unfortunately this year, this magician is filthy with chalk dust.
Which brings us to my mom’s bracket. Clearly her bracket got lazy heading into the tournament and did not read Part One of this article where I CLEARLY STATED the amount of wins I would allow for Notre Dame. At first, I thought this was a sign for their immediate termination from the bracket. But then I looked a little longer. And I thought about how much fun it would be to ride Marquette. And I looked a little longer. And I thought about how much I HATE it when people who I read online go chalk. AND HOLY SHIT DID MY MOM’S BRACKET JUST PULL OFF THE FIRST UPSET OF THE BRACKET OF BRACKETS?
Indeed. This was a true David/Goliath story, a Lehigh/Duke tale for the ages. I’m pretty sure it came down to a buzzer beater. Winner: My Mother
[Note: This pick in no way effects my ill wishes towards Notre Dame in the tournament.]
Round 1 – A Random Girl’s Bracket v. Obama’s Bracket
This was a tough draw for our random girl [Thanks Mary!] and while I highly doubt her process was close to that explained in the above video, Obama is a professional at this. He didn’t go all chalk, and justified his picks with his admitted overvaluing of the Big Ten. Winner: Obama
Round 2 – My Mother’s Bracket v. Obama’s Bracket
Sorry mom. Lehigh lost to Xavier in the Second Round too. Know I still love you just the same. Winner: Obama
With three of our Final Four brackets now set, we move on to our last region…
The Actual Madness Region
A region of this bracket had to be dedicated to pure chance. The luck of the draw, following whichever way the cookie of fate crumbles. Here are the brackets and the overcomplicated rules behind them:
- Coin Toss – My buddy Ray tossed this one quarter approximately 122 times. In order to keep things somewhat realistic, since I am planning on using the winning bracket in my leagues, I created a few parameters to randomly simulate the disadvantage of underdogs. If the difference between the teams’ seeds was greater than 9 [ex. #14 Havard vs #3 New Mexico] the underdog needed to get three heads in a row. If the difference between the teams’ seeds was between 6-9 [ex. #12 Ole Miss vs #5 Wisconsin] the underdog needed to get two heads in a row. For a difference less than 6, heads went to the lower seed, tails to the higher seed.
- Random Number Generator – Ray opened an online random number generator and asked for numbers ranging between 1-64. For every matchup, the higher seed got the first number, lower seed receiving the second. In order for the lower seed to beat a higher seed, it’s number had to beat the higher seed’s by 3x the seed differential. So #7 Creighton would need to beat #2 Duke by 15 or more in order to move on to the Sweet Sixteen.
- Picking Names from a Hat – Ray and I made 32 slips of paper, 16 with the word “favorite”, the other half inscribed with “underdog”. For the #1-#16 matchups, 16 “favorite” slips were put in the hat with just 1 “underdog” slip, and then we mixed the hat and drew a pick. For the #7-#10 matchups, 10 “favorites” and 7 “underdogs”. You get the idea. We spent 20 minutes of our lives on those slips.
- Dickie V – Dickie V’s bracket makes it into the “Actual Madness” bracket because I would have to be insane to use it. That is all.
Here are the brackets:
Round 1: Coin Toss v. Random Number
The Coin Toss bracket gets very rough very quickly. It is missing the #12/#13 Sweet Sixteen Cinderella teams I always like to have in a bracket (they have to take out a #4, or #5 to get there) while having two #1 seeds fall in the first weekend. Also, it has Louisville losing in the first round. The Coin Toss bracket was the Liberty University of this tournament. Yeah, you made the dance, but your record shows that that was probably a fluke. Winner: Random Number
Round 1: Names from a Hat v. Dickie V
The Names from a Hat bracket was a lot of fun to make, and I felt good about the process. It had its upsets, many I didn’t think would happen, but when upsets happen in real life I usually don’t think that they are going to happen going into the start of the game, so there might be something to that. Regardless, I’m not following Dickie V. I’m just not. Yes, I am serious. Winner: Names from a Hat
Round 2: Random Number v. Names from a Hat
Things I love about the Random Number Bracket: Valpo with the upset! The comedy of the idea of Temple beating Indiana. Everything about UNLV. Georgetown winning the title.
Things I hate about the Random Number Bracket: No #1 seeds in the Final Four. The idea of Ohio State making a run for the title game.
Things I love about the Names from a Hat Bracket: Bucknell and Harvard making the Sweet Sixteen. A Final Four of Duke, Zaga, Georgetown, and Miami.
Things I hate about the Names from a Hat Bracket: Louisville and Indiana both missing the Sweet Sixteen. Letting Duke win the title.
In the closest matchup of the bracket so far, I give the edge to the Names from a Hat Bracket because of the strength of its Final Four and my affinity for Bucknell basketball. Winner: Names from a Hat
And with that, the Final Four Brackets are set. Tune in tomorrow morning when we find out which bracket is going to take home the title this year.