It’s March Madness time, and bracket-mania is upon us. And while there’s analysis galore, there’s NO real science for the average person to apply to win your bracket challenge. (Full disclosure, I have never won) But isn’t that the pure beauty of the thing, everyone can play and enjoy the madness, and your 5-year-old is just as likely to win as your high school hoops coach. So I encourage all of you, especially if you’re on the fence, to jump on into the action. I love NCAA basketball because of the heart of the players, the loyalty of the fans, and the brutality of the format — one loss and you are done. There’s no best of five series in college basketball. If you don’t deliver, you’re out. If you have the game of your life and pull off an upset (and there will be a few), you get to keep dancing. It’s heartbreaking and entertaining all at the same time, and that is why it is complete “Madness”!
So welcome the madness and share it. And if you’re like me and at a complete loss on who to choose, have fun with it. Here are five off-the-wall ways to choose your bracket that could be just as successful as stressing over each matchups’ X’s and O’s.
5 Fun Ways to Complete Your March Madness Bracket
- Get the Kids Involved. I did this a few years ago, and it’s so much fun and super easy. Just tell the kids the names of the two teams facing off, and they will make their picks in about half of a second. You’ll whip through your bracket in no time. I must include a disclaimer though: **If there is a team with any form of a “potty word” in it, the kids will pick that and giggle all the way to the Final. A few years ago, my son couldn’t get enough of Butler (Butt), which actually worked to my benefit.
- Play Darts. If you have a dartboard, you’re set. If you don’t, venture down to the bar and make a date out of your bracket selection. This method requires some cutting and placing, but the entertainment of the picking process makes it worth it. Cut out the names of each team, place those going head to head on the board, and throw away. You can either require a direct hit or just go with whichever team your dart is closest to. But let the bar game decide your fate. No changing the outcome or do-overs.
- Choose by Connection or Representation. This doesn’t mean you don’t respect the game or don’t understand basketball, although it’s a great way to participate if you don’t. Choose the winner of each game based on if there is a connection for you, whether it be color, food, location or reputation. For instance, if you have had some great spring breaks in Florida and love the weather, push them on thru (doesn’t hurt that they are a #1 seed). Or if Carolina Blue is your favorite color, just because, then advance North Carolina. Simple criteria. Personal Bracket.
- Create a Mascracket (or Mascot-Bracket). This bracket selection process is based purely on which mascot would win in a dual. For instance, my Stanford Cardinal tree would go pretty far because that tree is crazy, crafty, smart and tough I mean come on, it’s a tree! So figure out if the Bruin can take down a Hurricane, or a Shocker can match a Gator and go. This is another fun one to include the kids on.
- Use expert analysis. For the person who likes numbers and stats and all those “important and real” ways to make a decision, use the experts. There are some awesome websites out there like FiveThirtyEightSports that have it all mapped out from injury stats to home court advantage. But I am just gonna say … there is NO chance it is as fun as throwing a dart!
If you really want to have fun, fill out two brackets. Create one using statistics and one using a fun method, then compare the outcomes. Just fill one out by noon on Thursday, March 20th!
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