I’ve been watching, observing, obsessing and enjoying “March Madness” for years.
While I’ve only won a handful of these tournaments, I have learned a few key elements that have helped me hold up the “I told you so” trophy and proudly don myself the “Champion of champions!”
Ok, without any more hesitation I bring you the 5 golden rules of bracket filling competition:
1. First things first: NEVER follow, copy, or listen TOO intently to what the analysts or “professionals” say when filling out your bracket. Now, obviously they do know some information that could be viable and possibly help you out in a tough decision. I.E. “who do I choose between a 9 seed and an 8 seed?”
Keep in mind however, that these guys are all stat gurus who never really think outside of the box or pencil in very many upsets because well…they believe that stats don’t lie. Let’s not forget 1991’s No. 15 seed Richmond overtaking No. 2 Syracuse. I know, I know that was forever ago. How about in 2010 when No. 9 Northern Iowa defeating No. 1 Kansas? Worth a Yahoo! search…
2. Sometimes we choose a team because they have an awesome, glittery logo. Sometimes we choose a team because their name is adorable. (Don’t judge my use of words.) If you can fight back your ill fated color scheming desires, do so. I promise it will, er CAN help you make a better decision.
3. Do a little research. And by “little” I actually mean little. I feel that over the years, I’ve had much better success only doing a tidbit of research. Take for example my bracket a few years ago: I studied and researched, and scraped the internet for any tiny morsel of information about teams, players, stats, coaches, hell…even mascots. When all was said and done, I was second to last in my tournament. OUCH…So when I say a little, I mean a little. Maybe do a search about a few teams you’re not really sure about. Check their top two players stats, and who they came against. Let’s be honest, if a player averages 24 points per game, but plays against teams you’ve never heard of…he’s probably not going to do that against the likes of Duke.
4. Don’t second guess yourself too much. While we all have that competitive streak in us to win and get it all right, second guessing can cause all sorts of issues you don’t really want. IBS anyone? Maybe just me…Most of the time, especially if you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll kind of already have an idea. Obviously, expect some upsets, expect some teams to do the unthinkable, but stick to your first picks as they’re probably more effective than changing every single pick you’ve made. Not to mention that it can cause you to start second guessing decision you’ve made in your life…YIKES.
5. Finally, the finale! Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned: RELAX! Don’t get SO caught up in the bracket you’ve created that you start to obsess. I mean, a little sure. Sometimes we forget that while it’s a cutthroat ordeal, it is after all for fun. If you win, then celebrate and gloat the hell out of the victory. If not, then go back to planning your revenge for the upcoming year. “Already?” you may be asking. Yes, because true champions never take a day off.