Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NCAA March Madness Brackets--Give It a Try!

Until I married Gerard, I never realized what all the hoopla was about over March Madness; nor did I know what a "bracket" was.  It's actually when people try to pick the winners of the Men's College Basketball Tournament that happens every March and the bracket is a diagram of the different games.  When you fill in all the games with who you predict will win, then you find a pool to enter in the hopes of winning some money.  Both Gerard's and my places of employment have one going.  Since his place has much fewer people and therefore a better chance to win, we have been entering only that one which costs only $5.  Although the winnings would be much less than at my work, mine costs $10 to enter and about 50 people are in it so the odds of winning are much less.

Karen's Method

By completing a bracket, it makes the games much more fun to watch and provides entertainment at a minimum cost.  This year, I used a very random method of choosing my teams.  First, I chose teams that I liked based on their names or the city.  When I got to teams that I felt were even or that I had no preference of team, I simply used two scrap pieces of paper with a 1 or a 2 written on them, mixed them up, and picked the piece on top.  If it was a 1, I chose the first team listed, if a 2, I chose the second team listed.  There are lots of methods people use when filling out their brackets, but no one really knows what's going to happen.  It's basketball with lots of good teams and really any team could win on any given day so that is why I do not put a lot of time or thought into mine.  This year my champion pick is Virginia.  It is an unpopular choice so if they should win, that will help me because most others in my pool probably won't pick them.  I chose them basically because they had a good record and are a different team than usual.

Gerard's Method

On the other hand, Gerard is just the opposite when it comes to completing his bracket.  He listens to all the experts picks and their reasons, reads whatever he finds about the teams and players, and second guesses himself over and over.  Last night he spent about an hour at least filling in his teams.  He takes it very seriously and the sad thing is, I usually do better on my bracket than he does, last year was the exception.  He beat me last year.  So far, his champion is Arizona.  Since we both enter the same pool, we usually pick different champions in the hopes of increasing our chance of at least one of us winning the pool.

So, what strategy do you use to complete your bracket?  Maybe you never did one but even if you don't actually enter a pool, it can be a fun family activity.  Just go to, click Print Bracket for each of your family members and let the fun begin.  You could set up your own prize for the one who gets the most picks right. The little numbers by the teams tell you how the league ranked them, the smaller the number, supposedly, the better the team so even if you don't follow men's college basketball, you can get a clue by the numbers to as to which team is considered the best in each region.

Check out the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge--Get them all right and win a billion dollars!  Also giving away $100,000 for the 20 highest imperfect brackets.  

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Cathy said...

I like to fill out the brackets just for fun. I typically do not enter a pool. Started filling mine out yesterday.

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