You’re going to hear this question a lot in the next few days because it’s the start of the NCAA Tournament. Basketball fans love seeing the matchups and filling out a bracket that predicts the winners. It’s not just hoops fans filling out brackets, it seems like everyone does it from the 3-year-old who picks according to color to the novice fan who makes selections based on mascots.
That’s the beauty of filling out a bracket. It’s not an exact science. As much as college basketball analysts would like you to believe this is something they have expertise in, the truth is – it’s a crapshoot. The higher ranked team doesn’t always win. Every year there are upsets. And every year it’s the source of a lot of conversations at work, which is exactly why you need to fill out a bracket.
It’s not an exercise in being perfect. (In fact, of the millions of brackets completed online every year, very few correctly pick every winner.) The real win comes in the relationships that get built and the rapport that’s established with colleagues and coworkers.
So fill out your bracket and if you need some help figuring out how to do it, either ask a colleague for advice or try one of the following approaches.
Rely on your basketball knowledge
Do this if: You watched games, and have good understanding of the college basketball landscape, the history of teams in the tournament and generally spend hours of your life analyzing statistics for the entire tournament field.
Choose the highest seeds
Do this if: You believe the better team always or usually wins. After all the committee who selected the field believed they got it right, why not put some faith and trust in them.
Mascot vs. Mascot
Do this if: You’re not a necessarily a basketball fan but enjoy determining the winner of one-on-one battles. For example: Cougars vs. Spartans. Who wins that battle? Your choice determines who to select in your bracket.
Do this if: You are a not a sports fan, are a small child, work with small children or… well, you get the idea. All you need to decide is which color you like better. For example: Do you prefer the green/gold combination of the Baylor Bears over their opponent’s colors?
Location, location, location
Do this if: You are not a sports fan, tend to travel a lot and have strong feelings about college towns around the United States. This approach uses the city the team is located in as the deciding factor.
There’s lots of different ways to fill out a bracket. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just make sure you do so you’re not left out of the conversations this week and for the next three weeks of the tournament.