Helping you fill out your bracket?
Lets cut the bullshit here. This is how the bracket picking process works:
BARE IN MIND: 90% of the people filling out brackets haven’t watched more than 5 college basketball games this season. Yet when they pull that 11-5 seed or 12-4 seed upset, boast-“I knew Murray State was going to upset them”, without little reason as to why they picked Murray State, let alone knowing which conference/state/timezone Murray State is in. Tis’ the season for everyone, (including that cute girl in your office who doesn’t care about sports and is 4 weeks away from winning the big office pool) to claim that they are a “College Basketball Expert”.
As someone who has taken home a few pools in the past, here are some noteworthy things to do when filling out your pool as per my opinion.
THE UNFUN-MOST STRAIGHT FORWARD APPROACH: Pick your bracket to form…There’s a committee very important people who sit in a room surrounded my rich mahogany and go line-by-line, game-by-gmae, team-by-team- seeding and placing these teams in a bracket-
don’t you think they know more than you?
Of course this approach is incredibly un-fun and will get your ridiculed by many/most/all of your friends, but hell- the teams are seeded that way for a reason. As you reach the Final Four- you’ll be in a quagmire, with all #1-seeds remaining, but remember there’s a top-25 out there and you can always pick a winner by those rankings.
Find an “expert” and listen to him/her: There has to be nearly 300 college basketball experts out there. From Dick “They got a raw deaaaal baby” Vitale to that Gambling Addict college friend of yours. Seek out one and listen to them- I like to listen to the gamblers, because they have very strong memories, and will never forget where they were that one night at 1am, when Saint Mary’s College lost to some JuCo in a preseason game, and it cost them a c-note.
In Round 1: When in doubt, Take the underdog: Some brackets award first round upsets as worth DOUBLE. And what’s the difference between an 8 and 9 seed? When in doubt- go with the 9, 10 and 11th seeds. This way if you get it right, you score x2, and if you get it wrong, rest assure one of your underdogs you might not have gone with normally, will eek out a terribly played 1st round basketball game- only to get STOMPED on by the #1 seed in the next round.
Pick a bracket strictly going by which mascot would win in a fight: I had college roommates do this one year on a plane ride to spring break and the final result was Blue Devils of Duke taking on Spartans of Michigan. I don’t recommended this method, but it might work as good as any. But in the end, I mean what can a Jayhawk really beat up? Also hard to see an Orange beating up a Catamounts in round 1.
Now for my own EXPERTISE: unfortunately, I haven’t seen much basketball since January, but I can say that looking at this bracket the difference between the top teams in the nation and the lower seeds is a bigger gap than I ever remember. What that means is there will be no George Mason’s this season. The best teams in the nations have several guys that will be going pro as soon as this tournament is over, and I’ve heard experts say in the past- if you want a winner: count the pros on a team. Meaning Kentucky…I got my eye on you.
From the big games I’ve seen all year long, Kansas and Kentucky really seem to be the powerhouses of the nation. Duke seems to always lose at some point because they always end up getting out muscled by a bigger, stronger, more athletic team (basically meaning their white players get scared at some point). Syracuse’s results in the Big East Tournament was a shock and a tell tale sign to me.
Always look out for the teams who have played amazing basketball down the stretch with high rankings (ie- West Virgina, Ohio State).
That really is all I got for you…
I bid you all the best of luck in your 2010 bracket, and hope that you take home the pool/bragging rights, so that you can walk around like an “Expert” till next season, when your bracket can be thrown away by the 1st Sunday of the tournament.