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It’s hard to believe, but this is my third year telling you how a disinterested girl fills out a March Madness bracket. And yet, no matter how many times I tell you that I am not a disinterested girl, you don’t seem to believe me. Now, let’s be clear: there are a lot of things that don’t interest me in the slightest, such as soccer, Game of Thrones, and most things having to do with politics, but college basketball does not fall into this category. All three of my degrees (#humblebrag) are from “basketball schools,” so the fervor that many of you have for college football manifests itself in March Madness for me.
That being said, I still have a bunch of girlfriends that are totally clueless when it comes to the sport, and ask me for advice on how to fill out their brackets. Given that I don’t have hours upon hours to explain the intricacies of the sport to them, I usually give them some other ways to make their bracket decisions.
Eliminate the Schools From The Same State. Look at it this way – if you have more than one basketball powerhouse in your state, your talent is getting split. Which means you’ve got to ditch all of the schools in Tennessee (E. Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State, Vanderbilt), Florida (Florida, Florida State, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami (FL), Jacksonville State), Kentucky (Kentucky, N. Kentucky, Louisville), Virginia (Virginia, VCU, Virginia Tech, West Virginia), Kansas (Kansas, Kansas State, Wichita State), and North Carolina (Wake Forest, North Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, NC Central, Duke). Better to stick with the likes of North Dakota, South Dakota State, New Mexico and Vermont, where they are the only game in town.
Except for Texas. On the flip side, if everything is bigger in Texas, that should mean they are pretty good at basketball, I think. That’s how this works, right? So it seems like SMU, Baylor, and Texas Southern are good picks.
Religious Schools – Out. Listen, college sports is a competitive arena. While I am a product of a quality Jesuit education, all that values crap that is imparted onto those students means they simply aren’t going to be cutthroat enough to get it done. So sorry Providence, Marquette, Mt. St. Mary’s, Notre Dame, Xavier, St. Mary’s (CA), Seton Hall, Creighton, and yes, even my beloved Gonzaga. You just don’t have the edge needed.
Go With The Never-Heard-of-Yous. Do you know anyone that goes to Winthrop, Iona, Troy, Dayton or Kent State? No, because no one actually does go there…except for basketball players, apparently. I like the sole focus on recruiting here.
Good Stories = Good Team Rhode Island is back for the first time since Lamar Odom (yes, that Lamar Odom) took them there in 1999. Northwestern is there for the first time ever. These two are sure-fire picks because the teams with the best background stories always hang around for a while.
Use The “Popular Picks” AutoFill. The top seeds autofill is a sure way to lose, in my opinion. When was the last time the final four was all number one seeds? 2008 actually, but that was the only time since 1979, so the odds on that are pretty fucking low. The “popular picks” is a much better option because it allows you to leverage the knowledge of all of the people who actually did bracket research without having to do any yourself. And what’s better for the disinterested girl than that?
Oh, and in case you are interested, here are my 2017 brackets:
Happy picking. .