NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction Schemes a Dime a Dozen These Days

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction Schemes a Dime a Dozen These Days It's that time of year again. That week when everyone in your school, dorm or office — not to mention your family, your neighbors, the UPS guy and that woman down the street with the 14 cats — fancies themselves experts in the college basketball prognostication game.

Of course, there are a myriad of different approaches, many of which will be covered below, but play your cards right and you can walk away with a nice wad of cash — plus the often equally important bragging rights.

Here at NESN, we're doing the bracket pool thing, too, and we'll be providing regular updates on our pool throughout the next few weeks. But we're not doing it for money. That would be illegal. We're doing it for pride: Pride in your college hoops knowledge. Pride in your ability to recite random factoids from NCAA Tournament history. Pride in your equally random approach to picking the winners.

But we're not yet ready to make our selections, no. First, we have to come up with our criteria for picking the winners. Not counting the play-in game, there are 63 total games to be played in the tournament. Here are 63 reasons to help you pick one team over the other.

1. Pick the “chalk” team.
2. Pick against the chalk team.
3. Pick a sensible first-round upset.
4. Pick a 12 seed over a 5 in the first round.
5. Pick the team with the better record.
6. Pick the team with the better seniors.
7. Pick the team with the better freshman superstar.
8. Pick every No. 1 team in the first round.
9. Pick the team that's been hot late in the season.
10. Pick the team with the better backcourt.
11. Pick the team with the better frontcourt.
12. Pick the team with a scorer capable of getting hot and leading them to victory.
13. Pick the team that common sense suggests you pick.
14. Pick against the team that common sense suggests you pick.
15. Pick against the team that wins the play-in game.
16. Pick the team with the better mascot.
17. Pick the team with the mascot that would win in a fight with the other team's mascot.
18. Pick the team with the better uniforms.
19. Pick the team with the better fight song.
20. Don't pick the team with a player who suffered a serious late-season injury.
21. Pick the team that's playing closer to home.
22. Don't pick a medium-to-low-seeded team that has to travel across the country.
23. Pick the team with the tougher conference schedule.
24. Pick the team with better depth.
25. Pick the team with an inspirational back story.
26. Pick the team with a nickname that will make for a great newspaper headline pun.
27. Pick the team with outside shooters that can light it up.
28. Pick the team with a stud post player who can dominate inside.
29. Pick the team with the better NCAA Tournament pedigree.
30. Pick the team with the more experienced coach.
31. Pick the team with the cooler coach.
32. Don't pick the team from the school named after someone you've never heard of.
33. Pick the team from the location you've visited before.
34. Pick the team from the school that's better academically.
35. Pick the team with the better cheerleaders.
36. Pick the team from the school that has the cooler alums.
37. Pick the bubble team that narrowly got into the tournament to win a game or two.
38. Pick a team I've never seen play to make it to the Sweet 16.
39. Pick the team with the quirkier defensive scheme.
40. Pick the team with the player with the funnier-sounding name.
41. Don't pick the team that lost in the first round of its conference tournament.
42. Don't pick the team that overachieved in its conference tournament and got too high of a seed.
43. Pick the team that Dick Vitale tells you to pick.
44. Pick against the team that Jay Bilas tells you to pick.
45. Definitely pick against the team that Billy Packer tells you to pick.
46. Definitely pick the team someone's pet orangutan tells you to pick.
47. Pick the team that comes first alphabetically.
48. Pick the team from the school that's been around longer.
49. Pick the team from the city with better weather.
50. Pick the team from the school that your relative attended.
51. Don't pick the team from the school that your friend attended.
52. Pick the team from the school that Larry David attended.
53. Don't pick the team from the school that Richard Nixon attended.
54. Pick the team the Vegas odds suggest you pick.
55. Don't pick the team whose name you always confuse with that of another team in the Tournament.
56. Don't pick your favorite team to win it all.
57. Pick at least two No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four.
58. Don't pick all four No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four.
59. Pick the team your gut tells you to pick.
60. Don't pick the team your gut tells you to pick.
61. Rock-paper-scissors it.
62. Flip a coin.
63. Pick the team that rhymes with "Mansas."

Feel free to add your own approach to picking the winners in your bracket. And check back tomorrow for my complete picks based on the above criteria.

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