Thursday, March 17, 2005

Secrets of the Brackets Revealed

Every year countless numbers of people come up to me and say: "Max, you never seem to win a march madness pool, yet deep down inside I know you have mystical secrets you use to pick your brackets. Tell me, o sage one, how do you pick?" Sometimes, to the naked ear this sounds like: "Wake Forest??? What are you retarded or something?," but I know what they mean.

So without further ado, here are 10 little tidbits of my methodology:

1. Pick the (1) over the (16). Start slow...

2. Find Stanford. Find the first team they play that could conceivably beat them. Knock them out the round before that team.

3. Find Cincinnati. See #2.

4. Find Iowa, Texas Tech, and UCLA. See #2. (Note: they screwed me this year by pitting TTech and UCLA against each other in the first round). Good job bastards. Fine. Flip a coin and decide who gets to lose to the Zags in round 2.

5. If the team plays in the Pac 10 or their school is in or west of the Rockies, they win one round at most. Special exemption this year for Gonzaga who should get two or three wins.

6. Find Utah and Kentucky. Pick both teams to win as many games as it takes for them to meet up. Then pick Kentucky to win that game.

7. Find Roy Williams team. To break his heart he must either lose in the first round or in the final four. This year feels like final four to me (NC is a #1 seed).

8. Now we are on shakier ground. Pick the east coast team that will annoy me most (could be UConn, Syracuse, Villanova, or this year's surprise choice: BC). These teams will all be in the sweet 16 and at least two of them will be in the final 8. By the time we get to the second weekend I pretty consistently find myself rooting against teams rather than for them. With NC and Duke going on to the second weekend, these four teams will ensure that almost all the games will feature a villain.

9. Make sure you don't pick IL, KY, or KS to win it all.

10. Pick (9) over (8) and pick one (12) to beat a (5).

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