Each year millions of Americans participate in March Madness bracket challenges and many people like myself fill out multiple brackets using multiple methods. This year will be no different and myself along with millions of people will try to become the first person ever to fill out a perfect bracket. This post is to help you find different ways to fill out your perfect bracket because lets be honest, the same method each time is boring.
1. Using basketball knowledge and research.
This is the most traditional way to fill out your bracket and will likely be one of your most successful brackets. This is for someone who pays close attention to college basketball and follows all season. Using the knowledge from experts and from your experience watching these teams will allow you to fill the bracket out in a logical way based on which teams are more likely to win. Last year I wrote an article explaining how to logically pick teams which you can read here. This is typically a boring way to do this but more times than not will be one of your most successful brackets.
2. Heavy upset bracket.
This one will be similar to the first method where you use basketball knowledge and research but you go heavy with the upsets in games that you are not 100% sold on. You likely have a 2 or 3 seed losing first round, a few 11 and 12 seeds making the sweet 16 and more double digit seeds in the final four than 1 seeds. This is the bracket you use so you can brag that you had Loyola Chicago making the Final Four when in all reality its just because you picked heavy upsets and your other 3 Final Four teams lost in the first round because you had a 15 seed making it as well.
3. All higher seeds winning.
This one will lead to a lot of success early in the tournament but once you get later in the bracket not necessarily. You'll likely avoid the big upset and are almost guaranteed at least one final four team because rarely does at least one #1 seed not make it. On the other hand your chances of getting all 4 final four teams is slim as well because rarely do all 4 #1 seeds make the final four. Like I said you should have good numbers early on in the bracket but your elite 8 and final four are likely to be slim.
4. Coin Flip
This is the simplest of them all. This will likely be one of your worst brackets because there is a 50% chance you have two 16 seeds winning the first round but who knows what can happen. You could also bend the rules and just flip on games that you aren't 100% sold on like the 8v9 and 10v7 match ups just to avoid the 15 and 16 seeds making the Elite 8.
5. Pick based on favorite mascots
This one is typically the one done by people who don't watch too much basketball or are just really bored. You pick based on which mascot you like better so when Kentucky plays Kansas you decide if you like Wildcats more or Jayhawks more. This one, like the coin flip likely won't be very successful but you will have fun with it.
6. Pick based on favorite colors/uniforms
Very similar to the mascot one where you just pick based on which schools appearance you like better. Some schools are getting very creative with their jerseys which would give them an edge in this one. One of the all time greats in this category would be the Baylor highlighter yellow jerseys they rocked a few years ago. This one could also vary based on if you like new creative jerseys or if you like the old school classic ones like Indiana or Duke.
7. Pick based on which mascot would win in a fight.
This one may be the most fun one to fill out. You take each mascot or at least what they are trying to portray and you pick based on who would win a fight. This one could be very interesting especially when you get a team like Florida going up against Ohio State and you have to try to figure out who would win in a fight between an Alligator and a nut. Also Michigan State is likely in your final four for this one otherwise you did something wrong.
8. Have your pet decide
This one is also one of the more fun ones but can take a lot of coordination between you and your animal. This one also will probably take the most time because you will have to have your animal decide between 63 games. There are a few ways to do this but the simplest is to put a treat in two separate bowls and have the team name for each team competing on the bowl. For example have a Michigan bowl and a Villanova bowl and whichever bowl they take the treat from is the one you pick. You likely need to switch it up on your pet or bring in different animals because after a while they are likely to just pick from the same bowl over and over again.
9. Pick based on football teams.
This one is especially fun if you like college football as well. You simply pick based on which school would win in a football game from this past season. For example, while Duke and UNC will both be high seeds they are likely to lose early on because their football teams were garbage. On the other side you have teams like Florida or Alabama who are likely going to be 11 or 12 seeds if they make it in this year but will probably make the final four or win it all because they were very good at football.
This one can be tricky too but is very similar to the coin flip one. You can do it one of two ways. You can put each teams name on the dart board and see which one you get closer to or you can assign each team an even/odd and see what it lands on. For example if you give Arizona evens and Buffalo odds and throw it on a 13 then Buffalo wins.