Thursday, March 30, 2006

From The Brain of The Giant Head

NCAA Bracket Number 234 out of 235

I've never won an NCAA tournament bracket before, and, with 2006's March Madness underway, I'm proudly continuing that trend--I'm in second last place. Fun times. These how-to-fill-out-a-bracket tips will guarantee that you'll never see your entry fee again.

1. Never pick a school if you could beat up the mascot. A California Golden Bear sounds like a stuffed animal you’d spoon as a child. Now the Marquette Warriors, I wouldn't @*#$ with them.

2. If you love a school and want it to do well (like I root for the University of Cincinnati), pick them to lose in the first round. I always pick UC to make the championship game. They have yet to advance past the second round and this year they didn’t even make the tourney. I’m sure it’s my fault.

3. Always pick Duke and North Carolina to go far. Everyone else does.

4. Never pick Montana to win. There are only 17 people who live in Montana and, after careful statistical analysis, there’s no way more than 3 of them can be over 6’2.”

5. If there’s a person in your office who doesn’t know a thing about college basketball but decides to enter your pool for “poops and giggles,” cheat off of them. The less a person knows about the sport, the more likely they are to win.

6. Don’t ever pick a team whose coach wears a blazer that matches the school’s colors, particularly if it’s a blinding orange. Yes, that means YOU Tennessee. While I’m generally not one to give advice on fashion, I think I’m safe in saying that if Coach Bruce Pearl’s bright orange blazer was a disease, it’d be malaria.

7. Make sure the team you pick to win it all doesn’t play their first game until the evening. I’ve made the mistake of picking a team that played in the early afternoon and, when they lose that game—and they WILL lose that game--you’re more prone to throw things. Coworkers don’t appreciate that. (Sorry about that stapler to the head, Kelly. You’d think a scar like that would heal up after three years. Then again, I also thought Iowa State would win it all.)

8. Don’t ever pick any school from Iowa. Three years in a row I picked one to go to the final four, and three years in a row they lost in the first round. If it wasn’t for Indiana, Iowa would be my least favorite state.

9. Don’t tell people that Gonzaga is your sleeper team. Gonzaga is EVERYONE’S sleeper team. You’re better off picking them to lose in the first round, then carefully memorizing this phrase and repeating it to everyone you know, “Everyone knew Gonzaga was so overrated this year.” This will make your friends feel like eggheads.

10. When the championship game comes, don’t be too upset. Just because you’re 347 points out of first place and you have Oral Roberts vs. Winthrop in your championship game, neither of whom advanced beyond the first round, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day. After all, Opening Day is upon you. And instead of watching your team fail in three weeks, it will be spread out over 6 long summer months.