So the first weekend of the NCAA tournament has ended and I, like many others I'm sure, am not sitting in a position to have a possibility of winning in any of the pools that I entered. Like any other year, I go in to it, hoping for the best, throwing all logic out the window and just picking the teams that jump out at me. Making sure that I throw in an upset here or there. So after the Kansas debacle, I wanted to throw my brackets in the garbage, along with logic and even the possible continuance of filling out a bracket in the future. After doing these brackets so many times over the years with my family which consists of me and my two sisters, my mother and my father (poor guy I know) , I have realized, there is no one way of choosing the right team. Each family member has come up with their own profound way of choosing teams, and I will discuss them in order of least successful to most successful.
Let's start with the man of the house, my father. He played college basketball at Princeton so you think he would have a slight idea of what a championship team looks like right? Definitely wrong. I believe this is my father's whole problem, he uses logic and knowledge of the game to pick his teams. I will say he was pretty successful last year with the no brainer pick of North Carolina as champion, but this year he is having no such luck with his choices. He has 2 of his 4 teams in the Final Four remaining, and 1 of his 2 in the Championship remaining. The odds are not really in his favor at this point. Basketball knowledge has gotten him nowhere this year.
As for my older sister, I'm not really sure if she has a method, she just gets lucky. For a law student, you think she'd research all of the teams, and argue about which team should or shouldn't win. Instead she saves all of that nerdy stuff for school (or to put someone to sleep) and just writes down a team. She, like me, has chosen the same team as the champion for many years in a row, but it is before the championship where she manages to get a few more teams on the winning ending than me. But in all honesty, I let her win. I just feel bad for her; she still can't beat her younger sister, me, at 1v1. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.
Oh, and my mother, the woman who claims she knows everything, which by her Jeopardy record (as in how many times she has beaten herself at the show) my mom does know everything. Since she's had to watch us, my dad, and is always willing to turn on a sporting event, I guess it is only necessary that my mom thinks about her teams in a way that most people wouldn't think about choosing. She's all about location. We have to print out specific brackets, showing where each game is taking place. Now this seems intelligent, but has nothing to do with the teams playing basketball. This is where people are wrong, and my mother is right. Travelling takes its toll on players. Some do well travelling a lot while most usually fail for pure exhaustion. So because of my mother's tactics, she is the one who is winning so far this year. So why is her method only the second most successful method you'd ask? It's because the last method is as crazy as the person who uses it.
Ellie, my little sister, is the LUCKIEST person when it comes to choosing teams for her bracket. It's because she doesn't use logic. My little sister is constantly overwhelmed with random thoughts, so why wouldn't she fill out a bracket the same way. One year, I remember her picking Seton Hall (an underdog) to win a very unlikely game, only because it rhymed with "Eaton Hall", the prep school in which the Mighty Ducks attended in their third and final movie. She also chooses by which mascot or school colors she likes better. All of these random thoughts and opinions are what makes her brackets the most successful in our family.
The NCAA tournaments outcomes are completely random. You can go in as a heavy favorite, and end up getting beaten by a team that could likely make it to the Elite 8 and beyond now. I have always wanted to use Ellie's method of choosing teams, since it's success rate is much higher than mine, but then it just wouldn't be me. And that's the thing, we choose our brackets based on the outcome we most favor. So maybe we should just take a page from Ellie's book, and pick our teams based on our favorite movies, or on which mascot would most likely win in the fight. I mean what do we have to lose? There is always next year.
Go With The Flo
March Madness Brackets
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.