The Short Game: Intro to Bracketology


Mike Carlson, Spear Contributor

There is nothing quite like Selection Sunday in sports. Super Bowl Sunday is great and all, but falls about 66 teams and a mess of pandemonium short of the fateful spring Sunday.

Plus, what other event in sports stems an entire month of madness encompassing stealthily watching games during class, sneaking score board checks while “going to the bathroom” in gym class, or just outright (and completely warranted) defiance of authority, so you can watch some no-name team from middle of nowhere, USA upset Kentucky (sadly this scenario will only exist in this column).

March means madness and everyone from the President to that guy you thought knew more about the crocheting than sports wants a piece of the action. Heck, the Smithsonian (yes, that Smithsonian) published an article on the rise of filling out a bracket in society. We even have an entire branch of study dedicated to filling out brackets dubbed Bracketology.

In short, come March we care about brackets more than an orthodontist.

Of course, there are the numerous ways to fill out a bracket. The strategies and ceremonies that go with predicting the future are one of the irrefutable highlights of March.

Here are a few strategies which should help those looking for March Madness immortality.

The Kentucky Method

This one is quite straight forward. Basically, you put Kentucky all the way through to the Championship game and then have them winning said championship game. I realize how over simplistic it sounds, but when you are deeper than Mariana’s Trench off the bench and have defense that doesn’t even allow light to escape it like Kentucky, it’s hard to argue with the Wildcats as destiny’s darling. Add in an average margin of victory higher than the drinking age and you begin to question whether the Denver Nuggets could beat the Cats.

The Team Colors Method

Every year those who painstakingly agonize over every single matchup and watch endless hours of games are beat out by the person who chose their bracket by a quick glance of the color wheel. I’m obviously alluding to those who seek team color chemistry over team chemistry when deciding history. Kentucky will probably still win here.

The Dog Method

This method, unlike the others, comes with a prerequisite: ownership of a pooch. Essentially, you put out two dog bowls with the logo of each respective team on a bowl. Then, you leave it up to the dog to decide how you fill out your bracket based on which bowl he chooses. It’s time we started using the moniker “Man’s best friend,” to our advantage.

The Mascot Battle Method

This is actually quite a popular method among many a madness partaker. Measure the two mascots against each other and then determine who would win in an all out battle to the death. This one is also helpful in determining what on Earth a “Jasper” is and what makes Manhattan College the ideal “Jasper” locale. Is it a type of mineral or is it just a random combination of letters? No, seriously tell me.

The For Real Method

This is where you fill out your bracket with the precision of Michelangelo. Or you could just a flip a coin for the same result.

The Lone Wolf Method

Because who in their right mind would take bracket advice from someone else?