How to Fill Out a March Madness Bracket: Stop Trying So Hard

The tournament confounds everybody. That's the beauty of it. But while admitting the utter senselessness of trying to predict this craziness, let me throw in three more tips for those facing an empty bracket.

First, look for the homecourt advantages.

The NCAA emphasizes having teams play as close to their campus as possible, so fans can travel to the games. Especially with the college game's more easily swayed referees, nothing can have a bigger impact on the outcome on games than even a semi-home-court advantage. Kansas, for instance. (You knew that was coming.) KU might have blown a top-seed by losing early in the Big 12 tourney to Baylor. But being a no. 1 seed might also have meant getting shipped off to the West Region. Staying home in the Midwest as two-seed means KU gets to play in nearby Omaha and—should they advance—almost-as-nearby St. Louis. Both towns figure to have stands filled with Jayhawk fans.

Secondly don't pick any Big Ten team not coached by Tom Izzo.

Self-explanatory, really. You can count on whatever lumbering, low-scoring club comes from Wisconsin or Ohio State to take a tumble early, but not Michigan State. Unranked at the start of the the season, Tom Izzo's mighty Spartans won themselves a No. 1 seed in the West, and tip off Friday afternoon against cute, little Long Island University-Brooklyn. Three times, Tom T-to-the Izzo's club has gone into the tournament as a top-seed. Three times, the Spartans have made the Final Foul.

Finally, number three: Ignore Patrick's theory about tall men and success. Tom Izzo is 5'7'', and Roy Williams is slightly shorter than Huckleberry Hound.

It's clearly pointless to bring any sort of method to this March Madness. But that's not stopping me from trying.

–Hampton

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Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

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