Even though Ole Miss missed out on the big dance yet again (we'll get 'em next year! /optimism'd) by spending most of the season agonizingly on the bubble, teetering in and out of legitimate tournament contention, you and I both know that we, as sports fans, are excited about March Madness. For college basketball fans, both devout and casual, it's easily the most thrilling time of the year, which is why we at the Cup would like to invite you to join our bracket challenge, as well as the SB Nation "Wisdom of the Crowds" bracket hosted by Yahoo!
The winner of the Cup's challenge will get, I dunno, a shirt or something. The winner of the SB Nation bracket is eligible for $10,000, or an eye-popping $5 million if your bracket somehow winds up perfect (it won't).
For those of you who'd like to participate in these fine contests, but aren't sure how exactly to go about filling out a good NCAA bracket without a solid understanding of the teams involved, we've got some rock-solid advice for you:
- If you hate a team, pick against them. You'll feel better about yourself. [NOTE: Don't do this with Kentucky. They'll probably win it all.]
- The #1 and #2 seeds are unusually strong, relative to the lower seeds, this year. Try not to pick against them too wantonly.
- Uniforms. Do you like somebody's uniforms? Pick them.
- Mascots. Those too. Use them. They're the subtle embodiment of the competitive spirit of the team on the court.
- Do you have any sort of geographical bias? For example, do you generally dislike the great plains and have no real respect for the denizens thereof? Is this bias entirely irrational and seeded in a backwards prejudice? Great, use that as a guide. [To support my example, you'd need to pick against Creighton, Iowa State, Kansas, South Dakota State, and the rest of those government subsidized corn eating, overall wearing, salt-of-the-Earthin', good for nothin Plainers.]
- Do you hate Duke? Good, that means you're alive. Great work. Keep it up.
- If you're stuck on those tricky 8/9 seed or 7/10 seed matchups, print out the logos of the teams involved and tape them to a dartboard. Statistically speaking, this is probably your best bet.
Happy picking, and happy March.