Bracketology: Five Fooli~ Foolproof Tips to Help You Dominate Your March Madness Pool

Five foolish ways to craft the perfect bracket and wow all the members of your March Madness pool (Did I say foolish? I meant foolproof.).

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By Afra Mahmud

As March Madness quickly approached, millions of Americans were frozen at their desks, fingers trembling over their trackpads as they constructed their brackets. Advanced computer simulations, Las Vegas regulars, geniuses, and everybody in between have tried to crack the formula for the perfect March Madness bracket, and with it $1 million, but the feat still hasn’t been accomplished. Luckily, the wait is over as I have compiled, through hours of research, corroboration, and evaluation, the best tips for a 100 percent successful NCAA bracket (don’t try these at home). Without further ado, here are five foolish ways to craft the perfect bracket and wow all the members of your March Madness pool (Did I say foolish? I meant foolproof.).

Seek out the chaplain at your local church.

In the 2018 edition of March Madness, the Loyola Ramblers, not even expected to make it past the first round, made a Cinderella run to the Final Four. But the person who got more fame and credit than any of the players was the team chaplain, centenarian Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt. The chaplain, then 98 years old, gained celebrity status as she sat in her wheelchair courtside for each of Loyola’s games.

Obviously, the Ramblers’ run was not due to the players but rather their wise chaplain. Before you fill your bracket, I advise you to find the chaplain at your local church to guide you through your decisions. You get bonus points if the chaplain is a woman who qualifies for AARP benefits.

Choose a color to represent and stick with it.

Last March Madness, in 2019 (the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the pandemic), the red-hued teams stole the show. The final pitted the University of Virginia Cavaliers, who have a primarily orange scheme, against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Three of the four teams in the Final Four had red-hued colors. The blue teams dominated the tournament in 2018; all but two of the remaining teams in the Elite Eight had blue as one of their primary colors. Blue and yellow teams found success in 2017.

Since ESPN allows bracket-makers to submit up to 25 brackets, a viable strategy would be to submit one for each color. Submit a bracket in which blue teams always advance. Submit one in which red teams always advance. Submit one in which purple teams always advance. Needless to say, at least one of these brackets will do well.

Let your dog choose.

Animals have been known to make excellent sports betting choices. Print and cut out the logos of all 68 teams in the NCAA tournament, and for each matchup, place two logos next to each other in front of your friendly house pet (or steal a neighbor’s pet if you don’t have one). Whichever logo your furry friend approaches first is the winner and moves on to the next round of your bracket.

While this strategy may be time intensive, there’s always a chance that you could discover the next Fiona the Hippo or Nick the Dolphin.

Use ESPN’s randomizer.

ESPN provides users with the option to randomize their brackets. Simply click that option, and let all the matchups unfold in front of your eyes.

Close your eyes and pray.

Perhaps the most gutsy strategy, for each matchup, close your eyes and pick a team. The team you pick advances to the next round. Keep going until you reach your final champion to cut down the nets.