Picking the perfect bracket has become an obsession in American sports culture. Sports fans, celebrities and the President of the United States are all wasting time considering which No. 12 seed will upset the No. 5 seed this year, which No. 1 seed will lose early, and figuring out what color that internet dress is (it’s clearly mahogany). Anyway, here are some fool-proof (though composed by a fool) methods for determining your perfect bracket.
Method: Team with the highest seed
Winner: Kentucky Wildcats
Why: This is a standard format that is guaranteed to prevent you from getting dead last, and from winning your group. Kentucky is actually a safe bet to win it all, and at least 50 games in the NBA.
Method: Team whose head coach has the most titles
Winner: Duke Blue Devils
Why: This format guarantees your bracket will pick the royalty of college basketball and be bereft of any bold predictions. Don’t be surprised if your bracket is a carbon copy of President Obama’s. Thus legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced as Mike Ka-zakh-stan), will win his fifth title.
Method: School with the largest undergraduate enrollment
Winner: Texas Longhorns
Why: Logic stands that the school with the most students has the most potential basketball players to choose from and thus has the best chance to win. At least that’s the logic I’m going to try to persuade my competition to use.
Method: City with the most Satan worshippers
Winner: St. John’s Red Storm
Why: The temperature seems to be increasing with each passing month since January. There’s only one possible explanation: Satan is gaining power and is about to rule the world. At least that’s what the guy in the trench coat told me. Therefore, it is only logical to pick a bracket that appeases his Royal Darkness. Anyway, I typed into Google “city with the most Satan worshippers,” and Vocativ informed me that honor belong to New York City. Therefore I suppose that the private Roman Catholic St. John’s University of New York City would win under this format.
Method: Area that produced the most pears
Winner: Oregon Ducks
Why: Because pears are delicious, that’s why.
Method: Team making their first ever tournament appearance
Winner: Buffalo Bulls
Why: Because beginner’s luck is a thing, right?
Method: Flip a coin
Winner: Davidson Wildcats
Why: None, really. This bracket got weird. I had Northeastern against New Mexico State in the Sweet 16, Harvard against Texas Southern in the Elite 8, and had an orchestra greet me in the desert while I rode my horse. Actually that last one might have been from Blazing Saddles.
Method: Roll the dice
Winner: Villanova Wildcats
Why: This is a method I’ve spent years (I wish I was kidding) perfecting. By rolling the dice and using a mathematical method to assign additional points to the higher seeded team in each matchup, I was able to randomly simulate what a legitimate tournament could look like. In unrelated news, my grandmother keeps asking me why I’m single.
Method: Team with the strangest mascot
Winner: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Why: Because I wanted an excuse to pick the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Apparently a chanticleer is a rooster. You learn something new every day.
Method: Team with the most fearsome mascot
Winner: Wofford Terriers
Why: The terrier apocalypse is inevitable. Again, this is from the gentleman in the trench coat.
Of course, the best method is to usually follow your gut, choose the bracket that makes the most sense to you, and then rip your bracket apart when Eastern Washington beats Georgetown, when Stephen F. Austin advances to the Sweet 16, when your friend tells you the internet dress is black and when the forces of evil arise from the underworld to wage war with humanity. That’s right, the proper response in all of those situations is to rip your bracket.