Bracket pools are the great uniting force between the sports nut and the rest of civilization.
It doesn’t matter how much you know about NCAA basketball: If you can competently write down the name of a college, you can participate in one of sports’ greatest spectacle.
But if you still can’t decide whether Old Dominion will beat Butler or if you’ve never heard of Old Dominion and Butler, I’m here to give you some pre-March Madness advice based on your undergraduate school. (Sorry if I left you out).
School of Music and School of Art and Design
So a couple of the oboe players are talking brackets, and you want to get in on the action. The problem is that you didn’t know about NCAA brackets until about two minutes ago when you started reading this column.
What do you do?
Thanks to the power of the Internet, and your superior knowledge of musical scores, you can look up schools’ fight songs and make your decision based on the song you like the best. (If a school doesn’t have its song somewhere on the Internet, it doesn’t deserve to be picked.)
And if you’re an art student, you know what looks aesthetically pleasing. Use that knowledge wisely and base your picks on which team’s uniform you like the most.
Florida’s blue and orange ensemble could earn you some big cash.
Ross School of Business
All right. You’re in the Business school. Congratulations. But what kind of businessman, or businesswoman, can you be if you don’t have a bankroll that can help you live it up?
An NCAA Tournament bracket pool may be the quickest way to get the money you need to become a millionaire.
Going over teams’ big wins and losses is a boring way to determine which one is better. You like money. You live by the creed “Greed is good.” You go to one of the nation’s premiere business schools.
Why not pick the school whose athletic department has the largest profit? You’re going into the business world pretty soon anyway. You might as well start noticing which institutions can turn a profit now.
You know more about William Shakespeare than Roy Williams; you’re a history buff and the only George Mason you’ve heard of is the founding father; you can’t get enough of chemistry, and your favorite numbers and letters are H2O.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but while you were enjoying all those academic pursuits, the rest of your friends have already filled out three different brackets.
Now is the time to show those sports-watching friends of yours that all the years spent in the library rather than on the hardwood was worth it.
Big psychology fan? Indiana has the Kinsey Institute. Grew up admiring Thomas Jefferson? Make Virginia your pick to go all the way. Political science majors from the Detroit area may have a good reason to watch the play-in game. Florida A&M is the alma mater of Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
College of Architecture and Urban Planning and College of Engineering
Yes, I understand that architects and engineers aren’t the same. Still, both groups have a love for designing almost everything we use in life.
And both groups love to ridicule LSA students for their easy course loads (hey, reading 450 pages a night is tough work).
Now you have the opportunity to show off, not only your academic superiority, but also your bracket superiority. You could ask a friend of yours to help you fill out your bracket, but that’s really cheating. It’s something LSA students would do.
So make your decision based on which school has the best architecture on campus. Or, if you’re an engineer, choose schools with famous engineering alums like Purdue (Neil Armstong’s alma mater) or Southern Cal (where Armstrong got his masters).
The Division of Kinesiology
Let’s be honest. Most of us are expecting you to know what you’re talking about. Even though taping someone’s ankles doesn’t make you an expert, we believe it gives you the inside edge over the rest of the population in bracketology.
But it doesn’t, and you’re facing the embarrassment of people knowing you’re surrounded by sports but don’t follow them.
Here’s the best solution: pick the team with the fewest injuries. Browse through those injury reports and go with the healthiest team on the floor. This is what you know. Take advantage of it.
Now you’re all set to make your Tournament picks. So go ahead, talk with your friends about that No. 5- No. 12 matchup in the South region (Tennessee vs. Long Beach) because now you’ve made your picks.
Of course, you could always just blindly guess. But what’s the fun in that?
— Bosch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.