Bracket Decisions: Data or Darts?
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This may be that one day of the year when everybody's Irish, but ask around and it'll be clear that it's also that one day of the year when everybody's a college basketball expert.
Or at least, it's a day when everybody has a bracket plan.
And with Warren Buffett depending on infinitesimal odds to keep his billion-dollar perfect bracket giveaway safely in the coffers of Quicken Loans, math shortcuts or no, if anyone is going to cash in, it'll no doubt be a backwoods Bulgarian blacksmith who doesn't speak English and was just screwing around with a hot smartphone he picked up from a Crimean refugee for a few stotinkas.
Or something like that. Bookmark it. You heard it here first.
What's even more annoying is that the only differences between that scenario and the eventual winner of your pool is that you'll share a common language and part of the cash in the kitty used to be yours.
But since you're going to play, anyway, it's worth taking a look at what rational thinkers suggest for success in the pseudoscience of bracketology.
And what better place to start than in the hallowed halls of academia, where business geeks can either spend their time working on something that will win a Nobel prize for economics or doing this:
Of course, bracket advice is everywhere.
- Sports Illustrated's John Wertheim is all over first thoughts, ignoring momentum, and loving location;
- Bill Bender at The Sporting News says stick with the chalk;
- Fan Sided's Josh Sanchez tips it round by round;
- Joe de Lessio of New York Magazine is a stat dude; and
- Reid Forgrave at Fox Sports explains why he likes the Shockers, but picks Arizona to win it all.
Pick and choose from the systems at will, but just know there's really only one true winning strategy, and that's to be related to a backwoods Bulgarian blacksmith.
Or someone like that.