March Madness for Dummies: How to Score Big with Absolutely No Knowledge



Attention all non-basketball fans! It is ironically your favorite time of year: March Madness. And even though you have only heard of a few teams in the Big Ten, you must fill out a bracket like the rest of the world! So, here is a guide on how you, my fellow peer with no basketball knowledge, should fill out your bracket.
Don’t be intimidated by statistics and expert opinions. None of those truly matter in the world of March Madness.

The first and foremost rule in March Madness for Dummies is to ignore all stats, player analysis, and expert opinions. Instead, you must base all of your choices completely on the team name. That’s right, you must choose the names with the best “juju.” If you see Duke vs. UCLA, you must immediately go with Duke. A name like “Duke” screams basketball. It is short and sweet, has a flow, and sounds real-deal. Another no-brainer, LSU vs. St. Bona. Never heard of either of those teams? Same. But LSU sounds legit. They sound ready to dominate on the court. St. Bona sounds like a rec-league team; do you want your bracket in the hands of guys who play basketball for fun on the weekends? Of course not. For that reason and that reason only, they would not be advancing to my bracket. Keep this key principle at the top of your mind when crafting your bracket.

Another foolproof strategy is to look at a team’s uniforms and colors. Arkansas and Oregon St.? I don’t know the players, the stats, or their records. But Arkansas team colors are red and white, while Oregon’s colors are black and orange. No doubt in my mind that black and orange make cooler uniforms and swag, so Oregon St. will be advancing.

If you are really, pathetically, desperately lost in drafting your bracket, it is time to flip a coin. By flipping a coin, you are letting fate create the perfect bracket for you. Making your perfect March Madness Bracket is definitely at the top of God’s list!

In my bracket, my mom’s alma mater school always goes far. Was the last time they won an NCAA championship in 1989? Yes, but they have my family’s back, and I have theirs. So, my advice to you is to stick to your roots. Keep it in the family.

Now, through it all, you must trust your gut. Do you feel like the 16th seed team is going to beat the 1st seed team? Well, then, players, records, and stats be damned. It does not matter if your team has a bad record; if you have a good feeling, take them all the way. Trust your gut and put it in your bracket. You hold the answers.

Now, this rule can get very confusing for rookie-bracketters. There is an amendment to this “trusting your gut” thing. Your bracket must have upsets–wins no one would ever expect. Upsets make March Madness what it is. Basketball in March is not what it seems–a 15th seed team could easily beat a 1st seed team. You can’t rely on anything. You cannot go the obvious route, or your bracket will be in last place before you can blink. To account for these crazy upsets, my father Jon Dwoskin explained, “This year, everytime my gut told me to pick something, I picked the opposite.” So, know when to trust your instincts and when to completely ignore them!

You do not need to know anything about basketball to win your March Madness bracket tournament. No one has ever picked a perfect March Madness bracket, obviously because they are too focused on statistics and rankings. If they spent less time on that and more time focusing on the juju of a team, there would have been many perfect brackets by now. We, the Dummies of March Madness, hold the answers to this tournament.