NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship

My Four Year Old Daughter’s Bracket is Better Than Yours

Indulge a proud father in some bragging…

My wife and I have competed in NCAA brackets for as long as we’ve been together.  Since we’ve had kids, we’ve gotten them involved with brackets of their own.  I picked on behalf of my one year old son (straight chalk), but this year my daughter picked her own games.

The night before the tournament started, I pulled up espn.com and went through all of the games, asking her who she liked:  Oklahoma State or Oregon?  Memphis or St. Mary’s?  VCU or Akron?  With the exception of automatically picking the 1 seeds to beat the 16’s in the opening round, I did not veto her when she wanted to knock out a 1 seed in the round of 32 or took five double-digit seeds to the Sweet 16.   I entered in her picks, as she gave them to me, and we repeated the process through the entire bracket.  Then we watched kids videos on YouTube, (including the very painful ABC Rap).

So here’s the deal:  my beautiful four-year old, who earlier this year saw a basketball game on TV and called it “football”, is absolutely killing it with her bracket.  As of this writing (three days into the tournament, half of the Sweet 16 set), she is in the 99th percentile* on espn.com.  Of the seven million brackets on ESPN, only 90,445 are better than hers.

Imagine what she could do if she cared about basketball...

Imagine what she could do if she cared about basketball…

What makes it even cooler is this tournament has a number of big upsets:  #12 Oregon getting to the Sweet 16, #9 Wichita State knocking off #1 Gonzaga, #12 Ole Miss over #5 Wisconsin, #13 La Salle  over #4 Kansas State, #14 Harvard over #3 New Mexico, #12 Cal over #5 UNLV.

My daughter correctly picked them all.

About the only big upset she didn’t predict was #15 Florida Gulf Coast over #2 Georgetown.  Frankly, I’m surprised she didn’t pick that one as she was born on the gulf side of Florida.

I’ll admit:  I want to get my bragging in now while I can.  As amazing of a run as she’s having, I’m skeptical about her picks of Oregon over Louisville, North Carolina over Kansas, and Temple over Indiana.  But if this tournament has shown anything, it’s that the top seed overlook the lower ones at their own risk.

Her Final Four?  She has Ohio State, Duke, Florida, and Temple, with home state Florida winning it all.  You can snicker at that Temple pick, or you let me know how your bracket is doing.

Oh, that’s right.  You’re getting smoked by a four-year old girl.

March Madness – Beyond the Brackets

 

With the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starting this week, people all across the country are filling out their brackets, picking upsets, and trying to predict the Final Four.

Filling out brackets has become a rite of spring.  Pools are formed in offices, schools, in families, and online amongst complete strangers.

But a traditional bracket pool isn’t for everyone.  Some like to show off their hoops knowledge, and some are looking for a way to stay engaged after the tournament’s first weekend.  Others may be bored with brackets and are looking different challenges.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have some fun and exciting competition* against your friends, relatives, and co-workers without having to antagonize over which 7 – 10 upset to pick.

*This is where I should insert a friendly (yet legally binding) disclaimer about how the suggestions in this post are solely for entertainment purposes, and are not condoned or endorsed as a form of gambling (unless, of course, your employer, state, or country allows such things). 

Any reference to “entries”, “pay-out”, “win” or the like obviously refers to non-monetary items of limited value, which will not draw the attention of state and federal agents. 

In other words, if your participation in one of the following pools gets you arrested, fired, divorced, beaten up, sued, or bankrupted, that is your problem, not mine.  Thank you.

For each alternative, I’ll list the effort required by the lifeguard (i.e. the person running the pool) as well as for those who will be diving in.  From easiest to most complex:

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