Al Behrman/Associated Press
The strategies that you choose are entirely up to you, but start each bracket from scratch and take a different approach each time.
I would suggest filling out brackets based on different team-based statistics—particularly of the defensive variety—but if you have a ton of brackets to fill out, have some fun with random processes.
Need some help coming up with crazy strategies? Here are a few suggestions, along with the approximate level of difficulty and time commitment.
Coin Flip: Very quick and simple.
The higher-seeded team is heads and the lower-seeded team is tails. Or do the inverse. I don't care. Flip a coin 63 times and you've got your bracket.
And yes, I totally chose the photo for this slide based on the fact that Cincinnati received the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament ahead of Louisville because of a coin flip. Also, easy with the hands there, Russ. That's a foul any year in any sport.
Weighted Coin Flip: Still simple, but takes a long time.
Just like the coin flip bracket, but instead of flipping a coin once for each game, you keep flipping until you get a number equal to the team's seed. For example, in a No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchup, you flip until you either get five heads or 12 tails. You'd think this one would end up being all favorites, but coins have a mind of their own.
I do this bracket every year, and I almost always end up with a No. 10 or No. 11 seed in the Elite Eight.
Mascot Fight: As complicated as you want to make it.
What in the world is a Chanticleer, and how would it do in a fight to the death? Is a Blue Devil more or less powerful than your average demonic being? What happens when a Wildcat duels a Wildcat? Depending on your imagination, this bracket could take an entire day to fill out. Unfortunately, dedicating more time to it doesn't make it any more accurate.
Geography Bee: Mildly time-intensive, but worth it.
Pick the team playing closest to home in each game. You're probably going to end up taking all of the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds to the Sweet 16 with this one, but you'll get a good number of upsets in the other games. And frankly, if you just picked those top seeds to the Sweet 16 without even thinking about it, you're probably going to get nine out of the 12 right, anyway.
The Lottery System: A complete waste of a lot of time.
If you know how to use the Rand function in Excel, this one isn't so bad. But the proposed method is to write each No. 1 seed's name on 16 slips of paper, each No. 2 seed's name on 15 slips of paper, and so on and so forth until you have 544 little pieces of eventual garbage to place into a hat. As you pull a team's name out of the hat, advance that team as far in the tournament as possible.
With any luck, you'll go through that whole process, immediately pull a No. 14 seed out of the hat, and throw the hat across the room creating a confetti snowstorm.