© 2024
Local NPR for the Cape, Coast & Islands 90.1 91.1 94.3
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

5 nonsensical ways to fill out your March Madness bracket

The University of Miami Hurricanes (mascot: Sebastian the Ibis) played the University of Indiana Hoosiers (no mascot at all) during the second round of the NCAA men's tournament in 2023. The Hurricanes won, just saying.
Patrick Smith
/
Getty Images
The University of Miami Hurricanes (mascot: Sebastian the Ibis) played the University of Indiana Hoosiers (no mascot at all) during the second round of the NCAA men's tournament in 2023. The Hurricanes won, just saying.

The NCAA men's March Madness tournament technically began Tuesday when Wagner College beat Howard University in a First Four game.

But you still have time to fill out your brackets, which are due before the First Round games begin on Thursday when Michigan State plays Mississippi State at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Basketball lovers have likely already filled out their brackets after carefully analyzing each team's performance during the regular season.

For those with no interest in basketball but who suffer from FOMO — fear of missing out — there's still time to join in the fun.

Pick your winning teams randomly, or try one of these five nonsensical ways of deciding a winner. The best part of this method is that if you accurately predict a huge upset, you can smugly tell your basketball friends that you knew this would happen the whole time.

Pick teams according to which mascot is the cutest

This is my preferred brackets method, as it's sure to fill your day with joy and cuteness. For example, did you know that Yale's mascot is an Olde English Bulldogge named Handsome Dan? It's hard to beat that level of cuteness.

If mascots give you the heebie-jeebies, try picking your winners based on which one would win in a fight. The Dandy Duquesne Duke wouldn't stand a chance against BYU's Cosmo the Couger.

Have a furry friend choose for you

We let certain rodents decide how long winter will last, so why not let one fill out your bracket? Write each team's name on a sheet of paper and wrap it around your pet's favorite treat. Release your pet and let them pick whichever team-wrapped treat is most appealing. It will be a feast for your fur baby, who would get to pick the winners for more than 60 games.

Decide based on the catchiest fight song

Crown the winner with the lowest student loan debt

Do students cheer louder if they aren't worrying about paying off their loans? Look up each school's typical student loan debt after graduation and pick whoever has the lowest amount. This could double as college research if you're a high school student — or the parent of one.

Make it a popularity contest

I wouldn't be able to describe what a skilled basketball player looks like. But I do understand internet stardom. Find each team's official social media account and choose your winners based on which has the best social media presence. For less subjective criteria, pick whichever has the most followers.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who you advance in your bracket. A perfect one has never been verified, according to the NCAA. If you're running out of time, just pick your teams at random and get ready for the fun to begin Thursday.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.