Hard to believe, but it’s already bracket week. The most exciting event in sports, and the most gut-wrenching event in the office place.
You slammed a fresh cartridge in the printer to spit out your bracket. You uncapped a fresh “victory red” sharpie to mark up your picks. You think you’re ready. But you’re not.
Not until I weigh in and give you a little help. I’ve been in this game longer than you have, I’ve laughed at a lot of bad brackets.
No, I’m not going throw on the lab coat, go “Bracketologist” and tell you who to pick. I’m not going to do your job for you. Especially when most of you don’t help me do mine.
But since I’m generous, I’ll give you a quick list of what NOT to do with your picks.
First and foremost – do NOT ride your alma mater. Bush league mistake. And I’ve got bad news – Unless you went to college in Lawrence, Kansas or East Lansing Michigan – your team isn’t making some crazy run. Keep their name out of your Elite 8. I don’t care if you’re an alum, you’re the University President and you’ve got “Stony Brook” pride. They’ve got Kentucky. You might be still paying off student loans to your school. Don’t add to your debt by thinking your 13 seed is some Cinderella. Take it from me… Every time they show up I get all geeked on UCSB. And then they get trash canned.
Did you see Derek Carr’s tweet? The Raiders QB says he’s got Fresno v. Cal State Bako in the title game! You know who loves that pick? The 661, the 559, and everybody in Carr’s pool who’s about to get paid.
Oh, and this one’s closely related. Do not blindly ride your alma mater’s conference, either. Just because you went to some Big East school who didn’t punch a ticket, doesn’t mean you should start picking Syracuse to shock the world. Again, I rep the Big West, and Hawaii won it… But I’m not about to start calling my shot that the Rainbow Warriors are going to do the Jayhawks in the Sweet 16.
Moving on – do not have a whole handful of low-seeds in your Final Four. Yes, this season had crazy parity… But don’t get cute and write in a couple of 9s, a 5 and a 14. You’ve convinced yourself it’s this “crazy season” where anything can happen. I’ll tell you what can happen… You can lose your entire pool by Friday afternoon. Do not diss the 1 seeds. They’re boring. It feels safe. Nobody likes chalk. But everybody likes money. You wanna win some? Roll with 1s. Seven of the past nine championships have been won by 1 seeds. And a billion of the last billion brackets have been lost by noobs trying to catch lightning in a bottle and eliminating all the 1s early.
Also, do not ride teams that got bounced in the first round of their conference tournaments. Iowa State- I’m looking at you. Do not think the 12-5 upset is a myth. The numbers say it’s not. It’s gonna happen again. Take one of the 12’s.
And do not think you can just show up last second and win this thing when you haven’t watched 1 second of college hoop since last April. FYI – “Iona” is very different from “Iowa.”
You’re welcome. And lastly- do not forget to thank me. I won’t even ask for 20 percent, a simple @jimrome tweet will do.
This post brought to you by Jim Rome.