The 15 Types of People Who Fill Out NCAA Tournament Brackets
2014 NCAA Tournament Will Surely Bring Plenty of Bracket Entries
With the month of March creeping up, it is official that the college basketball regular season is almost over. Both conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament are going to be happening soon. The current season has been one of immense excitement as the likes of Syracuse and Wichita State have taken the country by storm with their attempts for a perfect season, while freshmen such as Tyler Ennis, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker have stolen headlines as well. In between all of this the college basketball season has been filled with a number of other intriguing storylines, teams and individual talents, which has made this season one to remember.
March Madness is due to ramp the level of excitement around college basketball to another level, and one of the main things that makes the month so exciting for fans are the NCAA Tournament brackets that fans around the world fill out. It is estimated that 50 million people fill out these brackets on an annual basis, and doing so has become a way of social gathering for people of all walks of life in the United States. Whether it is competing against your co-workers, with friends, or just against strangers online, it seems that it is impossible to be an interactive sports fan without filling out a bracket.
While the art of filling out a bracket could be discussed all day, I have decided to focus on the people who are actually filling them out by composing a list of the 15 types of people who fill out NCAA Tournament Brackets. This list takes a comprehensive look at the different personalities, backgrounds and level of expertise when it comes to college basketball and certainly takes a light-hearted view along the way.
15. NBA Fan
The NBA Fan doesn't watch any college basketball from April to February, but when March rolls around they think they are NCAA Tournament bracket experts. They tend to show a heavy reliance on the normal contenders and mix in a little bit of input from mainstream bracket experts. Still, as NBA fans they aren't used to the upsets that come with March Madness and will always be left with a poor bracket because they don't account for the fact that upsets actually happen in college basketball.
14. Lover of the Underdog
The Lover of the Underdog believes that they know every single 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 seed that will win in the NCAA Tournament this year, and they pick plenty of them to prove it. Every now and then they get things right, but normally they are just left looking foolish as the one underdog they didn't pick ends up advancing to the Final Four. After the tournament is over the Lover of the Underdog defends themselves by saying that they were gutsy enough to not just pick favorites and remind you the one time they picked George Mason to make the Final Four back in 2006.
13. Homer Fan
The Homer Fan is completely dedicated to their team when it comes to filling out their NCAA Tournament bracket, and they think their favorite college is going to win the National Championship every year. Of course this isn't such a bad strategy for the likes of Louisville and Michigan State, but it proves a futile practice for fans of disappointing teams such as NC State and Texas. Overall, this strategy doesn't normally prove successful, but it certainly provides a double dose of joy when it does actually work out.
12. The Wannabe Statistician
The Wannabe Statistician knows every little statistic there is to know about each of the 68 teams competing in the NCAA Tournament, and they think that this means they will win their NCAA Tournament bracket pool. Of course this never works out as they figure out that the basketball gods don't care what the free-throw percentage of Oregon's 12th man is come March. The unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament will always anger the Wannabe Statistician, but they won't stop on their quest to become the next Nate Silver.
11. Mascot Lover
The Mascot Lover does not know anything about the game of basketball and chooses to decide each game on their bracket by choosing which team's mascot is more intimidating. In past years this has backfired when they chose teams such as the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils and Portland State Vikings to go all the way. Still, this person is too oblivious to the sporting world to worry about losing out in a bracket competition, and they simply laugh it off when you get angry at such ludicrous selections.
10. Mr. Predictable
Mr. Predictable never chooses the underdog, and has never before picked a team that was not a No. 1 seed to make it to the Final Four. In the early rounds this strategy does not pay off, but this person is always guaranteed to have a couple picks standing in the Final Four which makes them one of the top finishers in the office bracket competition every year. This consistency angers everyone else, but Mr. Predictable will let you know that you are the dumb one for not picking the best teams to show up when it counts most.
9. Extreme Competitor
The Extreme Competitor is actually quite level-headed at first as they balance out every team's talent, regular season results and the thoughts of experts when first filling out a NCAA Tournament bracket. Unfortunately right before the tournament begins they notice that one person in their pool has the same choices as them and that they can't win the $300 that comes with winning the office pool if they keep things the way they are. Accordingly, the Extreme Competitor changes two to three of their upset picks which all end up being the wrong selections while their first bracket beats everyone.
8. Follower of the Big Name
The Follower of the Big Name is the classic bandwagon fan, and they will always end up guessing that the team with the best breakout player will win the NCAA Tournament. This person is still bitter that Kevin Durant didn't lead Texas to a National Championship back in 2007, but they still can't resist the best one-and-done player of the current season. Usually their love of the one-and-done player comes back to bite them come bracket season, but they simply can't change.
7. Copycat Fan
The Copycat Fan thinks he is being sly by copying Joe Lunardi of ESPN every time they fill out a NCAA Tournament bracket, but nobody else is fooled. Of course this is partially because most NCAA Tournament bracket competitions are played on the ESPN website, but this person will still deny copying a bracket till their death. No worries, though, as the Copycat Fan always goes down relatively early. It is perennially proven that the so-called bracketologists can't even predict how March Madness will play out.
6. Odds Man
The Odds Man will gamble on any sport that graces their television and relies on getting the over and under from Las Vegas as if their life depended on it. While some people are a little worried the Odds Man may be a gambling addict, they cannot argue with the fact that Las Vegas has an uncanny knack for picking the best teams every year. This ability makes this person a powerhouse in the annual office bracket competition.
5. The Mom
The Mom does not know anything about sports besides what her husband and children talk about at the dinner table, yet she still decides to enter her office bracket every year. This person truly doesn't know a single player on any teams, so she ends up choosing perennial powerhouses such as UNC, Duke and Kentucky in addition to the schools closest to a beach or a reality television show. For the first part of the NCAA Tournament she is successful, but things go sharply downhill after the Sweet 16.
4. Debbie Downer
The Debbie Downer has lost hundreds of dollars over the years by buying into NCAA Tournament bracket pools with their friends and office acquaintances and claims to be sick of losing money. Still, they agree to throw in $20 more this year and mope around for the entirety of March in anticipation that they will lose. Even choosing four No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four does not work out for the Debbie Downer, and they will lose money once again.
3. Rebellious Bracket Predictor
The Rebellious Bracket Predictor is the hipster of NCAA Brackets as they go against every pick that their friends and bracketologists pick to win. When teams like Butler and Wichita State make it to the Final Four they end up looking like geniuses, and they are more than willing to stand up and let the world know when they are right.
2. Record Based Predictor
The Record Based Predictor only takes into account the record of team's when filling out their NCAA Tournament bracket and certainly gives no regard to who teams played against or what conference they are in. Generally this person is not an especially avid college basketball fan, but their ability to table emotion does anger friends when they end up winning the bracket pool.
1. Person Who Fills out 100 Different Brackets
This person cheats the system by filling out every tournament outcome they could conceivably think of with the hopes that one bracket will end up being perfect. Of course this has yet to happen, but the 100 Bracket Person will continue filling out a ton of brackets in the hope that they will one day be on television for having the first perfect bracket.