The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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March 19, 2014

10 NCAA basketball tournament bracket strategies that will impress your colleagues

Look. I get it. Some of you don’t follow basketball or sports. But someone handed you this N-C-C-A baseball thing and told you to put the winners of the first round on the next line, and the winners of that round on the next line.

It’ll be fun, they said. Everyone’s filling one out.

Well, let me help you weave your way through the bracket.

Here are 10 sure fire ways to impress your co-workers, or at least give them something to talk about, even if you don’t finish on top:

1. Mascots vs. Mascot

Ah, this one sounds easy. What college doesn't want a fierce animal or a brave soldier/warrior representing their school at athletic events?

Plenty, apparently.

The Delaware Blue Hens will be no match for the Michigan State Spartans. The Creighton Blue Jay might get some indigestion from eating Louisiana-Lafayette's Cayenne, but it'll only survive long enough to get mauled by the Baylor Bear in the next round.

It's not all tweety birds and spicy vegetables though. The Virginia Commonwealth University Ram squares off against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack. We all know how the San Diego State Aztec's matchup against New Mexico State's Pistol Pete ends. Unfortunately, the Wofford Terriers face the Michigan Wolverines in the first round and not the Albany Great Danes, which will be Florida Gator food.

2. Follow the experts

There are a lot of people on the Internet. Most of them aren't wearing tin foil hats. Many of them are smart in the fields they write about and or create videos about. From big guns like ESPN and CBS, to smaller blogs, like the contributors at Bleacher Report, can provide real help.

But unless you're playing for jellybeans, why not roll an original character?

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