The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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March 19, 2014

10 NCAA basketball tournament bracket strategies that will impress your colleagues


6. Literary references

I have to admit I haven't done a ton of research on this one, but as long as you have the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (from Canterbury Tales, 1478) facing the Saint Louis Billikens (More Songs from Vagabondia, 1896) in the final you should be in good shape.

7. Team colors

I'm kidding around in this column, a lot, but I have a story for you about colors.

One of our advertising reps, Laura Ingrassia, filled out a bracket several years ago based on team colors. I can't remember if she was first or not, but she was definitely among the top three after the first two days of the tournament. She didn't finish there, obviously, but it humbled us longtime NCAA bracket nerds for a week and made for some fun conversation.

8. Alphabetical

Like a couple of the other non-contenvional methods on here, this one will make for some interesting brackets. Sure, you'll get a mix of chalk and upsets, but Florida's toast in the first round. Every No. 1 pick except Arizona is getting booted in the first round, actually,  and you'll have an Albany-American final.

As much as we like rooting for an underdog, and as insane as the tournament can be, a No. 16 vs. No. 15 final isn't going to happen. Right?

9. Straight chalk

Chalk picks are picks where the top seeded team wins. This is a simple way to put together a decent-ish bracket. It gaurantees tourney favorites like Florida and Wichita State are in it for you at the end.

It also doesn't involve would-be farm animals. Yawn.

10. Let an animal or small child pick

As I've hinted to in previous blurbs, the tournament gets nutty early and often.

Your guess is as good as mine, which is probably as good as your pot-bellied pig's grunts.

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