I'll be the first to tell you I know shit about sports. Growing up, my ideas of sports were Final Fantasy VII marathons and putting together computers. But the one time of year I pay attention is March Madness. Not because of some fondness for basketball, but because I enjoy placing a bracket on a site like ESPN where random chance and guesses are as much a part of it as knowing these teams inside and out.
So you're like me, huh? Well, grab a beer (or a capris sun if your under 21) and let's look at some of the tried and true methods for winning some money with little to no sports knowledge required!
1. Bracket Seeds
This is the easiest one to follow. You have a 1 seed facing a 16 seed? Well that's a no brainer. I don't care if the 16 seed has your favorite color on the uniform or it's mascot is Admiral Ackbar (I see you Ole Miss people), 1 is good and 16 is bad. As the seed matchups get more even (like 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3), then it becomes a free for all, but at the beginning, be smart. They rank these teams for a reason.
You got one of those pesky 7 seed vs 10 seed matchups and you're like shit, what do I do? Let's go to the mascot check. The 7 seed has the mighty Friar for a mascot. The 10 seed has the radical Flying Space Hyenas as theirs. Duh - this is what we call a no brainer. You best be picking the Flying Space Hyenas. If you don't, you better be a Friar alum or intoxicated. Mascot coolness counts and don't be afraid to run with it.
A popular method amongst the lady-type people, picking based on what color appeals to you. I'm not going to lie, I've used this method on occasion to great success. My favorite color is green and thanks to a good old Michigan State run for a few tournaments, green took me to the promised land. However, color picks are superseded by seeds and mascots. I don't give two shits if aquamarine is your favorite color, if that team is a 15 seed with a mascot of the Jazz Bunny and they are playing a 2 seed with a mascot of the Killer Chainsaws, there's no way in hell you should be using the color method (unless you are an alum or intoxicated).
Well, there you have it. The brackets are out now and you should go get to picking. And, if you win any money, use it to buy one of your old pal Jack's books. You won't regret it.