The men's bracket is out, and we can now look forward to three weeks of dealing with the smug assholes who were right about everything or of being the smug asshole was right about everything ("I just can't believe you didn't have the Wofford Terriers advancing to at least the Sweet 16. That's all I'm saying"). But just like we learned in kindergarten, not all brackets have to look the same. Here's a sampling of some of the best alternative brackets from around the interwebs.
For The Fan Who Automatically Picks Their Alma Mater To Win It All Because He Just Believes And/Or Is An Asshole
Wall Street Journal presents the brilliant "Blindfold Bracket," a "bias-free" approach to the Madness. The format's easy to navigate and pretty to look at: as you click through each round, you're presented with a code name for each team, as well as its seed range, RPI range, and conference profile. That's followed by a brief bullet-list of positives and negatives. You make your choice and move on, and once you've clicked through every game, you're presented with a completed bracket. My first attempt ended with Kansas beating Kentucky in the final. I'd never have chosen that result because I cannot stand John Calipari, and that's exactly the point.
For The Fan Who Complains About Every Bracket Platform In Existence And Does Nothing About It And/Or Who Has Always Dreamt Of Making An Athlete Dong Bracket
Urlesque created a "Better Bracket" app that allows users to either fill out a March Madness bracket and share it on Facebook, or to create a bracket of their design. It's a nice solution for a serious basketball league with playoffs approaching, and for the frat bros who just want to get down with some serious beer pong this weekend, you know?
For The Guy Who Was Playing World Of Warcraft At SSAC Two Weeks Ago, And/Or To Stat Geeks/Bill James Aficionados Everywhere
Gelf Magazine revamped and modernized Bill James's original bracketless bracket, which he developed in the early '90s. "Rather than predict each game, entrants chose one of the four teams to carry each seed number," Carl Bialik explains in the Wall Street Journal. "Any wins by the chosen team counted for points, with more points for later rounds and for wins by lower-seeded teams. That made it impossible for entrants to choose just the heavily favored teams." The bright young lads at the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, meanwhile, are hosting a bracket pool that awards successful upset picks, per Nate Silver's format. It also requires a minimum $5 donation to the tsunami disaster relief effort for entry. Harvard, everybody.
For The Fan Who Is A Toddler, A Foreigner, Really Into Anthropomorphism, And/Or Just Doesn't Know That Much About College Hoops
Slate has the solution for any person who has ever judged a team by its jersey or by the walking, talking animal that tags along to all of its games. They've put together two brackets that "don't include extraneous information like team names and seedings." Instead, one bracket only lists team colors, and the other team mascots. And over at Jezebel, you can fill out a bracket that has nothing to do with March Madness at all and instead attempts to provide an answer to the age-old philosophical question: dogs or cats?
For The Princeton Grad Who Needs Something Else To Brag About Now That The Harvard Game Is Over
Yeah, you'll still be rich.
We wish you luck and cash money.