NCAA Bracket Poll Tips

TNR’s Josh Benson offers some handy systems for picking your NCAA Tourney brackets. Some of my favorites:

  • The Barack Obama method: Pick every team to win every game. When told you can’t do that, smile and mention Jesus. Start with radical, out-of-the-box picks–Old Dominion, Southern Illinois, Nevada–but eventually realize your only hope is to accede to the dominant power structure. Place Florida, Ohio State, North Carolina, and Kansas in the Final Four. Now wasn’t that easy?
  • The Joe Biden method: Announce that you plan to fill out a bracket. Announce again. Then once more. Make an allusion to how the guy filling out his bracket next to you isn’t as dumb as people say. Remark on his gleaming smile. Note that he keeps his cubicle clean. Announce that you are planning to fill out a bracket.
  • The Netroots method: Find the little teams that those AP poll-driven, silk-suit-wearing, slick SI consultants don’t give a damn about. Creighton just needs a little higher seed money. VCU is the only real basketball team in the tournament. The elites are afraid Long Beach State won’t carry the CBS corporate line. You’re the kingmaker, baby. And nothing will convince you otherwise.
  • The Bush Administration method: Don’t ever change your picks. No matter how much your co-workers laugh at you. No matter when the entire starting five of your sleeper pick gets a case of lupus and falls spasming to the ground. You stay with Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Najaf State. You’ll be right in the end. You’re playing for history.
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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark says:

    He forgot:

    The John Kerry method: if your pick is about to lose, that’s OK, simply flip-flop your pick to the winning team (also known as the Mitt Romney method).

  2. The Murtha method: Introduce legislation forcing teams you don’t want to win to have to shoot from Okinawa.

  3. mw6000 says:

    The Hillary Method: Claim you were a key part in your husband’s picks that were winners and that all the losing picks are past indiscretions that need not be talked about again.