It's crazy. It's insane. It's pure madness. The NCAA men's basketball tournament is set. But this week - before the tourney tips off - is arguably more fun for fans than some of the actual games. Now is the time to make your picks and determine your bracket.
Some analysts (and some of my friends who think they could be analysts) will spend the next few days reading all sorts of online articles, studying scoring trends, and double-checking game-sites to make sure they have the correct picks to win their particular pools.
Others I know - mostly females - who still like to participate in the pools will be using a few different methods.
The coin-flip: heads, the higher seed wins; tails, the lower seed wins.
Style: which uniforms look the best (so much Oregon making a run at it).
Mascots: determining which animals or mascots would win in a fight (who knows, maybe the Davidson Wildcats will pull off that upset against glorified turtles in Maryland).
Geography: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, and - eh - Kansas (close enough). And if A&M or UT can't make it, perhaps the Mean Green of UNT or the Red Raiders of Texas Tech could fill in. Talk about state pride.
And there's just so many other ways to do it. How did I pick my bracket? The same way I do it every year: not straying from my roots of being a homer. I have several Texas-based schools in the elite eight. I have Kansas winning it all. This year the guy at the Jayhawks hotel better make sure they get their wake-up calls.
But with all these other "creative" and seemingly ridiculous ways of determining a March Madness bracket, I decided to give it a shot. So this year, I'm going to try to have a few bonus brackets I fill out - just for me, just for my own amusement - to see just what would happen if I leave it up to a penny to decide, or who my "fashion sense" tells me who will win. Sorry, Longhorns, but burnt orange ... it's not looking good. Then again, nothing looks better than Cardinal and Gold.
Let the madness begin.