Face it, picking the better-dressed team is always the way to go. Why root for a team whose design you wouldn't be willing to wear yourself? And the rest of us don't want to get stuck watching some crummy-looking team all the way to the Final Four (can you freakin' imagine what could happen if Oregon makes it all the way to San Antonio?), so the sharp-dressed squads need all the support they can get, for everyone's sake.
And besides, once you turn your attention away from petty nuisance factors like shooting percentage, experience and coaching acumen (you tried basing your bracket on those elements last year and totally tanked, remember?), you'll see that choosing the winners by their uniforms is much more satisfying. Hate that Trajan font that Kansas imposed on all their teams this year? Me too, and that's why they're going down -- down! -- to the snappily attired Portland State in the first round. Big upset? I prefer to think of it as aesthetic justice.
PAGE 2'S FOOLPROOF METHODS FOR PICKING YOUR BRACKET
On Friday, we promised to help you win your NCAA pool. Here are our nine foolproof methods.
The 10th -- straight chalk -- will be figured into the Page 2 group bracket as a control variable.
Stay tuned to Page 2 throughout the NCAA tournament to see how our brackets stack up.
Our uniform expert breaks down attire aesthetics.
Which school has the most intimidating mascot?
Which school has the most star power?
|Inverse graduation rate
Which program graduates the fewest players?
Grad rate bracket
Which coach is best-dressed for success?
Dapper coach bracket
If each school was a beer, which one would you drink?
Who has the right mix of street cred and religious clout?
Cred and creed bracket
School slogans can say a lot. Who has the best one?
Which school produces the most successful non-basketball athletes?
Non-hoops jocks bracket
Keep in mind that the higher-seeded team gets to wear the home uni for each game, which can have a big effect on your picks. If Marquette had been seeded higher, for example, it probably would've made it to my Final Four, but the Golden Eagles' road uni isn't as sharp as the their home design (can't stand those yellow shoulder panels), so I've got them bowing out in the Sweet 16. Also, keep in mind that some teams have several alternate uniforms, and others unveil new designs especially for the tourney. It's impossible to anticipate all of this, so don't even try -- just stick to each school's basic home and road gear and hope nobody pulls out something new.
The selection committee and I agree on one thing: UNC and UCLA are the teams to beat. The classics, after all, are classics for a reason.
1 North Carolina def. either 16 Mount St. Mary's or 16 Coppin State
8 Indiana def. 9 Arkansas
12 George Mason def. 5 Notre Dame
13 Winthrop def. 4 Washington State
6 Oklahoma def. 11 Saint Joseph's
3 Louisville def. 14 Boise State
7 Butler def. 10 South Alabama
2 Tennessee def. 15 American
16 Portland State def. 1 Kansas
9 Kent State def. 8 UNLV
12 Villanova def. 5 Clemson
4 Vanderbilt def. 13 Siena
6 USC def. 11 Kansas State
14 Cal State Fullerton def. 3 Wisconsin
7 Gonzaga def. 10 Davidson
2 Georgetown def. 15 UMBC
1 Memphis def. 16 Texas-Arlington
8 Mississippi State def. 9 Oregon
5 Michigan State def. 12 Temple
4 Pittsburgh def. 13 Oral Roberts
6 Marquette def. 11 Kentucky
14 Cornell def. 3 Stanford
7 Miami (Fla.) def. 10 Saint Mary's
2 Texas def. 15 Austin Peay
1 UCLA def. 16 Mississippi Valley State
8 BYU def. 9 Texas A&M
5 Drake def. 12 Western Kentucky
4 Connecticut def. 13 San Diego
11 Baylor def. 6 Purdue
3 Xavier def. 14 Georgia
7 West Virginia def. 10 Arizona
2 Duke def. 15 Belmont