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5 New Ways to Fill Out Your Bracket

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Is there a method to the madness of bracketology? The evidence would point to no, as it seems like the most ill-informed bracket-filler-outer usually wins your office/friend/family pool. A few years back, in the midst of a North Carolina-Wilmington first-round shocker, my whole watching party knew their respective brackets were shot. Everyone except my buddy's mom, who picked UNCW.

I admit, I am not in the Bracket game to win. I usually fill out one bracket, disavow it, and root for every upset. Nothing is more annoying that the "No 16-seed, you're going to ruin my bracket Guy." It's really boring to simply pick chalk throughout the tournament, even if you think that is how it will play out. So, in the spirit of jazzing up the selection process, here are a few ideas to help!

1. The Political Machine Bracket: Take the 2008 Presidential Election result of the home states of the teams in question and decide, based on your political allegiance, who gets the nod. If both teams' states voted the same way, you can use the voting preference of the congressional district in which each are located as a tiebreaker. If still tied, go to the political party of each of the State's U.S. Senators. Here is a good resource for this bracket: Dave Leip's US Election Atlas

2. The Dominant Animal Bracket: This one is pretty easy. Take the mascot that would win in a head-to-head brawl. Case in point: The Baylor Bears over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. If a human is involved? This should be resolved on a case-by-case basis. The Seminoles are obviously more intimidating than the Orangemen. I still have no idea what a Boilermaker is.

3. The Hand Your Bracket To Your Significant Other Who Has No Idea What They Are Doing Bracket: (See First paragraph)

4. The Academic Snobbery Bracket: Pretty simple, take the smart guys. And yes, Harvard will win the Title but that really isn't the point. How will the rest of the bracket will turn out?

5. The Famous Alumni Bracket: Takes a little bit of time, but this one allows you to be completely subjective. You think Jerry Rice's degree from Mississippi Valley State is better than Ashley Judd's degree from Kentucky? Hello Delta Devils to the Second Round!

Other Brackets Receiving Votes:
The Pac 12 Special: Pick Against The Religious Schools Bracket

The KilroyFSU™ Pick Only BCS Schools or Higher Seeds Because I Hate The Little Guy And He Must Be Crushed Bracket
The Pick Only Football Schools Bracket

Any other ideas, folks?