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NCAA March Madness Office Tournament – How I Almost Won

Andy Lyons, Getty Images
Every year here at Townsquare Media our company, nationwide, does the NCAA March Madness bracket tournament where we fill in what teams we think will win. The one with the most points at the end wins a prize for themselves and the entire office goes out for drinks on the company dollar. I came so close to winning, I was even in #1 place for a while. The funny this is I don’t have a clue about NCAA or the teams or any of that. Here’s what I did.

Research.

That’s pretty much it. I believe I had an advantage for not knowing who the teams were or how they’re doing or any of that. Naturally if you love a specific team, you’re going to want them to win. Here are all of the factors I put into play for my bracket.

1.) What teams were winning

Kind of goes without saying. You want to win so you have to choose teams that have a chance of winning.

2.) Look at what pics the pros are choosing.

The absolute easiest thing you can do is to pick the teams that professional sports analysts are choosing. Don’t just go by one guy’s, either. Grab as many as you can and get an average from the lot. If you grab 10 people’s choices and 9 choose Kentucky, by all means go with Kentucky.

3.) Take a look at Obama’s picks

For the last few years Barack Obama has made his bracket public. He’s a basketball nut so take into consideration what he has on his bracket.

4.) Look at the ‘Cinderella Stories’

This is especially helpful if you have someone in your company who always wins. You’re not going to beat him by picking all of the popular choices. Especially if everyone chooses Kentucky to win, you may not win based on just your research. Unfortunately, this is also exactly how I lost. I figured almost everyone was going to choose Kentucky and Kansas for the finals. Well, if everyone chose them and I had some teams that I wasn’t sure if they were going to win or not, I’d lose, for sure. Not this year, but some times the winner is the one that not many people chose to win like what happened last year. I went for that method and lost. But if I would’ve chose Kentucky vs. Kansas and even if I would’ve picked Kentucky to win, I still would’ve lost our company’s contest.

Since it was free to opt-in (no gambling here) I had fun watching my scores go up and up. Even had some people within the company say I need to send them my bracket next year for help. Very flattering, but I couldn’t tell you about most of the games. In fact, I didn’t even watch any of them. I still had a blast and can’t wait until next year.

Where did I end up? Well, I was #1 place for a while, then dropped to #5 going into the Final Four as 3 of my 4 teams were picked. Basically, I was relying on Ohio State to win. Since they didn’t, I dropped to #36. However, if Ohio State would have won (and they didn’t lose by much) I would’ve won.

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