I promised yesterday that I would tell you my simple rules for filling out the brackets, so here they are:
Only one sheet is allowed - There are actually people out there who will fill out several sets of brackets. If that's what you enjoy then I'm happy for you, but don't tell me that you picked UMBC to upset Georgetown because you had it on sheet #32! Even if you fill out multiple brackets you have to choose one to go with before the games begin on Thursday.
You can't choose all four #1 seeds to be in the Final Four - Last Sunday night I watched ESPN's bracketology show that came on right after the seedings were announced. At the end of the show the panel (Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis, Digger, Dickie V, Bobby Knight) all revealed their choices for the Final Four. Jay Bilas went first, and he chose all four #1's to be the last four teams. Not only that, but he choose the four #2's to round out the elite eight. What wimpy picks! First, all four #1's have never advanced to the Final Four, and second it's too easy to pick like that.
No matter what you've written on your sheet, you still must pull for the underdog - This rule is in place to enhance your enjoyment of the tournament. The best part of March Madness is the first weekend of games, and getting to see some team you've never heard of advance to the sweet 16. Even if you have Texas winning the whole tournament on your (one) sheet, you still have to pull for St.Mary's to win if they are leading the Longhorns in the closing minutes of their second round game. It's just more fun if those lesser known teams win.
Leave school loyalty at the door - My loyalty wants me to pick Clemson to lose in round one against Villanova, but I have chosen them to be in the sweet 16. You've got to try and be realistic. Even though it might hurt.
So there they are. Follow those rules and your enjoyment of this year's tournament will increase exponentially. By the way I've got UNC, Georgetown, UCLA, and Texas in the Final Four with UCLA winning it all, but I'd really rather see a Final Four consisting of St. Mary's, Davidson, San Diego, and Boise State.