MeFi NCAA Bracket 2015 March 16, 2015 7:17 AM   Subscribe

It's mid-March, the teams were just announced, let's do another MeFi March Madness Bracket.

Here's a link to the group. The password, and an invite link, are in my profile.

Please feel free to enter up to ten brackets--this should provide plenty of opportunity to make picks based on stylish uniforms, arcane mathematical theories, real-world mascot-fights, etc. for folks who are so inclined.

This year, I picked Yahoo! Default Scoring. Correct picks in the first round are worth one point, two points in the secound, etc.--picking the final winner is worth 32 points.

And, for the first time this year, the winner will get a prize TBD.

The deadline to complete brackets is Friday, March 19, 12:15 pm EDT.
posted by box to MetaFilter-Related at 7:17 AM (85 comments total)

I'm in! Thanks!
posted by kbanas at 7:20 AM on March 16, 2015


Although, it appears I was able to just follow the invite link in your profile without entering a password (unless I am doing something stupid - this Yahoo interface gives me a headache every year).

Enter your 10 brackets. It will not save you from my fool proof methodology of painstaking observation and statistical modeling based on decades intensive research and in cooperation with the brightest and best minds of our generation. And poop.

Lots of poop.
posted by kbanas at 7:27 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


real-world mascot-fights

Sweet. This is exactly what I have come here to do.
posted by capricorn at 7:44 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Me too--correction, the password and link are in my Gender and Status, which are not visible to site non-logged-in-members.)

If anyone is having trouble getting in, send me a MeMail.
posted by box at 7:44 AM on March 16, 2015


I'm in, and I have added my traditional What If This Were Academics and What If This Were Football picks as well.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:55 AM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Given the current bracket, would an all-academic final four be UVa, Duke, Harvard and Notre Dame? I can't decide if Harvard or Notre Dame is more implausible (Harvard is a 13 seed, but ND is in Kentucky's region), but otherwise, that's not too bad.
posted by LionIndex at 8:49 AM on March 16, 2015


Just a suggestion, while you on that site, you can enter one of your brackets in the overall Tourney Pick'em, which puts you in the running for a $50,000 prize, just click the main menu link.
posted by beagle at 9:36 AM on March 16, 2015


I'm in. I came in first in my office last year (against a guy who does sports betting semi professionally and has won many large dollar figure prizes) by making my picks based on a completely subjective assessment of relative mascot cuteness.

I'm using the same strategy this year.

Watch out.
posted by phunniemee at 10:24 AM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm in.
posted by terrapin at 10:57 AM on March 16, 2015


Surprisingly hard to judge my Logo Aesthetics bracket. There are a number of different schools of college logo design, and when they clash it is hard to pick a winner. I mean, Valpo has possibly the best "fightin' mascot" style logo of all time, but Texas's "monochrome silhouette" style entry is also iconic. How do you pick a winner there?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:35 PM on March 16, 2015


I'm in, despite a crippling lack of knowledge about basketball in general, never mind College Basketball (wait, we're supposed to say college hoops, right?). However I do like mixing statistics and probabilites calculated by someone who knows what they're talking about, with a sprinkling of gut feelings with no basis in anything whatsoever!
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:57 PM on March 16, 2015


So, because I'm a librarian, I put a bracket together based on ALA-accredited masters degree programs. Here are the rules:

1. If two teams with ALA-accredited programs go against each other, the one with the higher US News rating wins.
2. If an ALA-accredited school goes up against someone who does not currently have an ALA-accredited masters, the library school wins.
3. If a school that once had a library school goes up against one that never has, the library school wins.
4. If two schools that have never had library schools go up against each other, the high seed wins.

I'm a little surprised to report that this method produces an unlikely-but-not-completely inconceivable Final Four of Kentucky (1-seed, US News rank T22), Wisconsin (1-seed, US News 16), Oklahoma (3-seed, T24), and Iowa (7-seed, T33). We'll see how it goes.
posted by box at 2:36 PM on March 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't UNC (US News rank 2) beat Wisconsin in the Sweet Library Sixteen? Also, Simmons got robbed by the selection committee.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:46 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, heck, you're right.

Bracket adjusted, go Tar Heels! (They have a pretty good color and mascot--maybe they've got a shot.)
posted by box at 4:11 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


In! Because every pool needs some fool who doesn't know what he is doing.
posted by nubs at 4:16 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm in with my totally random picks. There really isn't an American sport that I know less about than basketball but I enjoy watching games if I care who wins.
posted by octothorpe at 5:24 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I already made one bracket that's just the higher seed every time (and, if history is any guide, that'll do better than any serious picks I might try to make anyway).

My plan at this moment might be to see if I can come up with ten random ideas between now and Friday, and, if so, forego serious picks entirely.
posted by box at 5:33 PM on March 16, 2015


Some close matchups in the Alphabetical Order bracket. Alabama-Birmingham squeaks by Albany in the Final Four.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:04 PM on March 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


GO IU!
posted by hal_c_on at 8:01 PM on March 16, 2015


I'm in.

The Library School Rankings are genius.

Thinking about doing my second set of brackets based on state/nearby rest area quality.
posted by julen at 9:16 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


One small correction, the 19th is Thursday. I'm in.
posted by scottymac at 10:24 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


yes, yes. Go sportsball.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:53 PM on March 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


ok i picked some fucking teams
posted by nom de poop at 8:57 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Clarification on my "epic mascot fight" bracket: it's actually the team names that are fighting, not the mascots. So if there is a discrepancy between the team name and the school's mascot, please assume I am going with the team name.

This is important
posted by capricorn at 9:02 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I made two brackets. One is genuinely trying to pick who'll win (mostly Ken Pomeroy ratings + a few gut feelings about recent form) the other is my dream bracket. Rules for dream bracket:

1) UNC must win
2) UNC must beat the team my brother-in-law roots for (Providence) by triple digits
3) ACC rivals I genuinely hate must lose in the first round (Duke, NC State)
4) Fake ACC teams (teams that joined after I was 10) and ACC traitors (Maryland) must lose in the first round
5) Kentucky must lose in the first round because that would be hilarious.
6) Other than that chalk or whatever

If UNC beats Providence 120-0 in the title game, rest assured that I will not require any prize for this, or really anything else for the rest of my life.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:10 AM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Did you see this, Bulgaroktonos? Go Wolfheels! or should that be Tarpack?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:28 AM on March 17, 2015


Can somebody who cares about this explain the BoSt/Dayt thing? I assume it means they're waiting for something to resolve before the competing team gets picked, right? When do those get decided?

Because I find I'm unable to complete my bracket until that particular selection gets sorted.

The Providence mascot is horrible and terrifying and shouldn't win anything, so it's pretty much an automatic lock for whomever is up against them, but somehow, and I don't even know how this is possible, Dayton has managed to be even worse.

Other unresolved matchups are easier to deal with because Xavier's amorphously corporeal fuzzy blue guy is obviously going to beat most challengers.
posted by phunniemee at 10:05 AM on March 17, 2015


There are 2 games tonight and 2 games tomorrow night, phunniemee, that the NCAA absolutely doesn't want us to call "play-in games", even though those teams don't get to the round of 64 without playing in them.

2 of those games are bullshit, because they feature 4 teams who won their conference tourney but have low rankings. 2 of those games feature the last 4 teams added to the tourney.

Boise State plays Dayton tomorrow night at 9 PM Eastern time.
posted by julen at 10:08 AM on March 17, 2015


Sadly, my dream of a rest area-ranked bracket pick is not working out. I clearly need to up my road trip game.

I went ahead and did a bracket based on familial grudges, but am thinking about a 3rd based on the execution of the walking-non-talking in-person mascots. I don't mean Cavalier vs. Shocker - I mean how good (or bad - it's usualy bad) the actual costume and head is.
posted by julen at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2015


In the rest area bracket, can't you pretty much just put the 3 Iowa teams into the final four? I'll be in a position to spot check a Wisconsin stop for you, but not until Saturday. It does look nice from the freeway, though.
posted by LionIndex at 10:36 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Iowa IS up there. And Tennesee teams will generally lose. And Kentucky is going to suffer from their choice to tear down the cool rest stops to put up crud.

But I realized today there are a bunch of states where I didn't even see a rest area (Montana, California, Arizona) where I was driving around. And some of my best / worst rest area states aren't even represented.
posted by julen at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2015


I can help there! California's are generally ok but totally utilitarian, but its a big state and depends on where you are. However, it seems like they're closed half the time so I don't realy see them beating anyone just based on that. Arizona's I haven't seen in 10 years, but they were similar to CA's; I think I heard about them closing a bunch due to budget cuts? Which really sucks if you're on the 8 or 10.
posted by LionIndex at 11:18 AM on March 17, 2015


OK. I've put together my first cut at the rest area showdown. I've got a call into my one relative who is a bigger roadtrip fanatic than I am to consult on some of the states I haven't driven in as an adult or in which I have a limited traveling footprint.
posted by julen at 1:18 PM on March 17, 2015


I've decided to make a bracket based on state dinosaurs/fossils.

I literally just said, "no, you can't make me do that!" to my computer because it's making me choose between an allosaurus and a triceratops from the final four, and despite being fucking awesome it's also not a choice I can make lightly.

But here's where it gets really interesting. If BYU makes it in, then I have a potential allosaurus coming through on both sides. Final game could be allosaurus vs. allosaurus or allosaurus vs. triceratops. If BYU makes it I can't avoid the allosaurus/triceratops fight, only delay it.

CONUNDRUMS.
posted by phunniemee at 2:39 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think it's Arkansas that has pieces of stainless steel up to use as mirrors.

Indiana rest areas are always missing something mission critical like toilet paper, soap, or any kind of hand drying device.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:41 PM on March 17, 2015


Arkansas does have stainless steel 'mirrors' in most of the stops I've visited. Vending machines are usually wack, too, but the supply of maps and brochures is generally pretty good, and the views often nice.
posted by box at 6:37 PM on March 17, 2015


TX has some nice ones and some real crapholes, TN and MS are generally B+ to C+, AL generally not-great.
posted by box at 6:39 PM on March 17, 2015


julen, you should know that Florida gives out free tiny cups of orange juice at their larger rest areas.
Potential game changer right there.
posted by phunniemee at 6:55 PM on March 17, 2015


TN's water (in the fountains/bubblers) is horrible-tasting. You don't want to refill your water bottles with that stuff.

Dang, Florida does get a bump up!

Just for the record: states that have rest areas with a casino attached, rest areas which are populated by offensively overpriced fast food and gas stations, or 3 rest areas in a row under construction with no warning until you are right on them all get dinged.
posted by julen at 7:31 PM on March 17, 2015


I'm in with the coin flip bracket again. Hopefully I can at least beat the alphabetical bracket this year!
posted by clorox at 4:08 PM on March 18, 2015


This is my first year, but I'm in and I'm having fun. My brackets so far include rankings by
  • Year they first admitted women
  • Ranking of their women's team
  • MD5 hash of institution name
  • How well my dog could say their institution name
posted by Songdog at 5:15 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wanted to do rankings by results in the 2014 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships and by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's hunter seat equitation standings but there simply wasn't enough overlap with Division I men's basketball schools.
posted by Songdog at 5:21 PM on March 18, 2015


Trash-talk, trash-talk, trash-talk.

LionIndex: "Given the current bracket, would an all-academic final four be UVa, Duke, Harvard and Notre Dame?"

I went to two of these schools!

Bulgaroktonos: "1) UNC must win"

Boo. BOO!

I made one bracket where I picked the team with the shortest name, and one where I applied my general rules of bracketing, which are:

1) Pick the higher-ranked team most of the time in the first two rounds but at least one 12/5 upset
2) Catholic teams outperform non-Catholic teams
3) Big 10 teams outperform ACC teams since they play more physical ball

I have basically two and a half opinions about the tournament this year, which are 1) Notre Dame is like pretty good; 2) Duke is like pretty good; 2.5) UNC needs to die in a fire. That's not really enough opinions to make a bracket but oh well!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:42 PM on March 18, 2015


Oh, also, can you set up a lady bracket? I wanna do a lady bracket for the women's tournament!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:43 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Entered. It'll probably suck as usual, but we'll see.
posted by RyanAdams at 8:06 PM on March 18, 2015


Entered. This year I decided to go with gut feelings. I can't do any worse than I do when I actually put thought into picking a bracket. : )

I did struggle with whether to have my alma mater (Indiana) win their opening game. I ended up picking them, only because I'd feel like a bad alum if I didn't.

And of course I picked Kentucky to lose. ; )
posted by SisterHavana at 9:43 PM on March 18, 2015


I had my preschooler make a bracket by asking him which team names he liked better. His final four is not terrible, probably because he knows teams like "Duke" and "Villanova" from watching basketball with dad, but his first round has some 16/1 upsets and is almost totally random! He also liked shouting "GONZAGA!!!!" so much that I'm frankly surprised he let them go out.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:40 AM on March 19, 2015


All right, got mine in JUST UNDER THE WIRE. Entirely based on elevation, though the whole South region is pure guesswork because I was doing this at, like, 12:13. Let's go Wyoming (7,200ft above sea level)!
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:21 AM on March 19, 2015


Boo. BOO!

Wait, you went to Duke? This is going to take some adjusting to, because I used to like and respect you.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:35 AM on March 19, 2015


Speaking of losing respect for someone, Bulgaroktonos, your dream bracket has Buffalo out in the first round?

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:14 AM on March 19, 2015


Buffalo coached by former Blue (and actual) Devil Bobby Hurley? You're damn right it does.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:40 AM on March 19, 2015


Still: rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:45 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, poop. I went in to finish my brackets to clear up the unresolved games and missed it. Didn't realize the cutoff was midday.

Sigh. Sorry, Mr. Allosaurs. I failed you.
posted by phunniemee at 11:28 AM on March 19, 2015


I, too, failed to realize when the cutoff was.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:49 AM on March 19, 2015


*tears up bracket* Well, I made it to the second game without things going south. This is a slight improvement from normal.
posted by RyanAdams at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2015


Note to self: acquire a pre-schooler next year.

Also, just as an interesting sidenote: it's entirely possible to hate BOTH Carolina and Duke.
posted by julen at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


julen: "it's entirely possible to hate BOTH Carolina and Duke"

It's like people forget there is a third university in the Triangle that has won multiple National Championships...
posted by Rock Steady at 1:21 PM on March 19, 2015


In North Carolina those people are mostly NC State Fans, which is cute, like animals who think they're people.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:23 PM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Right now, "Literally flipped a coin" is among the winners. Also, my "Distance from Lucas Oil" bracket is doing better than my "real" bracket in my office pool (but that's likely going to quickly go south very soon, thanks to Butler...)
posted by damayanti at 1:26 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Butler looks like they could be in trouble, but I really can't bring myself to believe in Rick Barnes. I think they'll make it through.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:30 PM on March 19, 2015


Well, what is up with the 3 vs 14 matchups today?
posted by nubs at 1:32 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bulgaroktonos: "animals who think they're people"

Mr and Ms Wuf

I have 11-seeds UCLA and Mississippi going to the Sweet 16, so even though I picked neither of those 3 v 14 upsets, I'm thrilled for what it might mean for next round.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:41 PM on March 19, 2015


julen: "Note to self: acquire a pre-schooler next year. "

Hahahahahaha, and my kids have totally already forgotten that they made a bracket this morning! "Guys, you're four for four, all your teams won!" "Mommy, can you turn on cartoons?"

Rock Steady: "It's like people forget there is a third university in the Triangle that has won multiple National Championships..."

Oh my God, Meredith College has national championships????

Bulgaroktonos: "This is going to take some adjusting to, because I used to like and respect you."

I know, I know, but it was only for grad school, so I'm not very committed.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:48 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


My original post listed the wrong cutoff--I apologize to anyone who missed it.

And, best I can tell, Yahoo! isn't doing Women's Tournament brackets this year?

See, Mayer, that's why you don't use Yahoo! Answers to ask about Title IX.
posted by box at 2:17 PM on March 19, 2015


And now I'm 2/6. Not sure it would be possible for me to pick this bad on purpose.
posted by nubs at 3:10 PM on March 19, 2015


Huh 7/7 for my totally random picks. The universe loves me.
posted by octothorpe at 6:06 PM on March 19, 2015


I really thought Harvard was going to beat UNC for a minute there. That was fun.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:04 PM on March 19, 2015


octothorpe: "Huh 7/7 for my totally random picks. The universe loves me."

Wow did I jinx myself for the rest of the evening.
posted by octothorpe at 4:24 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really thought Harvard was going to beat UNC for a minute there. That was fun.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:04 PM on March 19


A refreshing thing about March is that I've stopped trying to read tea leaves in how the team plays to determine how they'll do going forward. The result is the only thing that matters. They won, so I can ignore the turnovers, and the terrible decision making, and long stretches where they looked like they forgot how to play basketball. This is not rationalizing, I swear.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:01 AM on March 20, 2015


Somehow I've gone 12/16 after that horrible start. It's like a rollercoaster!
posted by nubs at 7:56 AM on March 20, 2015


Right now, "Literally flipped a coin" is among the winners.

And now it's way back in the standings, though my coin did do exactly as you'd expect: 16 correct picks, 16 incorrect picks. But the rounds ahead will be rough: Only seven of the teams my coin picked for the Sweet 16 are still alive, and only one for the Elite 8 is still alive.
posted by clorox at 11:10 PM on March 20, 2015


Amazingly enough, my Final Four is intact (granted, I did go chalk on that!) and 7 of my Elite Eight are left. For now...
posted by SisterHavana at 12:14 AM on March 21, 2015


And it appears that picking all the favorites might have been the way to go this year. Go, Completely Predictable Winners!
posted by youcancallmeal at 7:17 AM on March 21, 2015


And it appears that picking all the favorites might have been the way to go this year.

You can only speak too soon when it comes to bracket prediction.
goddamn Villanova
posted by carsonb at 6:36 PM on March 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


New favorite player: Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes. #sesquipedalian
posted by box at 8:02 AM on March 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Despite all the (well-deserved) shit the NCAA and major universities take about about the shady practices surrounding the "revenue sports," it's nice to be reminded occasionally that the majority of these players really are just goofy college kids having some fun.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:23 PM on March 23, 2015


bracket RIP :(
posted by capricorn at 7:27 AM on March 28, 2015


Kentucky lost, that's all I wanted to see happen here.
posted by nom de poop at 9:38 PM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, I'm actually leading this thing. That never happens!
posted by SisterHavana at 11:49 PM on April 4, 2015


Congratulations to Kyle Banas and Kyle Banas's Primo Bracket! Kyle, get at me via MeMail and I'll arrange to send you a prize.
posted by box at 5:08 AM on April 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hooray!

I've never won a bracket anything before! How exciting! Even though I had to root for Duke, which kind of made me feel really dirty and full of self-loathing. Thanks for playing everybody! And thanks to box for organizing everything!
posted by kbanas at 8:36 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for setting this up, box, it's been fun!
posted by beagle at 4:52 PM on April 7, 2015


The prize, by the way, is a mini basketball with white panels for signatures. I'm hoping the winner signs it and keeps it for next year's winner, but if they just want to dribble it around the neighborhood and get buckets, that's cool with me too--we'll see how kbanas wants to play it.
posted by box at 2:16 PM on April 10, 2015


Prize received!

I think that's a great idea, Box. I will sign it and then my wife vows she will put it somewhere safe, and that's a good thing, because if it were on me I would probably accidentally eat it or something.

So! Thanks again for organizing and thanks for the gift! I'll put my signature and the year and then next year it will - well, it will probably stay with me, because obviously I will just win forever - but in case I don't...
posted by kbanas at 5:46 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, before I realized what we were doing I dribbled it around the kitchen and maybe it got a little scratched up but just a little. JUST A LITTLE.
posted by kbanas at 5:52 PM on April 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


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