1. Watch a full season of college basketball.

Want to know who the better teams are so you can win your bracket? If you’ve been watching hours of college basketball every day since the season started back in mid-November — and took meticulous notes that you’ve catalogued from each game — you’ll have a big leg up on the rest of the people in your office who may not have done that!

2. Watch endless hours of game film.

Obviously, it may be too late now to watch hours of college basketball every day if you didn’t start doing it back in November. But you can make up for lost time by watching scouting tapes of all 68 teams in the field. But get going! Your picks have to be in by Thursday at Noon!

3. Rely on the knowledge of truly informed and credible experts.

If you don’t want to spend the time to do the necessary research to fill out a good bracket, you can make a shortcut to winning the your pool by cribbing the knowledge and picks of an established college basketball expert.

But which expert meets that criteria?

It would need to be someone who isn’t biased in any way by his or her alma mater, the conference he primarily covers or the coaches he has friendships with. It also has to be someone in the media who doesn’t have a history of making controversial statements in order to get himself attention. Sounds like finding such a person would require a TON of research — if such a person even exists.

It may actually be quicker to watch all of the college basketball from earlier in the season. Your call.

4. Pick teams based on which team is the higher seed.

Really pressed for time? Okay, then try this approach!

Now, most people don’t know this, but there are secret clues on the bracket about which teams are better. It’s true. Take a close look at your bracket. Closer. Okay. See the tiny numbers by the name of each school/team? Those numbers are a sort of ranking. So the team with the “1″ by its name is considered better than the team with the “2″ by its name, and so on and so forth up to “16″.

Just don’t let anyone else in your pool know about this hidden bracket code or your advantage will be lost.

5. Play for one of the teams in the NCAA Tournament.

The problem with trying to predict what teams will win is the reality that you ultimately have no control in the outcome. However … what if you played for one of the teams and it was up to you to make the shots required to advance? That would give you a massive advantage over everyone else in your office pool.

To do this approach, practice basketball endlessly from an early age, be abnormally tall and athletic and fall within the ages of 18 and 22. Then lead your college team into the NCAA Tournament.

6. Pay every player in the Tournament $1.47 million.

Remember how billionaire financier Warren Buffet always promises $1 billion to anyone who could get every game right in the 64-team bracket?

Well, $1 billion / 680 players (64 teams x 15) = $1.47 million per player.

What kind of (broke) college basketball player would refuse to throw a game to match you bracket picks in exchange for $1.47 million? Not a one.

So with the whole Tournament rigged with Buffet’s cash, you’ll easily win your office pool and 200 bucks. It’s almost too easy.

7. Pick Kentucky. Don’t pick a school you never heard of.

If none of the other approaches seem right for you, another solid option is to pick Kentucky to win the NCAA Tournament while not having a school you ever heard of going very far. For the other games, just guess. These games are usually pretty random.

Congratulations on winning your NCAA Tournament pool!

Also see … ESPN fires Joe Lunardi after discovering he has been practicing bracketology without a license

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