How to Win the Office Pool

Updated from last year, but the fact remains, no one wants Sharon to win the office pool, and the very best way to beat her is to CLICK HERE.

There’s a reason Sharon from accounts payable wins the office pool.  No, it’s not because she thinks a Blue Devil will always beat any sort of Wildcat if they were ever to battle.  It’s also not because she thinks Carolina Blue is the best color.  The fact of the matter is, she sees the tiny numbers next to each team’s name and sticks to the script. 

 

I know it’s fun to pick the next 5 v. 12 upset, but the truth is:

1. Most bracket contests only give you 1 point for picking that upset 

2. Only 1 12 or higher seeded team has ever won a sweet 16 game (Missouri in 2002).  The point is, most of these “Cinderella stories” see the clock hit midnight by the Sunday of the 1st weekend.

It may not be very sexy, and is certainly not as fun, but the best way to win your bracket is to be conservative in the early rounds.  Johnny Know-It-All from the cubicle next to you will be sure to remind you that a double-digit seed has reached the Sweet 16 in 31 of the last 33 tournaments, but you can tell him to mind his own fucking business and that:

A. Good luck selecting the squad that will do it this year 

B. If you do pick that team, the pride will quickly subside when they are getting trounced by Kentucky the following Thursday.  So play the percentages, knowing that one or two of the big dogs may go down and you really have no clue which one it’s going to be.

Most people make their picks in the manner that seems most intuitive given the way the brackets are set up.  Start at the 1st round, pick all 32 games, then pick the 2nd Round and so on.  It may not seem like it, but this process backs you into a champion.  Your most valuable pick is the result of all the time you spent wondering if Gonzaga is going to hold off Florida St.  That matchup is worth like 4 points.  Obviously, it’s time for a change.

Here’s the solution.  Spend most of your time deciding who is going to win the damn thing.  It is very difficult to win your bracket if you don’t get that one right.  Also, there are only probably 10 teams at most that have a shot.  So rank those teams and start looking at those matchups.  In most years, any of those top 10 teams will be able to beat any of the others on any given day, but spending time on those rankings will help when making the important picks (Great 8 through Champ game).  Based on your rankings, pick the best possible championship matchup and work back from there, Final Four, Great 8, etc.  As long as you are keeping those final 8 teams alive, go ahead and pick Marquette to win a couple games because your uncle’s neighbor went there. 

In short, pick the champion first, because you won’t win without them.  Let’s also just agree not to let fucking Sharon win and prance around like she’s the queen of the goddamned office again.

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