When it comes right down to it, filling out your March Madness bracket is going to be a total crapshoot. The final two weeks of March carry the most frequent use of the term “Cinderella story” because players keep leaving behind glass Jordans after games underdog teams you’ve never heard of will always upset the mainstays we’ve been watching dominate all season. Deciding if a team will win or lose based on the game you half-watched at Buffalo Wild Wings back in January or how much you like their mascot is so passé. Use these handy techniques instead:

1. Cheese Roll!

A classic and time-tested decision making system, a good old fashioned cheese roll will be a great technique to help you pick which team will take home the national championship itself. To get started, buy an extra large wheel of cheese at your local supermarket, then gather 64 of your friends at your nearest grassy hill (best if there is at least 50 meters of slope and obstacles). Assign each of your friends an NCAA team to represent, making sure to give your strongest and fastest friends higher seeds. From there, roll the cheese down the hill and send your friends on down after it. Whoever collects the cheese at bottom wins (the NCAA tournament).

2. Cupcake Mix Up!


Another great method for choosing one from many, this cupcake game is often used as a fun activity at kids birthday parties. However, it can be easily modified for a 16-team divisional NCAA bracket selection. To get started, you’ll need to make a batch of tasty cupcake batter. After you eat half of it, pour the rest into a 4×4 cupcake tin and leave the room. Have your mom put a marble (preferably one that looks like a basketball) inside one of the batter-filled cupcake tins and place the tray into the oven at 375 degrees for 17-22 minutes. Lastly, decorate the cupcakes with detailed logos of each team in your chosen division. Whichever cupcake partially destroys your right incisor when you bite into it will be a lock for the Final Four.

3. Application Season!


Visit the .edu sites of every contending school to determine whether or not they’ll be a good fit for what you want to do with the rest of your life (STEM unless you’re some kind of idiot). Then apply for all 64 anyway because it’s important to have at least three dozen safety schools. Whenever a college rejects you, push them through to the next round. If you get any acceptances, be sure to write those schools out of the tournament because your essay was about wanting to backpack through Europe, even though your GPA clearly indicates you’re more of a Southeast Asia type.

4. Kid’s Choice!


This will be the best method for picking an individual matchup between two teams. First, find a spouse. This person should share most of your values, be a good fit with your personality, and of course be attractive. After dating for a few years, propose and host a modest but respectable wedding for roughly 100 of your closest friends and family. Next you’ll need to have at least 2 children, and name them “Duke” and “North Carolina State.” Change their diapers, explain the changes their bodies are undergoing during puberty, and watch as they leave the nest and start families of their own. Pick a winner based off of who provides the most grandchildren and visits you at your nursing home more often.

5. Coin Quest!


This option comes to us from Thelma’s very own Colleen Healy. She used it to decide which brand of laundry detergent to buy, but it can easily be applied to sports or something. To start, spin a globe, randomly placing a finger on two different locations. Travel to both faraway lands, with two gold coins, each engraved with a team’s logo on one side and a map on the other. Gift a gold coin in each location to a wise and worthy agent of destiny. Then, climb to the summit of a tall mountain (as indicated on your coin maps) and wait. Contemplate the forces of the universe and the meaning of life on Earth. Do not eat or drink. Life’s basic comforts cloud the mind. Soon, the agent of destiny will meet you at the pinnacle. But he will not have the coin. He will have given it to a poor beggar. The coin will have saved her life, clothed her children, fed her family. Burn your bracket. There is so much more in this beautiful, beautiful world.