What’s All the Bracket?

March is a busy time for college basketball enthusiasts. It is during this time known as March Madness that universities across the country compete for the honor of being national basketball champions.
March Madness is a great opportunity for friends to come together and put countless hours of watching ESPN to use.
Senior Joshua Boehm created a program on his calculator to make his bracket picks.

Not everyone relies solely on television to make informed decisions about the tournament. Senior Joshua Boehm uses a more unorthodox method to make his bracket picks. Boehm created a program on his graphing calculator. The user of the program enters their favorite team’s color, followed by the higher seed and the seed number. Then, the lower team and their seed number is entered. The calculator then generates its best guess at who the winner will be. 

“It was pretty good for the first round,” said Boehm. “Then it went caput in the second round.”
Senior Joel Millis operates a bracket challenge each year. Millis does not agree with Boehm’s strategy.
“Using a calculator to pick is random and won’t work,” said Millis. “You will never win if you do it like that man [Boehm].”
Just as the methods used for picking teams in the bracket vary, everyone has a different part that they like about March Madness.
“My favorite part would have to be the upsets happening such as Cornell [beating Wisconsin],” said Millis. “Good ole’ Ivy League school.”
But one man’s pleasure is another man’s frustration.
“Cornell beating Wisconsin [messed up my bracket] because I picked them to win it all,” said Boehm.
In the tournament this year, an event occurred that has not happened for six years. Kansas became the first top seed to lose in the second round of the NCAA tournament since Kentucky and Stanford both lost as number one seeds in 2004. The loss on the part of Kansas played a role in many people’s brackets, but there is still reason for hope.
“I’m not overly happy with Kansas or Villanova, but they didn’t destroy my bracket,” said junior Brandon Skelding. “I still have all my Final Four teams left.”
March Madness can be a very busy time for sports enthusiasts. Joel Millis knew that a bracket challenge would be fun, so he took it upon himself to get a group together to participate in the madness. Leaders of bracket groups are responsible for scoring brackets and determining point-totals. This means going through each participant’s bracket and awarding points based on wins and losses that were correctly predicted. Initially, games have smaller point values. As the pool of remaining teams narrows, more points are associated with those victories. For example, a Final Four prediction is worth more than a Sweet 16 prediction.
“The first round took about 20 minutes [to score], second one took about five minutes, and now in the third round it’s going by quite fast,” said Millis.
For future bracket participants, Millis has some advice.
“Follow your heart because apparently 12 seeds go far,” said Millis.