In it to win? Need a betting strategy? We asked 10 women to share theirs. Call it women's win-tuition.
When it comes down to it, you don't have to be a basketball fanatic, math whiz or psychic to win at this game. Just like playing the lotto, or finding the perfect guy, it's mostly a matter of luck. (Shhh… don't tell all those men busy killing brain cells right now.)
In fact, the beauty of collegiate sports' biggest event is the chance for everyday, non-sports fans to get in on the action. Clearly, it's not a science: Even the most hard-core hoops enthusiasts have trouble determining who's going to win. So really, it's about devising an approach you feel good about.
Ready to attack that bracket? YourTango asked ten women their methods of approaching the Madness. Though they might not all agree, each has a time-tested strategy. So whether you're looking to conquer your company's office pool, gain bragging rights over your boyfriend or win millions online, pick your favorite and get in the game.
Strategy 1: Make It Personal.
"My picks are always based on the team names and mascots that are most relevant to my life. My last name is Butler, so I always pick that college to go far—and sometimes they do! It's completely haphazard, but I'm convinced that if you researched each team for 20 hours a day, like men do, you wouldn't do any better. Plus, it really gets the boys ticked off when you win the pool because Duke was the name of your first dog."
-J., 31, Chicago, IL
Strategy 2: Turn it Into a Hot-or-Not Contest.
"So far I have won four of eight pools in my office in the last two years, a higher success rate than the majority of my male co-workers! I narrow down to the strongest conferences (ACC, SEC, Big East), then look at teams' individual records. When in doubt, I Google two schools, take a look at the team photo, then give the team with the most "talent" (read: good looks) the go-ahead."
-Beth, 28, Orlando, FL
Strategy 3: Bet on Your Favorite Color.
"I am a sports fan, but I don't get into basketball until March Madness. A team makes my brackets if they've got good buzz (i.e., someone told me they were good), or they commonly win as underdogs (i.e., Baylor and Southern Illinois). But I always pick Tennessee because that's where I'm from, and I love orange!"
-Holly, 27, San Francisco, CA
Strategy 4: Pick Names You Like.
"I pick the schools my friends went to. Then I pick the schools that sound the best to my ears: In my opinion, Gonzaga is one ugly name. I will also pick schools based on players' names: I chose Florida last year because the star player's last name was Noah—like mine."
-Noa, 24, New York City
Strategy 5: Do it Over Dinner.
"I choose my teams based on newspaper articles I've read, or conversations with my son, daughter or husband. If you want to get involved in the tournament with a mate or significant other, I would suggest keeping an eye on the headlines, then hatching your bracket plan over dinner together."
-Wendy, 54, Dumont, NJ