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A Cowboy Altitude look at how to pick brackets!

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Ever wish that more things worked like college brackets? That you could seed everything that way? Top 64 pre-game foods. Top 64 college players. Well, now you can do just that with your friends, with the Allstate BFF Brackets, which takes your 64 top Facebook friends (an algorithm seeds them based on interaction) and seeds them in four regions, exactly like the real tourney. Once the tourney starts, your friends advance with the corresponding seeds – till one is left standing. Check it out at


With 68 teams in the NCAA tournament now it just got even tougher to win the office pool this year.  Remember the last couple years and who won the pool?  It always ends up being someones sister who entered the pool for fun who doesn't even know what shape a basketball is.

So here are at Cowboy Altitude we're here to give you some advice on different ways to pick your bracket.  So feel free to use any of our strategies and use them to win some big money or look like a complete fool.

So how do you pick winners?  Here a few methods with some being more effective and proven then others.


What exactly is RPI?  Well according to StatSheet  RPI is:

The Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is a formula used by the NCAA to aide in selecting teams and seedings for the NCAA Tournament. RPI is made up of a team's winning percentage (25%), its opponents' winning percentage (50%), and the winning percentage of those opponents' opponents (25%).

So you could use this mathematical formula for finding out who really is the better team.  This almost makes to much sense here.  We need some more way of figuring what schools to choose.


Schools are represented by there mascot.  So obviously a better school would have a more ferocious mascot.  That is why I have Ohio State losing to the winner of UT-San Antonio/Alabama State in the first round.  A buckeye has a high defensive rating but no offensive skills.   That's why I'm putting all eggs in the with the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.  A  grizzly bear en-fused with gold = unstoppable.

Small Schools

There are probably a number of schools in the tournament that you've ever heard of before.  And there is a good reason for that: all they do is play basketball.  They don't have a football team and the entire campus is enrolled in basketball classes.  Think of it as intense ninja training for ballers.  These schools are mostly in secluded mountain locations so the media can't watch their games and see how good the teams really are. 

Go with: Morehead State, Wofford and Hampton.

Coin Flip

Sometimes it is just really hard to choose between two schools.  So to make you life easier by letting a coin decide your entire bracket.  You know as much about basketball as that coin does so give it a shot.  Just don't tell anyone until after you collect your winnings.


Utah State is a great time because they only have three losses, right?  I guess so.  Use that logic and the Aggies will be riding high as a 12 seed for you and winning the Souteast Bracket after taking down Pitt and Florida.  The tough part is when your final four also consists of  Ohio State, San Diego State and Kansas that all have 32-2 records.  That is where you turn back to our previous rule - the coin flip or the mascot.  That means San Diego State has a great shot at winning it all.