2011 NCAA Tournament: How to Win Your Office Pool

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 12: Marcus Morris #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks will be cutting more nets down at the end of this month...

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 http://apps.facebook.com/bffbrackets/

Here's my take on this year's field of 64 or 68 or whatever the hell it is. No, I'm not jealous at all that Oklahoma State won't be part of it. Ok, maybe just a little...

I generally have 3 rules that I follow when picking my NCAA tourney bracket and they are as follows. 

1. The Big Ten is slow and boring, but you should never pick against Tom Izzo in Round 1.
2  Duke is beyond gay but they win. It feels good to pick against them but it generally won't do you any good.
3. The Big East is almost always overrated.  Sure, they'll have 1-2 good teams, but they aren't the top to bottom powerhouse that ESPN says they are.

Now I'm not saying that these rules will have any impact on your bracketology, it's just what I've followed the past 5 years or so and generally speaking, it's paid off.

The Big 10 hasn't won a title in 10 years although Michigan State has been to the final four twice in the last 2 years.

Duke has won a National title and the Big East....well, the Big East has done pretty damn good but no better than say -  the SEC or Big 12. 

The last five National Championship winners are: Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Florida and Florida. If you've followed my rules the past few years, you've likely placed or won your bracket challenge. The advice is that fucking sound.

Click the jump for my 2011 advice

East

The East contains the tournament's overall #1 seed in Ohio State. It's not an easy draw for the Buckeyes with a potential second round game against a very good George Mason team, a potential sweet 16 match up with SEC Champion Kentucky and the regional final that could include the ACC Champion UNC Tarheels. That's not an easy path to the final four, which is why I'm taking Syracuse. That Zone is hard to solve and it should give Ohio State and North Carolina fits, if executed properly.

West

Duke gets their usual 1 seed when they lost 4 games and didn't even fucking win the regular season. Oh well, remember what I said about not picking against them. Somebody, somewhere loves them. They get to play in Charlotte, NC which is about like OSU playing in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Can you say cakewalk? The toughest team the Blue Devils will potentially see is Texas, and we all know Texas's record in the tourney. Flaky at  best. Seriously, of all the regionals, Duke gets the one with SDSU, a tired UCONN and Texas. Oh, and did I mention that they get to play in Charlotte, NC? They will have to go out West to seal the deal but how hard is that when you're playing against weak teams? Unfortunately, I have to pick them , their sickly coach and shitty tradition to make another run to the Final Four.

Southwest

Unlike Duke in the West, the #1 seed of the Southwest region will actually have their work cut out for them. Kansas, who I feel is the best overall team, will likely have to play several good teams before they punch their ticket to Houston. Louisville is a tough 4 seed. Notre Dame is a very good 2 and even Purdue is a solid 3. Bottom line here is that it won't be easy for whoever comes out of this regional. We'll see how the Big 12 compares to other big conferences as A&M has a first round match with the Florida State and a second round opportunity with Notre Dame. I'll take Kansas out of here, even with the tough road.

Southeast

This is by far the weirdest regional I've seen in years. If you're a PITT fan it's a cream dream. You get a #2 seed Florida that got drilled in their conference tournament championship by a #4 seed (Kentuck) and BYU as the 3 seed. Pitt will be a tough out in DC, but I don't see them playing well in New Orleans. The question here is who can step up and be physical with the Panthers?  Florida seems way over seeded here and I just don't trust a guy that calls himself "Jimmer"  That leaves the #4 seeded Wisconsin Badgerswho scored 33 fucking points in a loss to Penn State on Saturday. No? Ok then you've got #5 Kansas State who just lost to NIT bound Colorado. Give me the Wildcats in the holy shit redemption story of the year.

Final Four? Syracuse, Duke, Kansas, Kansas State

Championship: Duke, Kansas

Winner: Kansas

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