Bracketology: Our Picks

Your Guide to a Perfect Bracket


Credit: August Lamb

Staff Writers

The odds of having a perfect bracket are already near impossible. Using a host of unusual analytics, and a whole lot of UVA bias, our “bracketology” experts have put their heads together to produce these winning formulas. Let these brackets be your guide to winning whatever pool you’re a part of.

Jeff Dodson

Jeff Dodson’s 50/50 bracket has UCLA winning it all.

With a near impossible 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of predicting a perfect NCAA March Madness bracket, I decided to leave my choices up to chance itself. Rather than base my choices off of what information I’ve gathered regarding the playing field throughout the season, and what I’ve been told by “bracketology” experts, Seth Greenberg, Jay Bilas, and Joe Lunardi, I put my faith in the wonderfully useless penny. Scanning down the regions, I chose to make every flip on tails to represent the top seed in the matchup, and each land on heads to represent the lower seed. This made for some interesting results.

My penny seemed to favor large upsets, resulting in “First Four” team, Mount Saint Mary’s, knocking off the overall number one seed, Villanova, and fifteen seed, Jacksonville State, flying past number two, Louisville, Michigan in the second round, and Oregon in the “Sweet Sixteen.” Overall, the penny loves UCLA to win it all over Duke in the championship game. Other than the major upsets, the main team I disagree with the penny on is Vanderbilt. It honestly gave me a heart attack to see Vandy go to the final four, but, hey-it’s march madness! Anything can happen.


Ben Masselli

Perhaps a little bias, Ben’s bracket has the Wahoos taking on UNC in an ACC showdown for the National Championship.

March is college basketball’s Christmas. March Madness is all about upsets and suspense, and a one loss elimination only fuels the excitement. This year’s bracket includes some of the best first round matchups in recent memory including Florida Gulf Coast and Florida, and Michigan and Oklahoma State. In my East region, I have Duke getting upset by SMU, allowing UVA to coast to the final four as Villanova and Josh Hart lose their shooting stroke. In the West, the worst one seed, Gonzaga, gets knocked out in the Sweet 16 which allows my surprise pick, Xavier to sneak into the final four. In the Midwest region, Kansas should coast to the Final Four after getting past a pesky Michigan team that just won the Big 10. Finally in the south region, UNC and UCLA battle for supremacy of the blue bloods as they meet in the final four. UNC prevails in the uptempo battle. The National championship will be UVA against UNC, a rematch in which UVA takes home the hardware on a London Perrantes game winner.


Conor O’Dea

Using a little bit of wordplay, and some NBA history, Conor’s bracket has a Notre Dame victory brewing.

The first round winners were based on latitude in my bracket, and the more north team would win because in this country the north tends to win, as has been played out for centuries. The second round was decided by which team had more vowels as everyone know the team with more vowels in their name is the smarter team, therefore they will win. Who would reach the Elite 8 was decided by which team had the longest name, as the team with the longest name has more endurance because whenever they say their school’s name they have to put more effort in, so they simply out last the other team. The Elite 8 into Final Four round was decided on the shortest shortening of the school’s name, and in the case of a tie it is the first alphabetical shortened name, because the shorter names means their minds are quicker and can adapt to situations in a game faster, so they can survive through this round. The Final Four round was decided based off of which team has more players in the NBA, because everyone knows the team that has had more players in the NBA must have at least a few good players now because otherwise how would the former players make it in the big leagues. The championship was decided based on which school had more championships from all sports combined, and with Cincinnati U coming through with only a few women’s dance championships, Notre Dame is the obvious winner here.


Alex Lehmbeck 

No surprise here as the Wahoos handle UNC and cut down the net.

The Wahoos are going to take it all this year. I know it seems unlikely as they have shown many signs of weakness, but the Hoos have some of the biggest wins in the country this year. They were a buzzer beating tip-in away from beating the number one team in the country on the road. Other than the Hoos, the UNC Tar Heels have proven they can dominate any team, despite their tough ACC tournament loss to Duke. The Hoos, however, showed in the latter of their two matchups with the Tar Heels that they can compete with them with the whole nation watching. I see a low scoring victory for the Cavaliers first National Championship in team history.



Matt Mandell

Go Wildcats! Matt has Arizona pulling through in Phoenix.

This year’s one-seeds, Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas and North Carolina, are strong teams no doubt. But the depth of the field of 64 has me thinking that these powerhouses won’t make the final four. I have Villanova falling to Virginia in the Sweet 16, Zaga falling to 8-seed Northwestern, Kansas losing to Iowa State and UNC upset by Butler. Call me crazy, but this is not the year for these one-seeds. Arizona, a 2-seed out of the South will take the trophy not too far from home in Phoenix.



Evan Hajek

Evan has UVA going all the way!

UVA is going to win the NCAA tournament. UVA is entering the tournament after a tough ACC tournament. People are sleeping on UVA, saying they might lose as early as first round, but I have faith in the Hoos. If UVA plays the strong defense they’re known for and their offense starts scoring, they’re contenders for the national championship. I also believe that Iowa state is an elite eight contender. They won the big 12 tournament and have lots of confidence going into the tournament. Notre Dame also has elite eight potential with their recent wins. It will be interesting to watch the tournament this year with all the talent playing.



William Peritz

William’s highly strategic bracket has the Minnesota Golden Gophers winning.

My final four consists of the Oregon Ducks, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Xavier Blue Blobs, and the Baylor Bears. Logic comes into play here, and although Blue Blobs are better than Bears, the 3 seed Baylor comes out on top of the 11, facing 5 seed Minnesota in the championship, who defeats 3 seed Oregon. Golden Gophers win the whole thing, and that’s that. Enjoy your perfect bracket, courtesy of The Mascot Strategy®.