- Picking the higher seed in every matchup, eventually resulting in four #1 seeds in the Final Four. Sure, that's never happened, but you'd be surprised at how well it works until one of those teams gets knocked out.
- Finding some "expert" on one of the numerous sports sites out there and using his bracket as mine. Surprisingly, this method generally seems to fall short of method #1.
And in spite of the fact that every office in America has its own tourney pool, interest in the tournament itself is dwindling. I know -- ratings for anything on television are down these days. But still, the fact that the ratings for this year's NCAA tourney are down across the board means I'm not the only one who's tuning out. And if you use the ratings as your guide, there are fewer people actually watching the games than watched "Survivor" in the same time slot the week before.
Yes, there was a time when I had what could be called a "passing interest" in NCAA basketball. I hated Laettner & Co. at Duke. I got a kick out of the upstarts at UConn (beating Duke, natch). And of course there were the Fab Five at Michigan. But that was a long time ago (and an eternity in sports).
So for the next two weeks, as nearly every conversation with another guy begins with, "So you watchin' the games?" I'll continue to nod my head and mutter something about my Final Four picks still being alive. But when that championship game tips off in a couple of Monday nights, I'll have just one question: "Who's on 'Dancing with the Stars' tonight?"