Widespread parity in college basketball, combined with the randomness of a single-elimination tournament, makes trying to predict an NCAA-tournament bracket a futile exercise.
The latest evidence: A bracket based on school mascots is running away with first place in Business Insider’s 63-person office pool.
The bracket, made by BI’s assistant managing editor Lyndsay Hemphill, is based on a crazy strategy.
Lyndsay doesn’t follow sports, but she has enough experience with March Madness to know that everyone’s bracket seems to fall apart no matter what.
So she decided to have some fun with this year’s office pool.
“I didn’t really have time to do any research, nor did I want to stress out about my picks too much,” she said. “So I picked my bracket based on entirely subjective biases toward schools that I like and how cute their animal mascots are in real life.”
It turned out to be incredibly effective.
Her Final Four: Colorado (Buffaloes), UConn (Huskies), Wisconsin (Badgers), and Kentucky (Wildcats).
Three out of four right. Nate Silver got only one out of four right.
Her bracket is in the 99th percentile on Yahoo.
Here it is:
BI’s Will Wei was one of the many sceptics initially:
Lyndsay’s mascot choices are pretty unimpeachable here. She has a dog (UConn Huskies) and a badger (Wisconsin Badgers) in the final game.
UConn’s mascot is a live dog named Jonathan. That’s hard to beat.
“I knew as soon as I saw UConn that I was going to pick the Huskies to win it all. Nothing beats puppy-dog eyes,” she said.
Just unfair for the rest of the mascots that this guy’s involved:
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