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Villanova players collapse on the court after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Confused about your March Madness bracket? Here are five ways to make some prudent picks.


What's your favorite way to fill out a March Madness bracket?

WATCH | Circa recommends some alternative, but still solid, methods for filling out a bracket for this year's NCAA basketball tournament. 

I am an alumnus of Georgetown University. Meaning that, during this season of college basketball, I have spent a lot of time suffering in silence. 

Becoming a Hoya was my first step to becoming a fan of college basketball. I didn't grow up with the sport. Instead, it's been a long and hard road to gain what little knowledge I now have.

Which means I've been on both sides of the great March Madness divide: those who can actually pick a bracket and those who have to resort to more... creative measures.

If you fall in the latter camp, and you've somehow been roped into your office bracket, fear not. We here at Circa have got you covered. 

Here are five... alternative methods for choosing your bracket for the 2017 March Madness tournament. 

Who knows, you might be the dark horse who totally upsets everyone, even those with extensive bracketology knowledge. 

Pick based on tournament rankings

Perhaps the simplest and most straightforward method. See those little numbers next to the names of schools on the bracket? Those are each team's seed number. It's their ranking in each of their respective tournament conferences. The teams ranked No. 1 are super good. The teams ranked No. 16 are... not so good. 

Be warned though, upsets (low-ranked teams beating high-ranked teams) happen a lot. You can pick this way, but you'll probably wish you hadn't.

Villanova players celebrate on the court after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Villanova University Wildcats took home the gold in last year's tournament. They're sure to be seeded very highly this year after another super successful season. 

Who does Vegas have? 

Don't trust yourself. Listen to the experts. Vegas bets on everything (the likelihood that someone will keep breast implants, how long someone will live in a certain area, etc.), and March Madness is no exception. 

Vegas will have odds on just about every game. Hop on the internet and see who they think will blow the other team out, and who might be ready to upset a higher-ranked opponent. 

Choose who wins based on mascot

This is a strategy often employed by my mother. And somehow she usually wins the family pool. It's simple really. Just google each team's mascot in a matchup and decide which one you think is cooler. It sounds super arbitrary, and potentially bracket-ruining, but if you think about it, a lot of the best teams have really weird mascots. 

Blue Devils? Jayhawks? Tar Heels? Sure, there's the occasional year where the Wildcats win, but on the whole you should be good.

North Carolina's Isaiah Hicks, left, and Duke's Luke Kennard struggle for possession of the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The Duke University Blue Devils and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels will always be contenders for the national title. So, the naming strategy will serve most who use it very well. 

Go with whoever's name sounds the coolest

No work required here whatsoever. Just run down the list of names, decide which ones sound cooler, and make your picks based on nomenclature-related badassery. Depending on your tastes, this will either catapult you to the unlikeliest of wins, or make you lose in the most humiliating of fashions. 

Pro tip: Gonzaga (the coolest name for a school ever) is looking really, really good this year. So this strategy might work out well in 2017. 

Gonzaga players celebrate after defeating Saint Mary's in an NCAA college basketball game during the championship of the West Coast Conference tournament, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. Gonzaga won 74-56. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Gonzaga recently won the West Coast Conference tournament, cementing their spot as a contender in this year's NCAA tournament. 

Actually do your research

Let's be real. If you clicked into this article, there's very little chance you're willing to go searching for information about every single potential matchup in the tournament. If you are, kudos. You're much more patient than the rest of us. 

I will offer one warning. Generally, doing your research doesn't often pay. The tournament is so unpredictable, and things usually get so crazy that your bracket is almost certain to be busted somehow. Best to not think about your picks too much. 

Or you could let Skip Bayless of Fox Sports do his research... and pick against him. 

Alternatively, you could source Twitter for your bracket picks. 

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