If you’re a college basketball fan, then you’re likely sitting at home making some last-minute changes to your March Madness bracket in hopes of doing the impossible – achieving a perfect bracket. It’s something that has never been done, but this could be the year it finally happens.
With the First Four play-in games coming to an end on March 16th, the First Round is set to open with a bang on March 17th and continue on March 18th for one of the most epic two-day turnarounds in college basketball. It’s the first look at your March Madness bracket in action.
The four No. 1 seeds are set – the Kansas Jayhawks, Baylor Bears, Gonzaga Bulldogs, and Arizona Wildcats. Do you have any of them making it to the Final Four on your March Madness bracket? If not, which teams do you have taking their place? Who are your Cinderella favorites?
Unique Ways to Fill Out a March Madness Bracket
When most of us fill out our March Madness bracket, we put a lot of thought into it. We go through each game one-by-one and look at the stats, the history between the two teams, the players, the coaches, anything that might contribute to the outcome of the game – we look at it.
We do this even though we understand that anything can happen at any moment. The team that has a 99% chance of winning could lose by 30 points, a 16 seed can upset a No. 1 seed, you never truly know when the unthinkable might rock everyone’s March Madness bracket.
If you’re someone that does this every year, don’t stop – it’s fun! With that said, we have a challenge for you this year. Fill out a second bracket and choose a fun theme when filling it out, then compare the brackets at the end of the tourney. Here are some fun themes to consider!
15. Trust the Coin Flip
When in doubt, bring out the coin flip. Since you already have a 50/50 shot of getting each game right, a coin flip is one of the most logical ways to guess the winner – outside of actually taking an educated guess. It’s fun, it’s quick, and you might actually do fairly well when it’s all over.
There are several ways to go about this. The traditional way would be to make the higher seed heads and lower seed tails, but you can have a little fun with it too. For example, you can make the team with the better record heads or even the team with the better color scheme as heads.
Mascots are the heart of any college basketball team. They help pump up the crowd, they help represent the team, and they’re just an overall joy to watch – especially during timeouts and commercial breaks. Sports simply wouldn’t be the same without mascots and their costumes.
When filling out your bracket, use the mascots to help you decide who wins. Which mascot do you like better? Which mascot would win in a fight? Which mascot has the better costume? Which mascot has the better name? There are plenty of ways to do this, so have fun with it!
13. Favorite College
Another fun way to fill out your March Madness bracket is by throwing away everything you know about basketball and picking the colleges that you like the most. This can be the college you attended, the one your parents attended, or a college you’ve grown to like over the years.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to see the colleges you dislike win – so why even speak it into existence? Instead, put your favorite colleges first and let’s hope they end up winning when games start on March 17th. Unfortunately, some people are bound to face disappointment.
12. Best Food Town
If there’s one thing that we all love about traveling to new cities and unique college towns, it’s the food that comes with it. Every city has its own love affair with food and there’s nothing better than getting to try it when you visit. There’s a lot to experience and a lot to indulge yourself with.
When filling out your March Madness bracket, don’t worry about who you think will win from a basketball sense. Instead, look at which college towns you think have the best food spots. Some of the front-runners might be the Wisconsin Badgers, UCLA Bruins, or Duke Blue Devils.
11. Best Color Scheme
Every college basketball team has its own color scheme that they represent. That color scheme is what you see fans wearing ahead of every game, it’s what you see on their home court and on their apparel. They’re the colors that each player fights for when they step foot on the court.
When filling out your March Madness bracket this year and deciding which teams you think are going to win, choose the teams that have the better color scheme. For example, the purple and gold of LSU is pretty cool, but you also can’t forget about the blue and gold of Notre Dame.
10. Higher Seed
We all know that the seeding doesn’t always matter when the whistle blows. Anything can happen at any moment and there’s bound to be several upsets on every bracket. With that said, one of the easiest ways to fill out your bracket is by choosing the higher seed to win every time.
While you likely won’t get them all right, you will get a lot of them right. The seeding might not matter, but it’s a good indicator of which teams had the better regular season and which ones are expected to perform better. The real question is which No. 1 seed do you have winning it all?
9. All Upsets
Now that you’ve filled out a bracket by choosing the higher seeds, let’s do the opposite and pick all the lower seeds to win. It’s unlikely that all lower seeds end up winning – after all, that would mean a No. 16 seed would win it all. That would be something, but it’s extremely, highly unlikely.
Keep in mind that a No. 16 seed has only won one game in March Madness history – that’s over 80 years of history. In fact, the lowest seed to ever win a National Championship was No. 8 seed Villanova in 1985. They defeated two No. 2 seed and two No. 1 seeds en route to a title.
We’ve talked about the colleges you like the most, the colleges with the best food, and even the colleges with the better color scheme, but what about the colleges that are closest to you? Instead of choosing who you think will actually win, choose the teams based on their proximity.
That means if you live in Memphis, Tennessee, then you’re stuck with the Memphis Tigers, but if you live in Knoxville, Tennessee, then you’re rooting for the Tennessee Volunteers. You might have to settle for rooting for teams you don’t like, but sometimes that’s the nature of the game.
7. Let Your Pets Decide
We all have furry friends that we like to include in every little bit of our life’s adventure. With that said, it’s only natural to want to bring your furry friend in on your March Madness bracket. Who knows, they might have better picks than you and could help you achieve the perfect bracket!
The easiest way to do this is by placing a treat into two different bowls – one for each team in question. Whichever bowl your pet walks up to first, that’s the team you choose to win. Since there are a lot of games to go through, you might have to complete this over several days.
6. Listen to the Experts
The media loves March Madness just as much as the fans. Ever since Selection Sunday, sports media has been covering all the news surrounding March Madness and experts across the country have been filling out their own brackets in hopes of achieving the perfect one.
While it’s unlikely that any of the experts get a perfect bracket, they do have a lot of valuable insight and accurate predictions that can help you make your picks. In fact, you can always make the same picks as them – so long as you trust them with your March Madness picks.
5. Roll the Dice
Alright, the coin flip was fun, but it’s not the only way to pick your March Madness winners via chance. You can also turn to the good ‘ole pair of dice. It’ll return the same 50/50 chance as the coin flip, so there’s still a good chance that your bracket does better than you think it will.
The best way to go about this is by choosing one team (let’s say Illinois) as the even number and the other team (let’s say Chattanooga) as the odd number. If you roll an even number (2, 4, or 6) then Illinois is the winner. If you roll an odd number (1, 3, or 5), then Chattanooga wins.
4. Better Coach
While players are usually the ones that receive the most praise for their efforts on the court, it’s the head coach and the rest of their coaching staff that are responsible for their team’s performance. They set the tone in practice, they make in-game adjustments, and they teach.
Without a good coach, teams aren’t going to go very far in March Madness. Their team will be undisciplined in their play and won’t have the basketball IQ to make the right decisions with the ball. This will lead to frequent fouls, a lot of turnovers, and even more missed opportunities.
3. Better Offense
Most college basketball fans want to see a high-scoring game. They want to see big shots, emphatic dunks, and incredible passing. When both of the offenses are clicking and putting on a show, the fans are engaged and ratings increase – it’s just the way basketball is played today.
If you’re someone that loves to see an offensive matchup, then try filling your March Madness bracket out with that same mentality. For each matchup, choose the team that scored the most points per game during the season – Gonzaga is the national leader at 87.8 points per game.
2. Better Defense
Offense is fun to watch, but the real basketball fans are more interested in seeing some quality defense being played. They want to see blocked shots, game-changing steals, hands in the face when a player goes to shoot, and full-court defense that stops the opponent in their tracks.
They often say that defense wins championships and if that’s the case, then you should be focused on the points allowed per game statistic– rather than the points per game statistic – when filling out your March Madness bracket. In terms of defense, look out for Texas Tech.
1. Better Record
We’ve mentioned offenses, we’ve mentioned defenses, and we’ve mentioned the coaches. We’ve made picks based on your pet’s intuition, we’ve left it up to chance by rolling the dice and flipping the coin, and we’ve even made our picks based on which town has the best food.
With that said, there’s one thing we haven’t looked at when filling out your March Madness bracket and that’s the team’s overall record. Murray State is going to be a favorite here with a 30-2, but the Arizona Wildcats are right there at 31-3. The Houston Cougars are 29-5.
How Are You Going to Fill Out Your March Madness Bracket?
At the end of the day, you have full control over who you pick and why you pick them. The main goal with March Madness, as with any major sports event, is to have fun and enjoy it. Filling out a March Madness bracket is certainly part of the fun, so make sure you’re having a blast with it.
As we prepare for the first few games to start, some of the teams you should keep an eye out for this year are the Kansas Jayhawks, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Arizona Wildcats, Purdue Boilermakers, Tennessee Volunteers, Duke Blue Devils, Houston Cougars, and Auburn Tigers.
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How are you going to fill out your bracket? Are you going to do it the traditional way or one of the unique ways we listed above? Are you going to put money on it, are you doing it for bragging rights, or are you just doing it for fun? No matter what, we hope you achieve that perfect bracket!
Basketball Memes That Will Have You Excited for March Madness
March Madness is upon us and if you’re not genuinely excited for this time of year, then the many hilarious basketball memes we’re about to witness should do the trick. It’s something sports fans look forward to anytime a big event is underway and we’re totally here for it.
The First Round, which took place on March 17th and 18th, was one for the ages. There were a total of 10 upsets in the opening round – including three wins by teams ranked No. 11 (Michigan, Iowa State, and Notre Dame) and two wins by a No. 12 seed (Richmond and New Mexico St.).
Perhaps the most surprising and shocking game of the First Round was No. 15 Saint Peter’s upset over No. 2 Kentucky. They won 85-79 and will advance to the Second Round against No. 7 Murray State. With what we say after the first two days, we can expect plenty more upsets!
Ranking the Best March Madness Basketball Memes
Basketball memes have become one of the highlights of March Madness, especially with the emergence of social media and the enormous role it plays in our day-to-day lifestyle. Anytime something major happens or a major event kicks off, we express ourselves through memes.
It has become a form of comedy, but also a form of communication, expression, and art. We’re exposed to basketball memes on a daily basis and, no matter what mood you’re in, they’re bound to squeeze a few chuckles out of you. Then again, some will have you crying of laughter.
With March Madness well underway, there’s no better time to take a look back at some of our favorite basketball memes – related to March Madness, of course. There are so many to choose from and so many you probably haven’t seen yet, so let’s not waste any more time!
20. Brace Yourself, They’re Coming!
We thought this was the perfect meme to start things off and we stand by that decision. It’s a meme that finds its way on everyone’s social media timeline once March rolls around, especially since college basketball fans know what to expect out of March Madness memes.
We’re right in the middle of that right now. This year’s tournament has already turned in a few incredible moments and we’ve already seen funny memes surface on the internet as a result. The good news is we’re just getting started – with this list and with March Madness in general.
19. Go Ahead, Keep Rubbing It In
A perfect bracket has never been verified, but we all have that one friend that gives you constant updates during the first round as they start getting picks right. Who knows, maybe you’re that friend and if so, wear it proudly. We all know it’s not going to last long, so enjoy it while you can.
We likely didn’t see much of that this year, though. When the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Colorado State Rams in the very first game of March Madness this year, most people were already in the hole. Later that day, two No. 12 seeds advanced, as well as a No. 15 seed.
18. The Hardest Decision of All-Time
College basketball fans are faced with plenty of tough decisions when filling out their bracket, but no decision makes your temple hurt more than having to pick between a No. 8 seed and No. 9 seed. The two teams are almost always evenly matched, which makes for an interesting game!
While your gut might be telling you to go with the No. 8 seed, don’t be fooled. In the First Round of this year’s March Madness tournament, the No. 9 seed won three of the four matchups. North Carolina was the only No. 8 seed to advance, which is what makes that decision so hard.
17. Make Quality Decisions
Speaking of decisions, it’s normal for fans to make the wrong ones on their bracket. With that said, don’t let that energy follow you into your day-to-day lifestyle. We make decisions every day and some of them hold more weight than a basketball tournament we’re not even playing in.
While you watch your March Madness bracket bring you a world of disappointment, keep in mind that it’s just a tournament. It’s full of stress and frustration, but it’s supposed to be fun – so don’t let it bring you down. After all, it’s March Madness and we know what to expect by now.
16. Everybody Gets a Broken Bracket!
It would be wrong not to include the infamous Oprah Winfrey meme that can be applied to pretty much any life situation – including March Madness. It’s a good reminder you’re not the only one with a busted bracket. In fact, there are millions of people around the world with busted brackets.
Oprah was known for giving out some incredible gifts during her show and while a busted bracket is one gift no one wants to receive, it’s one almost everyone is given this time of year. We start confident, but it never lasts that long. It’s okay, there’s always next year, right?
15. We Love a Good 15-Seed Upset
Only two No. 15 seeds have ever made it to the Sweet Sixteen in March Madness history. Florida Gulf Coast did it in 2013 and Oral Roberts did it recently in 2021. Since we rarely see a No. 16 win a game, the next best thing is seeing a No. 15 seed make a run at the ultimate prize.
This year, college basketball fans were given goosebumps once again as No. 15 Saint Peter’s defeated No. 2 Kentucky in the First Round. If they win this weekend, they’ll become the third No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen – which isn’t easy to do, no matter who you are.
14. Every Single Time!
Speaking of No. 2 Kentucky losing to No. 15 Saint Peter’s, many people were faced with the reality pictured in this meme. The same goes for No. 5 Iowa losing to No. 12 Richmond, another upset most people didn’t expect. In fact, 52% of people had both of those two teams winning.
Not only that, but over 100,000 brackets selected Iowa and Kentucky to meet in the National Championship game – which means those brackets are now done for. That’s a lot of people that saw their confidence fade fairly quickly and it came on the very first day of the tournament.
13. Running Your Hands Through Your Hair
Some people might not remember this, but those that do are likely laughing their buttocks off right now. Matt Haarms was a 7-foot-3 center for the Purdue Boilermakers and BYU Cougars. He was featured in last year’s March Madness with BYU, but the team lost in the first round.
Haarms was known for his defensive ability, more specifically his blocking ability near the rim. Outside of that, he was known for constantly running his hands through his hair. It spurred a number of memes and video mixes as people couldn’t get enough of it – even to this day.
12. That No. 12 Seed Vibe Is Nice
When Ja Morant put March Madness on notice with his No. 12 Murray State Racers in 2019, he helped put some respect on the names of every No. 12 seed thereafter. Morant helped lead his team to an 83-64 victory over No. 5 Marquette before losing to No. 4 Florida State in Round 2.
Over the past 40 years, No. 12 seeds have defeated a No. 5 seed 50 times and the only years we didn’t witness such an upset was in 1988, 2000, 2007, 2015 and 2018. This year, we got to witness two No. 12 seeds advance to the second round – New Mexico State and Richmond.
11. Do You Have the Guts?
Any fan of Austin Powers will recognize this meme, which features the infamous ‘I also like to live dangerously’ line from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. He was dealt a 5 in blackjack and instead of hitting, he decided to stay – because he also likes to live dangerously.
Anyone who’s going to choose a No. 16 seed over a No. 1 seed for their bracket is going to need that same energy. To be honest, I’ve never witnessed anyone pick a No. 16 seed and I’m not sure if I ever will – after all, we need to see a No. 16 seed win once before we think about it.
10. What’s the Fun In That?
Someone once told me, “You know, your bracket can’t be broken if you never made one in the first place.” It’s a valid point and solid observation, but that’s a terrible way to live your life. I also heard someone once say, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” which sounds better.
Sure, the disappointment we feel when we get game one wrong is something that’ll stick with us for weeks, if not months. At the same time, that’s the nature of it. We want to be right, but we also understand it’s just a game – so why not try our luck at putting the perfect bracket together?
9. The Perfect Bracket Doesn’t Exist!
On March 17th, the March Madness tournament tipped off with the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines playing the No. 6 Colorado State Rams. The Wolverines were the clear underdog, but they didn’t look like the underdog once things got underway – they eventually defeated the Rams 75-63.
It was right then, at that very moment, that most people’s brackets were already destined for failure – including mine. We all know that a bracket can turn at any moment, but it’s extra salty when it happens on the very first game of the tournament. That’ll sting for quite a while.
8. Crying Northwestern Kid
In 2017, the No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats were matched up against the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Second Round of March Madness. The Bulldogs took a convincing 38-20 lead at halftime and while the Wildcats outscored them 53-41 in the second half, they ultimately won 79-73.
During the second half, a young fan was shown in the stands as he passionately argued a questionable call – tears and all. The moment was caught on national television and the internet was quick to do what it does best. He was a viral sensation just moments later – just like that!
7. There’s Too Much Going On Right Now!
March is one of the most exciting months of the year. Obviously you have March Madness, which keeps us occupied most of the month, but it’s not the only thing happening in the world of sports this time of year. The NFL free agency period almost always starts mid-March.
While we do our best to stay updated on our bracket, we’re also bombarded with an influx of NFL trades, free agent signings, and franchise tags. The only way to effectively navigate all this news and drama is with some parkour action – a lot like the hilarious members of The Office.
6. Steve Merfeld’s Celebration
We’ve talked about the incredible upset this year by No. 15 Saint Peter’s, but let’s take it back 20+ years to another such occurrence. It was 2001 and the No. 15 Hampton Pirates were matched up against the No. 2 Iowa State Cyclones. It was a thriller, to say the very least.
Hampton had a 31-27 lead at halftime and while they were outscored by three points in the second half, they hung on to win 58-57. Tarvis Williams and Marseilles Brown combined for 30 points. After the final buzzer, Hampton head coach Steve Merfeld was seen celebrating.
5. Crying Michael Jordan
The crying Michael Jordan meme has found its way into just about every conversation. It’s one of the most widely used memes and caught a lot of wind during the 2016 National Title game between Jordan’s alma mater North Carolina and Villanova. The Tar Heels eventually lost.
After the game, which Michael Jordan was attending, a picture of him wearing Tar Heels apparel at the game surfaced on social media. People quickly photoshopped the crying face onto his normal face, which spurred a series of memes bashing the Tar Heels for their loss to Villanova.
4. It’s Worse Than a Hangover
Michael Cera will always be a meme legend. He’s another person you’ll find featured in memes all over the internet, no matter what the subject or intended joke. In this case, he’s being used to relate to that hangover/disappointed feeling we all get on the second day of March Madness.
Before the games begin, we’re all on the same page – we’re confident, we think this year is going to be the year, and we can’t wait to binge watch the game. By day two, we’re mad at all the upsets that occurred and we’ve already thrown out our March Madness brackets four times.
3. Predicting the Future Is Hard!
We’re all victims of this. We watch the local news in the morning, we see what the weather is going to be like that week, we make our plans accordingly, and then we get mad at the meteorologist when we have to change our plans because the weather report was inaccurate.
What we need to do is take a step back and think about all the times we tried to predict the outcomes of March Madness – and how wrong we were. Only then will we appreciate how difficult it is to predict the future, even when we have all the resources we need at our fingertips.
2. Crying Piccolo Girl
Okay, this might be one of my favorite memes of all-time, March Madness related or not. It perfectly emulates how we all feel inside as we watch our brackets fall apart one game at a time. We try to keep it together at work, at home, and in public, but we just can’t help it.
Roxanne Chalifoux, also known as the crying piccolo girl, was part of Villanova’s band and it was her last game as a senior. While part of her emotions, which were captured on national television, were due to the upset her team faced, it was also due to it being her final game.
1. Ron Hunter Falls Off Chair
Ron Hunter was coaching his No. 14 Georgia State Panthers in the 2015 NCAA Tournament with a cast on his left foot. He coached the entire game from a rolling chair, which was already a talking point as is. Of course, he made even bigger headlines when his team rose victorious.
No. 3 Baylor was up 56-54 with just seconds remaining when Ron Hunter’s son, RJ Hunter, hit a clutch three-pointer with two seconds left on the clock. Although they lost in the following round, it was a moment that both father and son will remember for the rest of their lives.
More Hilarious Basketball Memes Are Yet to Come!
The First Round is complete and by the end of the weekend, the Second Round will be complete as well. That’ll mark the end of one of the most exciting four-day stretches in all of sports. We’ll get a couple days of silence before games start up again on March 24th with the Sweet Sixteen.
Some of the teams we’re keeping an eye on are No. 3 Tennessee, No. 2 Villanova, No. 2 Auburn, No. 7 Murray State, No. 5 Saint Mary’s, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 3 Texas Tech, and all of the No. 1 seeds (of course) – Gonzaga, Baylor, Kansas, and Arizona. Any of them can win.
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As March Madness continues, one thing we’ll be on the lookout for are all the hilarious basketball memes that are sure to come our way. We’re always ready for a good laugh and basketball memes are one of the best ways to spur one – especially during March Madness.
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