Words by Cameron Higgins

March Madness is about to kick off tomorrow. Magical time of year that it is, it’s also the season of busted brackets. This time next week, all of our bets will be in chaos as the sixty-four teams upset, underdog, and out-play one another on college basketball’s biggest stage. We at CONVICTS don’t want you to worry about the nuances of bracket-ology, the arcane, not-actually-existent field that attempts to predict the outcomes of the March Madness playoff series. We have some alternative methods for you. But first, background.

Filling out a perfect bracket is so impossible that mega-gajillionaire Warren Buffett has an annual Bracket Challenge: if any of his employees fill out a perfect bracket (charting the path of the sixty four teams through multiple playoff rounds) they’ll receive one million dollars, no strings attached, every year for the rest of their life.  So far, no one’s won the challenge. The odds of success are estimated at 1 in 128 billion. An employee of Buffett’s in West Virginia took home one hundred thousand dollars last year, for getting the closest to perfection in the field.

Of course, there are a million different office pools, fantasy league pools, general prop bets, and Calcutta’s that offer purses significantly lower than Buffett’s.  Moreover, the utter chaos of the tournament means that really, you don’t need to know too much about basketball to fill out a bracket and join the fun.

So, assuming you’re not a college basketball stats expert, CONVICTS has assembled a list of the ways to fill out your brackets this season, ranked from most to least boring.

1.Use autofill to complete a bracket thru ESPN, CBS, NBC, or the NCAA

2.Actually do research on the teams and their stats, or just pick your alma mater to win it all.  For the actual basketball fans out there.

3.Judge teams by aesthetic algorithms that takes into account uniform colors, fight songs, and the student body’s levels of legit-ness.

4.Rank teams by the rowdiness of their social media accounts, predict how much they will thwart themselves, then bracket accordingly.

5.Comb Tinder, Craigslist, and Missed Connections for bracket-ology experts. Consult and/or pay them to make your bracket. Acquire new friends along the way.

6.Lurk in the Meatpacking District, where all the professional athletes hang out. Charm them into insider information.

7.Use the internet to figure out who super-weird, super-legendary Celtics player-cum-sportscaster Bill Walton thinks is going to win. Copy his entire bracket. For the unenlightened, Bill Walton is a being made of pure love and wisdom.

8.Consult psychic

9.Consult tarot cards and/ or horoscope

10.Throw the I-ching, decode the response

11.Consult ouija board

12.Request insight from your deity of choice

13.Get high and watch Space Jam. The key to the perfect bracket is hidden in there somewhere.