I'm about to fill out a bracket. I do one - ONE! - every year. If I'm in more than one pool, which is rare, I use the same bracket for each. I think that's the only way to maintain integrity/sanity over the course of the tournament.
But, I'm not really that into brackets...
My favorite pool - the one I care about most - is the PCP "Skins" Pool run by my friend, Bob Voight. who in a previous life worked as head coach of the UW-Milwaukee Panthers, an assistant to Rick Majerus at Marquette and the vice president of ticket sales for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Bob presides over a pool that features about two dozen former players and coaches that he's come across over the years. (He refers to us, respectfully, as "fellow wineheads" and "rapscallions" and other terms of endearment.
From his commissioner's office outside San Diego, Voight sends out the rules each year and we rack our brains trying to beat each other. The trash-talking is relentless during the pool and his updates are amazing. He even keeps lifetime records.
Here are the rules, if you'd like to start a similar pool with your buddies. They are simple, but that's what makes it fun.
Upset Special....Seeds 13-16 (one pt for each win)...Select ONLY one team
Sleeper..........Seeds 9-12 (one pt for each win)...Select ONLY one team
Bracket Buster...Seeds 5-8 (one pt for each win)...Select ONLY one team
Final Four.......FINAL FOUR TEAMS (one pt each)......Select FOUR teams
Championship Game..Participants in FINALS (one pt each)...Select TWO teams
NCAA Champion....Winner of Championship Game (one point)..Select ONE team
Tiebreaker.......Total points in Championship Game (Both teams combined)
***Play-In Games to the Round of 64 do NOT earn SKINS
There you have it. Simple. Elegant. Fun. Try it with your buddies this year. You'll thank me later!