I've watched approximately seven minutes of college basketball this season, so I am primed to help you be just as mediocre as everybody else when it comes to filling out your bracket.
Take it from me, a one-time bracket champion, when I tell you that only the truly college basketball-addicted can thrive during this once-a-year test of skill.
The rest of us? It's a crap shoot.
Here are five tips to follow if you want to be disappointed.
1. There Is No "I" In Team – I always stay away from the teams that are built around one player. Why? Kevin Durant. I picked his Texas Longhorns as a shoe-in to reach the Final Four in 2007, only to be highly disappointed when they lost in the second round. It seems easier to stop one player than it does five.
Please see: Ohio State
2. Been There, Done That - I have a non-scientific theory that says the experienced teams will proceed deeper into the tournament than the inexperienced teams. (Except for the Fab Five. They are the exception. The only one.) I liken it to the first day on the job. You might do okay, but you don't know that you have to elbow the copy machine in just the right place to make copies; you don't know that the secretary will feign ignorance on your behalf if you take a two-hour lunch if you compliment her new haircut. The veterans do, which gives them an advantage.
Please see: Kansas, Tennessee, Villanova
3. Cinderella, Dressed In Yella' - Cinderella's beauty lies in the fact that nobody sees it right away. It just kind of grows on you. And, before you know it, she's gone, and you're left wondering how you missed her. Similarly, if you can find me one person who predicted George Mason's run in 2006, please introduce me to them, because they squeezed in all they could before the clock struck 12. Nowadays, analysts are too quick to christen the next one, because they want to be the guy who predicted it. If you're called a potential Cinderella in January, you're probably not.
Please see: Northern Iowa, Siena, Cornell
4. You May Have A Point - Bar non, point guards are the most important player to a team's NCAA tournament success. (I heard that on T.V. last night.) When was the last time a team with a sub par point guard reached the Final Four? How about never? If you're only going to take one piece of advice when you fill out your bracket, it should be this: pick teams with good point guards.
Please see: Michigan State, Kansas, Villanova, Kentucky
5. Tradi - shunnnnnn..Tradition! - Chances are slim that we'll see another George Mason make a run all the way to the Final Four. That was a fluke. When the smoke clears, the traditional powerhouses — the Kansases, the Michigan States, the Kentuckys — will likely be the ones left standing. If you're scratching your head, looking to make the right pick, be safe. Go with the big guns.
For prosperity's sake, here is my Final Four: Kansas, Pittsburgh, Villanova, West Virginia
(For the record, I have no idea how Pittsburgh got there. It just kind of happened.)