If you don't really care about the NCAA tournament, but still want to have a little fun during March Madness, listen up. The official tournament starts this Thursday, March 17, and 64 teams will compete to be crowned the nation's best college basketball team. CBS Sports (and CBS sportsonline) will cover almost all of the games as the East, West, Southwest, and Southeast regions go head to head in sudden death games.
Most people fill out a bracket and choose teams based on their records or seed, but where's the fun in that. Let's get a little creative and look at 10 alternate ways to make your picks.
- Color. If you love baby blue or yellow, you've got a few options. UNC, Hampton, Old Dominion, and UCLA are all light blue. West Virginia, Michigan, Missouri, Bucknell, No. Colorado, Morehead State, USC, UCLA, and UCSB all have a pretty yellow color, too.
- Fiercest Mascot: The Kentucky Wildcat looks like it could tear your face off, and the Morehead State Eagle could peck out your eyes then eat them.
- Team Locale: Why not cheer for a team whose campus you'd like to visit? University of California at Santa Barbara looks mighty nice.
- Hottest Student Body: You want the pretty people to win, don't you. If so, a safe bet might be Texas, West Virginia, or UCSB -- all three were on Playboy's top 10 list of hottest college campuses.
- Most Experienced Coach: That's got to be UNC's Roy Williams. With a .786 winning record, he knows a thing or two about winning games. His Duke rival, Mike Krzyzewski, has a record of .760. Close, but no cigar.
- Holiest: Choosing a team from a religious institution might be a good call -- they should be close to the big guy in the sky. Notre Dame, Saint Peter's, Saint John's, Gonzaga, BYU, Xavier, and Villanova all have religious affiliations.
- Maddest: If you want a squad with a little fire under its belly, go with Georgetown or Kansas. In 2010, #1 Kansas was knocked out in the 2nd round by #10 Northern Iowa and #14 Ohio beat #3 Georgetown in the first round. You know these teams are coming back madder than ever before.
- Famous Fan: Ashley Judd is the biggest Kentucky fan out there, and once didn't shower when they were on a winning streak so as not to jinx her Wildcats. Frequently seen at UK games, she may make an appearance when the Wildcats take on Princeton in the first round.
- Brainiest: Speaking of Princeton, they're the only Ivy in the tournament -- there was some controversy over Harvard not getting an invitation to the big dance.
- Happy Go Lucky: Boston University, ranked as one of the four lowest as a 16th seed, has like, no chance. This just in: BU has a basketball team.
How will you pick your bracket?
Photo via Kevin Coles/Flickr