Too lazy to fill out a March Madness bracket? Technology has you covered

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Let’s say you can’t be bothered to fill out one of those basketball forms you’ll see floating around the office this week. You couldn’t care less but want to look like you care. Well, ESPN the website has just the feature for you: “Autofill a bracket.”

Just don’t expect to win anything.

Autofill comes in four different flavors, each guaranteed to produce a filled-in bracket form with one click, and each guaranteed to look nothing like the form filled out by your future office pool winner.

The first option is called “chalk,” which is sports slang for picking the higher-seeded team. You don’t really need any technology to fill out a chalk bracket; just go with the higher seeded team in every single game until you’re done. You could do that with a pen, or pencil if pen seems intimidating. But we’ve already established that you’re lazy, so click chalk. (Spoiler alert: Villanova will be your winner because Villanova is the tournament’s top-seeded team.)

Here's what a chalk bracket looks like:

031317blog bracket chalk ESPN

“Random” is your second choice. As you might expect, random is “like flipping a coin for each and every game.” My request for a random bracket reported that Northern Kentucky is going to win the tournament. Not the Kentucky Wildcats, who actually might win the tournament, but Northern Kentucky, as in 15th seeded Northern Kentucky, as in extraordinarily unlikely to win even one game Northern Kentucky (in part because they play the really good Kentucky in the first round). I’d try random again to see if perhaps a second try would produce a more viable candidate, but I’m too lazy.

No. 3 is “Random weighted by seed,” which isn’t very well explained but does seem to produce more plausible winners than Northern Kentucky.

And, finally, No. 4 is “Random Powered by BPI,” which applies the Basketball Power Index to making choices in your behalf. Since you couldn’t care less about this entire enterprise, I’ll spare you any explanation of BPI. I will tell you that for me this option produced a bracket that has the West Virginia Mountaineers winning the tournament, which isn’t happening in real life unless the 1950s version of Jerry West suits up.

Good luck.

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