Time to fill out brackets

For 49 weeks each year, a bracket is a punctuation mark.

Come NCAA tournament time, the word takes on a whole new meaning.

You can bet (pun intended) that office printing machines across the USA were spitting out brackets at breakneck speed on Monday.

Even the president (at least the current one, who is a huge basketball fan) gets into the act and fills out a bracket.

You’ve heard the saying, nobody’s perfect?

That’s especially true when it comes to filling out brackets.

No one is going to go 67-for-67. It’s a virtual mathematic impossibility.

I’ve watched more college basketball this year than ever before, but the biggest conclusion I have reached is this is the most wide-open tournament in recent memory.

There’s no Kentucky to dominate the field as the Wildcats did last year.

If you want to pick the Wildcats, you’ll have to go with Kansas State, Arizona, Davidson or Villanova, none of which is recommended.

And no, Goldie Hawn doesn’t coach of any that quartet.

Besides, if you want to go with the best nickname, you can’t beat the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, who may give John Beilein’s Michigan team fits in their opening round matchup.

Some tips for filling out brackets:

Don’t be afraid to pick ‘upsets.’ Just because the committee assigned one team as a 7 seed and the other as a 10, there likely isn’t that much difference between them.

Don’t go crazy picking upsets. It’s fun to be the only one on Pacific, but do you really think they will beat Miami?

Even if they do, the odds of them advancing to the Sweet 16 aren’t good.

Only two teams that are the lower seeds in the 32 opening round games are favored -No. 9 Missouri over No. 8 Colorado State and No. 11 Minnesota over No. 6 UCLA.

Make your picks, your picks. I always listen to everybody, but follow nobody.

Just because Jay Bilas picks some No. 13 seed to shock the world, doesn’t mean it is going to happen.

The same applies to me. But it seems obligatory to write a March Madness column since it is the talk of the sports world.

The team seeded 13-16 with the best chance of winning is No. 14 Davidson, which could take out No. 3 Marquette on Thursday afternoon.

Other double-digit seeds worthy of consideration include No. 10 Cincinnati against No. 7 Creighton, No. 11 Belmont against No. 6 Arizona and No. 10 Iowa State over No. 7 Notre Dame (please don’t wear those lime green uniforms, Irish.)

My Final Four? Louisville, New Mexico, Florida and Indiana.

If I get two right, that will put me in the majority.

And if you get more than two right, send me your picks next year.