Holy cow, I wrote a book!
Every year, when it comes time to fill out my NCAA bracket,
I choose an arbitrary criterion.
You'd think this would take less work, but it actually takes more.
My original plan was to rank teams based on how much they pay their
but it turns out that the salaries (and bonuses and perks) of the head coaches
of school basketball programs is hard to find!
Instead, I went with something much easier to find but which is still
somewhat indicative (in an indirect sense) of the strength of the program:
The seating capacity of the home arena.
The first full round is the crucial one.
Not only are half of the games are first-round games,
but your choices in the first round heavily influence
your choices in subsequent rounds.
I don't know if anybody has ever submitted a bracket
that was internally inconsistent.
For example, having a team that lost in the first round
magically reappear in the third round.
It's technically legal but highly unorthodox.