Let’s just get this out of the way: Your NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket is going to be a train wreck.
Not only are there are a multitude of nearly unpredictable upsets, but chances are that when it comes to men’s college basketball, you are an idiot. And we say that with loving kindness. Because the truth is that there are too many teams playing in too many conferences in too many time zones for you to have a useful working knowledge of their players that would allow you to make informed choices about potential match-ups.
Unless you are a cave troll who sits in your parents’ basement all day and watches 100 games on the DVR. But you’re not a cave troll, are you?
No, you’re just an average, khaki-wearing worker bee trying each year to avoid the humiliation of finishing last in your office pool so you won’t be relentlessly mocked by your smug coworkers who bested you merely by chance. Especially that prep-school turd, Foster, (who in the hell names their kid ‘Foster’ anyway?) who sits in the cubicle across from you. He’s insufferable, with his smug attitude and that condescending way he glances over at you every day.
Anyway, here’s some good news: Microsoft thinks it can help you avoid being subjected to a year’s worth of mockery.
The company has announced a partnership with the NCAA to use data captured by Bing to help you be less stupid in your picks.
Officially, this will be called: “NCAA® March Madness® bracket experience.” And don’t even think about printing that on a t-shirt because that has been trademarked out the wazoo, buddy.
According to Microsoft: “Bing Predicts’ intelligent machine learning technology will analyze social and search signals, NCAA statistical data to help fans build a smarter bracket.” I think there’s a comma missing or a conjunction lacking there, but I didn’t write it, and I think you get the point anyway.
Microsoft says the “Bing bracket” (and try saying that out loud 20 times fast!) will provide “intelligent match-up predictions, analysis and additional features that can help newcomers and diehard hoops fans alike make sense of the over nine quintillion possible outcomes for all 67 tournament games.”
See? “Nine quintillion possible outcomes.” It really isn’t you. The whole goddamn system is rigged against you. But don’t try to impress your cute new coworker by casually dropping that bit of trivia at the coffee station, because she’ll just think you’re weird. Trust me.
This smart bracket (easier to say, don’t you think?) will go live on “Selection Sunday™” which, for most humans on the planet, is known as the trademark-free “March 13.” You can get it as an app on your Windows 10 phone, PC, and tablet.
Even so, keep your eye on Foster’s Twitter feed and make sure he’s not trying to game the whole thing by tweeting “DePaul” 8,000 times just to screw you over. I wouldn’t put anything past that guy.