Each year I struggle to understand why finding a good printable bracket for the biggest college sporting event of the year is so difficult.
With a 68 team field that includes automatic bids from small conferences who many people aren’t familiar with, there is almost no one who has seen enough of these teams to make selections based on their knowledge of the teams and their players alone.
Because of this, it makes sense to provide as much potentially helpful information as possible without overcrowding the page.
Yet, many of the first results/images that turn up when you perform a search for a printable bracket include only the schools and their seeding.
At a minimum, brackets should include the records of the schools to complement the seeding. I try to find a bracket that also includes the location of the games as well, perhaps tilting a close call to a school playing close to home in front of a biased crowd.
Of course, people win their office pools each year by ignoring records and host cities. Conversely, additional information such as a momentum indicator or the head coach’s record in the tournament might be useful for the stat geek crowd.
Still, in an effort to serve the largest portion of the audience filling out these brackets, websites and media companies should establish a baseline of data to include when offering a printable bracket.
After all, there is enough madness once the tournament begins.