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Morning Mail: The madness starts in three hours, are your picks in?

Mar 15, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

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Yes, it runs contrary to what college is supposed to be about: not only are the student-athletes taking three weeks off from school, but you are also getting no work done. The NCAA Div. I Basketball Tournament, however, is here to stay. Have you completed your bracket? Bragging rights in your office pool are at stake. If you haven’t already, get those picks in right now … you should know that in the history of NCAA tournament office pools, no one who has turned in his bracket at 11:59 a.m. ET has ever won.*

Need some helping making those last-minute picks? Deuce of Davenport comes back from the dead for one day only with A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Round 1 of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, which should be of no help at all very enlightening. Excerpt:

7 Notre Dame v. 10 Xavier: As I mentioned last year, I have issues with both of these teams. And this is a lot closer than one would think because the Golden Domers have been absolutely horrific in football and terrible chokers in basketball. Nonetheless, I flashback to my private elementary school days and being the only non-Irish schmuck in the joint and hating every minute of it. Xavier

Rob Dauster of NBC Sports offers advice on key games, plus his pick to win it all, here. You should also join the NBC Sports It’s Madness Bracket Challenge if you have not already done so. All the cool kids are there.

If you’d like President Obama to take the helm for your personal NCAA Tournament financial recovery, his bracket can be found here. Have a love for schools in the swing states? Then this is your best bet. Plus he’s got North Carolina winning it all, and pinning all your hopes on Roy Williams is always good for a laugh.

Here’s the Chicago Tribune’s Help for the Bracket-Challenged, which includes terms like “Going Chalk” and “John Henson’s Healing Wrist.” Bleacher Report has 5 Guarantees to Help You Embarrass Your Friends, which I assume is about the tournament. The Sporting News urges you to Follow the First-Round Trends, and Midwest Sports Fans also has some helpful advice.

And here’s a video about a guy’s wife explaining the logic behind her NCAA picks. Example: She picked Indiana over New Mexico State because she lived in New Mexico once and didn’t like it. “But then I felt really bad for them, so I picked New Mexico over Long Beach State over here.” She of course will win her pool.

My advice? Just remember three words: You are doomed. You can study this puppy all you want, but so many things can go wrong in a 68-team tournament that it’s not worth the effort to go all Rain Man on it. If you have a passing knowledge of the teams, just use The Force when filling out your brackets, and have fun. Almost game time, folks. Tell your boss you’ll see him again in three weeks.

* = May not be accurate.

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