It’s that time of year again. Time to skip class, turn on CBS, get eight computers loaded up so you don’t miss anything, and watch basketball for twelve hours straight, getting up only to get a new beer and go to the bathroom. Sometimes only for the former”¦

But before you do all of that, you need to fill out the all-important March Madness bracket in the hopes that, if all goes according to plan, you’ll be long gone by the time that douchebag Josh realizes you never paid him to enter the pool.

If you’re really lucky, though, you’ll win the pool and Josh can deduct what you owe him from your winnings. And with our help, that luck can become a reality!

In order to offer you the best chance of bragging rights, here is Campus Basement’s official guide to filling out your bracket:

“¢    The Dukie: Duke is a perennial contender in the NCAA tournament, right? Wrong. Despite some rare exceptions, last year being one, Duke is a perennial underperformer in the tournament. Your best bet is to put Duke into the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight and then have them lose to a mid-major in a game in which they’ll probably shoot 2/38 from 3-point range.

“¢    The Big East: On any given year, there will be at least seven Big East teams in the tournament. The selection committee has a raging boner for Big East teams. Typically speaking, only 50% of those teams will make it to the Elite Eight. But bear in mind that those teams that do advance have a solid chance of making the Final Four or even the Finals. As long as it’s not Georgetown or UConn. They suck.

“¢    The Big Ten: Because there are really only three solid conferences in college basketball (Big East, ACC and Big 12), the selection committee usually has to pad the tournament with Big Ten teams in order to fill the bracket completely. They should be putting more mid-majors in, but for some reason they’re convinced the Big Ten is decent. Don’t be fooled by their mistake. Unless it’s Ohio State, pick against the Big Ten.

“¢    Home Team Advantage: Take note of which team is playing at which venue. If Kansas is playing in Missouri or someplace close, it’s basically a home game for them. Always pick the home team. Unless it’s a Big Ten school.

“¢    The 12-5 Upset: Statistically, this is your best chance at picking an upset in the first round. Usually, the selection committee puts some shitball team in as a 5 Seed. Rule of thumb: if the 12-seed is a school you’ve never heard of, pick the upset. If the 12-seed if from a legitimate conference, don’t pick the upset. CBS lives for Cinderella stories, and there is “conveniently” at least one of these each year. You may also refer to Number by Color and The Gonzaga for help choosing a 12-5 matchup.

“¢    Number by Color: Every bracket-filling-out guy has a girl friend who says, “I want to play!” Usually, this means one of three things: 1) The girl actually watches basketball and wants to enter the pool, 2) The girl wants to have sex, 3) The girl is bored because you and your buddies have been arguing about which team is going to win for seven hours. Option 1 is a long shot. Option 2 is probably not the case either because, let’s face it, you’re a guy who just spent seven hours explaining the intricacies of Syracuse’s 2-3 zone in a sausage-filled living room. Not exactly a turn-on. If it’s option 3, though, pay attention. While this girl may seem like she does not know what she’s doing, she does. She will proceed to ask you what color each team is and pick whichever one is a “cuter” color. Copy her picks. Otherwise, she’ll win the pool because she liked blue and you’ll be left wondering how your 43 hours of research failed you so badly.

“¢    The Gonzaga: Similar to Number by Color, this is generally a girl-oriented rule. The hypothetical girl in the aforementioned rule may say things like, “Gonzaga? That’s a funny name! I’m picking them!” when filling out her bracket. Once again, her apparent stupidity is actually masking sheer genius. Teams with funny names fare well in any tournament, usually to prove the point that whoever knows least about college basketball will inevitably win your pool. Don’t let intelligence interfere with winning. Charlie Sheen doesn’t!

If you have any tips to add, comment below!