Even though the tournament is already down to the final 16 teams, I have created a short list of five ways you can choose the teams for your bracket next year. The list comes courtesy of an exercise I tried from Caffeine for the Creative Mind, a fun little book loaded with funny, enjoyable challenges to help get your brain jump-started.

Intended mainly for folks in ad agencies, anyone can find an exercise in the book to help get a short jolt of mental caffeine. Don’t pay thousands of dollars for seminars on how to be creative at work. Spend less than $20.00 and buy this book. And listen to Ken Nordine recordings while you’re working with it.

Five Ways to Pick Winners in the NCAA Bracket

1) Which team mascots would taste the best if caught, killed, and flame-broiled in a barbecue?

2) Which shools have the highest ratio of ugly, 1970s-constructed buildings to older, traditional collegiate-looking buildings (this might require some reasearch)?  Pick those teams to win.

3)  Which school mascots best complete this sentence:  “Honey, the ___________________ just called.  They’re in the middle of romance right now and will be late for dinner tonight.”

4) Pick any American celebrity.  Find out the city where he or she was born.  Pick the schools in this order:  within a 20 mile radius of that city, then 50 miles out, 100 miles out, and 200 miles out.

5) The Dave Barry approach:  Which school mascot would be the best name for a rock band that completes this:  “The Unnatural ______________.”

Hope your team wins.