No, I'm not talking about filling out my NCAA men's basketball tournament brackets (although that is something I do at this time every year).
No, I'm talking about over-analyzing and over-thinking everything when it comes to filling out my brackets.
I spent way too much time pouring over stats, thumbing through rosters, looking for trends, and doing everything I can to find an edge when it comes to picking winners.
Sometimes it pays off, other times it doesn't.
Well not this year.
This year, I'm going to try and brand-new strategy when it comes to my brackets. This year, less will be more.
That's not to say I'm making my picks this season totally at random, but I'm only using what working knowledge I have of these teams without doing any extra studying.
So let's get on with it...starting in the East Regional.
I like Syracuse to face Kansas State in the round of 32 with SEC tournament champion Vanderbilt getting a Montana team fresh off an upset of No. 4 seed Wisconsin. A coin flip tells me Texas will play ACC champ Florida State in the bottom half of the bracket with Gonzaga beating West Virginia for the right to face Ohio State.
A Syracuse-Vandy Sweet 16 matchup will be fun to watch, as will Florida State and Ohio State. I'll take the experienced teams riding momentum and pick a Vandy-FSU regional final with a peaking-at-the-right-time Seminoles squad advancing to the Final Four.
In the South Regional, give me Kentucky against Connecticut in a second-round battle with Wichita State facing a resurgent Indiana team in the top half of the bracket. The second round of the bottom half should be interesting with UNLV taking on Baylor and Notre Dame facing Duke.
Big Blue will get revenge on UConn for last year's Final Four loss, setting the stage for them to absolutely annihilate the Hoosiers and avenge their lone regular season loss of the year. The other half of the bracket will pit an athletic Baylor team against a less athletic, but more disciplined Duke team with the Dookies finding a way to win once again.
All of that leads to a Kentucky-Duke Elite Eight rematch on the 20th anniversary of the epic 104-102 Duke win over the Wildcats in the 1992 East Regional Final, but this time, the Cats get payback.
Moving to the Midwest Regional, North Carolina may have a tussle with upset-minded Creighton in the second round, while South Florida will win a play-in game with California before knocking off Temple to face Michigan in round two. North Carolina State is better than their No. 11 seed and they'll face Georgetown in the second round while a good St. Mary's team beats a mediocre Purdue team for the right to face Kansas.
Look for an entertaining North Carolina-Michigan Sweet 16 game with the Tarheels moving on to face Kansas, who ends North Carolina State's Cinderella bid after the Wolfpack knocks off Georgetown. Then, in the regional final, Roy Williams' new team beats his old employer as the Heels handle the Jayhawks.
On to the West Regional, which will be brought to you this year by the letter "M". Michigan State will take on Memphis in round two and Big East champ Louisville will face New Mexico, who will beat Long Beach State in a battle between two of this year's best sleeper bets. The bottom half of the bracket will see Murray State meet Marquette and Florida squaring off with future SEC foe Missouri.
Louisville will prove how overrated the Big Ten is by beating the Spartans in the Sweet 16. The Cardinals will then draw Missouri, who will chomp the Gators before beating Marquette. That will set up the Tigers, who feel snubbed for not receiving a No. 1 seed in the first place, to get past Louisville and on to New Orleans for the Final Four.
The Louisiana Superdome will then become an impromptu ACC-SEC showdown at the Final Four. North Carolina avenges a loss to Florida State in the ACC tournament championship game by beating the Noles' in one semifinal with Kentucky slipping past future conference foe Missouri in the other.
And in the final, we'll see a rematch of a Dec. 3 game between North Carolina and Kentucky. Last time, the Wildcats made one final defensive stand to beat the Tarheels, 73-72. This one will be another nail-biter, but a different shade of blue will cut down the nets as UNC takes down Kentucky in the finals.
Scott Herpst is the Sports Editor of the Walker County Messenger.