How My Jewish Mother Picked Her Top 1% Bracket

Picking a bracket is an art. It would take an act of God to make a perfect one. Millions of avid sports fans put money on their best estimation as to what will occur when madness strikes every March. My mother is not one of those. She’s a retired fashion saleswoman. Her hot sports commentary is centered on which player she finds the cutest. She also has a bracket in the top 1% of ESPN’s tournament challenge; at one point, it even made it as high as 9,000th overall. Here’s a breakdown of how she pulled it off.

Biggest Hits:

Arizona Going All The Way

“Coach K gives me the heebie jeebies and I think they have nice jerseys.”

Wisconsin Over Villanova

My mother, who thought college basketball had quarters, knew that Wisconsin would beat the overall #1 seed. Here’s how:

Me – “Mom, why did you pick Wisconsin?”

Mom – “Remember that kid from high school that you didn’t like that ended up at Villanova?”

Me – “No, mom.”

Mom – “That kid, you know, he, I just remember that you didn’t like him.”

Me – “Okay.”

Mom – “Well he goes there so I wanted him to lose.”


Mom – “You go there and I love you. Plus I love Boatwright’s hair.”

Biggest Flubs:

Unlike my mother, the bracket is not perfect. Here are some of her biggest flubs:


Florida Gulf Coast Over Florida State

Why would anyone do this? Especially someone who obviously understands basketball on an ethereal level?

Mom – “Oh honey, I was on a flight with the team once, and they were very sweet.”

Me – “Did they help you get your bag?”

Mom – “No, but they were great, didn’t cry or anything. Also one of them smiled at me. Real cutie.”

Maryland Over Xavier

Mom – “Your cousin goes there, and family sticks together.”

Me – “That’s a good reason.”

Mom – “Also, did you see that Melo guy, I was hoping he would get more screen time”


What does this prove? Nothing other than that college basketball in March is truly madness and that my mom is better than yours.

To Top