The madness has hit the Dawes household, it's something the whole family looks forward to every year.  As soon as selection Sunday hits and the seeds are assigned, myself, my wife and two daughters grab copies of brackets hot off the printer and find a quiet room to make our winning picks. There is a lot a stake here, the winning bracket in the household escapes chores for a month! 

For as long as I can remember, my girls have been into selecting the NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball Tournament.   When they were 4 or 5 years old, (they are 8 and 11 now) I thought here is something we could all do and connect as a family. You don't need to have any knowledge of College basketball, just pick the team you think will advance.   We would sit the girls down at the dinner table, read off the teams and they would each select a winner.  Once the tournament started we all would keep track of each other' sheet, watch the games enjoying popcorn on the couch.

In the beginning, the girls would just have fun saying the names.   Gonzaga proved to be a tongue twister,  any team that has a state after their name was considered a winner, while Butler always got a chuckle - well need I say more as my oldest would say BUTT-LER!!  She had the last laugh the last two years as Butler made it to the Final Four and Championship rounds.

My youngest, always trying to outdo her sister would analyze and pick some long shots. Her nickname is Lou, therefore LOUISVILLE is always her winner. Every year her bracket would look good before the tournament starts, but good old Louisville from the Big East would bow out of the tournament early and with it, her attention.

This year the girls understand and follow college basketball a little bit more.  They know what those numbers next to the teams mean and how well a team may be ranked.  They know who may win a league championship and what team could pull a upset.

Some selection may have you scratching your head and wondering how a 14 seed will advance to the Elite 8 by getting pass a 2 seed but it could happen and that's why the madness is fun.

Take it for what it's worth here are my daughters selections this year.  If you use them and win the office pool, I expect a payout.  If that does happen know on this end they have escaped a month of chores and I'm stuck doing the dishes.

My oldest has in the Final Four; Kentucky, Missouri, Syracuse and North Carolina. My youngest has Kentucky, Louisville, Florida State and North Carolina.

The oldest has North Carolina winning it all while the youngest of course has Louisville.

Some upsets from my oldest include South Dakota State, Virginia, Cincinnati over Florida St and San Diego over Georgetown both in the 2nd round.   Meanwhile my youngest has some crazy upsets including Montana advancing to the Sweet 16, West Virginia over Ohio State, Detroit and New Mexico heading to the Elite 8.

Picking a winning bracket is not science..... Let the madness begin!!