Everyone wants as much help as they can get when filling out their tournament bracket. Never fear, I, winner of multiple pools throughout the years, am here to help.

How have I come to be successful in the past? It’s simple and rather obvious. When picking games in your bracket, you should be thinking of Barbour’s 4 models for the interaction of science and religion, a framework commonly employed for important discussions on this blog.

For instance, do you go with what your brain tells you or where your heart leads? Ahh, this is an unnecessary question as we all know that they don’t have to be in conflict. Also, there’s potential for some serious collateral damage with war and if you’re heart you tend to be anti-mind and vice-versa. Too much internal conflict for a simple bracket.

Maybe the heart and brain are independent of each other and are asking different questions? I don’t know about that but this seems like a cop-out and besides, which of the non-overlapping magisteria is in charge of brackets? Take it from me, I’ve tried to keep them separate and even went so far as to have two brackets in the past, one for heart and one for brain. And you know what? If I succeeded in one I failed in the other. This makes it difficult to root for teams because you’re torn and usually ends in a loss. Sure, you don’t end up in last place, but a respectable middle-of-the-pack finish is still not a win.

So if conflict and independence don’t work, perhaps the answer is integration? But which is integrated into the other? Should the heart be subsumed by the brain or is it the other way around? Nah, forget that. Natural theology is dead, with all respect to Mr. Paley and the ID movement, and it would leave us looking for gaps in the elite eight or too focused on the national champion omega point.

So I guess that leaves dialogue. Allow the heart and brain to converse and not only will you win in the end, but you’ll even look good and respectful doing it. And, because dialogue is inherently unending, even if you get a pick wrong there is always more time to converse with others about the pick, why you chose it, and how in the future with additional evidence you might choose differently.

Just whatever you do, don’t blindly follow the doctrine of those ESPN fundamentalist “experts.” You’ve got to think critically and for yourself! Happy bracketing…