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March Madness 2017: Clayola Bracket Revealed!

A new twist on March Madness brackets.

A few years ago, when I was teaching American Presidency at Pitt, we did a class exercise the day before the college basketball tournament in which we randomly made choices that populated a bracket of predictions only our class could have created. It was fun, and I believe our random efforts actually predicted a Cinderella team (Virginia Commonwealth?). You never know, and since I don’t even watch one full basketball game a year anymore, it can be fun to find a way to engage with this big tournament that so many people focus on for the next couple weeks.

So when this random idea popped in my head to somehow match a box of 64 crayons to the 64 teams in the tournament, I ran with it, even though there was only about one day before the games began. And that’s how we created this bracket.

Contestants selected one of the 64 colors in the standard Crayola box and made a coin flip (heads or tails). Before I applied the coin flips to choose winners of each individual game in the tourney, I gave all teams seeded as a #1 or #2 an automatic first round victory.

Here then is how it all shook out…

So It’s a big showing for the state of Kansas!

I’m pretty sure we have the perfect bracket.

Now for folks who entered the contest selecting a Crayola color that has been randomly assigned to represent one of the teams in the tournament, I’ve used a random sorter to create the color code. We had 53 people select a color. That’s less than 64, which I figured could happen on such short notice, so I applied all colors chosen to the top 53 seeded teams in the tournament.

It’s like a lottery for team selections, only we don’t know which ones are the winners until they play the games!

So for those who selected colors, here is what team you got.



Okay 🙂

Here are the results.

In case you can’t see that chart on your phone, here it is in text form:

Villanova = Yellow Green

Wisconsin = Wisteria

Virginia Tech = Wild Strawberry

Virginia = White

Florida = Turquoise Blue

Middle Tenn. St. = Tumbleweed

SMU = Timberwolf

Baylor = Tickle Me Pink

South Carolina = Sky Blue

Duke = Sepia

Gonazaga = Sea Green

Northwestern = Scarlet

Vanderbilt = Salmon

Notre Dame = Robin’s Egg Blue

West Virginia = Red Orange

Maryland = Purple Mountains’ Majesty

Florida St. = Plum

St. Mary’s = Periwinkle

Arizona = Pacific Blue

Kansas = Orchid

Miami (FL) = Orange

Michigan St.= Olive Green

Iowa St.=Melon


Creighton = Mahogany

Oregon = Magenta

Michigan = Macaroni and Cheese

Louisville = Lavender

North Carolina = Indigo

Arkansas = Green

Seton Hall = Gray

Minnesota = Granny Smith Apple

Butler = Goldenrod

Cincinnati = Forest Green

UCLA = Cornflower

Dayton = Cerulean

Kentucky = Cadet Blue

Marquette = Burnt Sienna

VCU = Brick Red

Oklahoma St. = Blue Violet

Wichita St. = Blue Green

USC = Blue

Xavier = Black

Kansas St. = Bittersweet

Rhode Island = Asparagus

NC Wilmington = Gray

Princeton = Apricot

Nevada = Burnt Orange

Bucknell = Chestnut

Vermont = Red

Winthrop = Spring Green

E. Tennessee St. = Peach

I’m not going to add all the names of folks playing here. Feel free to let us know what team you got in the comments either here or back on Facebook. Some of you will be eliminated quickly, but a few will advance far and have a shot at a prize.

I’ll be providing updates along the way as they happen. The winner of the random drawing for the Starbucks gift card will be announced once we reach the Final Four.

Thanks for playing. It’s a fun way to reconnect with some folks I don’t get to see very often. And for those of us who don’t have a team competing it’s another reason to be interested in how the games shake out.

Good luck!

By Clay Morgan

Clay Morgan is the author of Undead. Say hi on Twitter.