The Wall Street Journal came up with an interesting method for making their NCAA Tournament picks. They call it their "blindfold brackets." The idea is that they give you detailed descriptions of two teams without their names and you make you picks "blind." Forget seeds, forget conferences... just pick who appears to be the better team.
They enlisted a few bracket experts to use the service and the pickers were surprised at how different their blind picks were from their regular bracket. In fact, the pickers surveyed admitted that some of their picks were influenced by biases against certain conferences and players. But without those biases playing a factor, their brackets came out looking very different.
I did the blindfold bracket myself and came up with a final four of Ohio State, San Diego St, Kansas and BYU. San Diego State actually ended up as my national champion. Suffice to say, this was certainly different than my regular bracket. As for the locals, I had Temple and Villanova both winning a game, but losing in the second round.
My unblindfolded bracket had Ohio State, Connecticut, Florida & Kansas in the final four. I also only have Temple winning a game amongst the locals.
The Journal also picked the tournament using their analytical model and came up with a final four of Ohio St., Duke, Kansas & Wisconsin. They like the Badgers for their offensive efficiency and ability to prevent turnovers.