For fans of the NCAA Tournament, it's all about strategy.

This strategy isn't about zone defenses or offensive plays, however.

It's about filling out one's bracket.

Bracket pools are serious business, as they can win not only money, but pride, and the right to call one's self a "certified bracketologist."

Whether a fan of the game in general or one team in particular, most people just want to enjoy the tournament and hope for well-played games. But divided interests can sometimes plague people's brackets, from trying to win money, to trying to support one's favorite team, to rooting for upsets and Cinderellas.

Bracket pools have recently become controversial with regards to NCAA athletes, who could be violating gambling restrictions by participating. The NCAA released a statement this past March that athletes may take part in bracket pools, such as Facebook's Global Bracket Challenge, in which participants do not have to pay an entry fee. But many universities continued to discourage participation by athletes, under the idea that, if an athlete were to win the contest, and the cash prize that went with it, he or she would likely be disqualified from athletics because of their winnings.

Gator fans

But money isn't the only issue for college students. Many have their school's team to root for, and try to figure out where to put on their bracket. They discover a conflict over picking who they really think will win, but rooting for who they want to win. Some students may even feel uncomfortable picking their team to win out of fear of an unfortunate "jinx." But Facebook's Global Bracket Challenge, which accepts brackets from numerous college networks, shows that most college students tend to pick their own teams.

In 2006, an unexpected team made the cut, both in the tournament and in Facebook's bracket. George Mason, an 11-seed from the Colonial Athletic conference, became the ultimate Cinderella and made it all the way to the Final Four. In the Facebook challenge, the George Mason network ranked third among all schools, indicating that GMU students were the only ones nationwide who had any expectation of Patriot success.

For the 2007 Tournament, the University of Florida network had the highest average score, with 127.2 points, indicating that most Gators correctly picked their team to win the championship for the second straight year.

Alyson Stanke, a UF junior and diehard Gator fan, said she never used to pick the Gators to win, for superstitious reasons. But last year, she decided to change things up, and picked the UF team to go all the way, which, of course, they did. And this year, she knew she had to stay the course.

"Last year, I realized that I should pick them because then I'd never have to root against myself and never have conflicting interests," she said. "And then they ended up winning."

Listen to a full interview with Alyson below, in which she discusses watching the tournament as a Gator fan.