Opinions are like windbreakers: everyone’s got one, and Bobby Knight’s are uglier and more multiplicitious than yours. Actually, while the second part of that sentence is true, regardless of how good your windbreaker collection may be, I think of my opinions about college basketball not as a windbreaker, but as a puffy triple-fat bubble goose parka, from within which my treasured hoops-related biases keep me safe from the cold knowledge that I haven’t won an NCAA pool since I was in eighth grade. Even those warming biases cannot, of course, shield me from the fact that I am starting this post with not one, but two tortured garment-related similes. So let me get to the point, then.

After last year’s triumphant debut, the CSTBracket is back up at Yahoo. It remains free of charge, and the prizes for winning are, if anything, even more fabulous than the $5 gift certificate to the CSTB store awarded to last year’s winner. This year, our champion will receive a copy of NBA 2K3, featuring legendary Austin Toro/Duke University point guard Jay Williams on the cover, as well as a fabulous selection of basketball cards I wrote for Topps that’s suitable for professional grading/recycling. And also a Manu Ginobili rookie card that was written in Spanish. I don’t really know why I have that around the house, honestly, because I don’t really like that dude.

Anyway, click here, go to “join group,” and join up. The league ID is 55042. The password is “cstb.” Enjoy yourselves, and don’t underestimate American University’s chances. You can pick them to lose just as easily if you estimate them properly.