It is the ultimate activity for bragging rights: the NCAA Tourney. Whether you are male or female, young or old, spend hours picking your brackets or chose your teams by who would win a fight between the mascots, anyone can fill out a bracket and have a chance to win. In fact, a few years ago the winner who predicted George Mason to go to the Final Four did so because he thought they were George Washington. So, here are 21 little tidbits of info for your bracket picking pleasure.
1. Don’t trust Dick Vitale or Bob Knight for that matter. They get paid to talk, not think.
2. Vegas knows more than you do. What 5-12 game has the lowest spread? Is there an 8-9 match that has a larger spread? Listen to them. There is a reason their lights are so bright, and their buildings so big.
3. Only once have all four number 1 seeds made the Final Four. Don’t put all four no. 1 seeds in the Final Four. It will not happen this year.
4. A 16 has never beaten a 1. There is a reason they are a 16 seed.
5. A 15 rarely beats a 2. Don’t pick this unless you feel lucky or your alma-mater is playing.
6. A 14 or a 13 beats a 3 or a 4 seed practically ever year. Take a shot with one of these, because if you get it right you are a genius or at least you can claim to be.
7. A 12 will beat a 5, maybe 2 of them. Pick one maybe two and feel good about your chances.
8. I hate the 6-11 game, because 6 seeds can made a deep run, they have enough talent, but they are inconsistent or else they would be a higher seed. At least one 6 seed will made it to the Sweet Sixteen. At least one 6 seed will lose in the opening round. Good luck.
9. Both the 7-10 games and the 8-9 games are toss ups. Never refer to a 9 beating an 8 an upset. It isn’t an upset. They are the same caliber of team. The only people who call them an upsets are “experts” who are too chicken to pick an actual upset. A 10 over a 7 just barely qualifies for an upset, you cannot brag about your 10 seed beating a 7 seed as your upset special.
10. At least one 1 seed will not made it to the Elite Eight, yet all the reporters will be shocked when this happens, you should not be.
11. At least one 2 seed will not make it to the Sweet Sixteen, yet again all the reporters will be shocked when this happens, you should not be.
12. In looking for an upset, never pick a lower seeded team that plays the same style as a higher seeded team. What makes us think that a full court press fast break team with marginal athletes beat one with stellar athletes.
13. Teams that play defense tend to win more games. Especially look for defensive-minded teams playing not-so-defensive-minded teams. It’s pretty simple but we forget about this.
14. Guard play wins in the tourney. It is not that post players are not important, just that guards are more important.
15. If you pick a team to go to the Final Four, they need to have at least one player who will go to the NBA.
16. At least 3 of the Final Four teams will be top 3 seeds in their regions, and a top 3 seed will win the National Championship.
17. Find yourself a Cinderella and dance with her to the Sweet 16, take a 10 seed or a 12 seed to win their first 2 games, it makes the tourney more fun. There seem to be two or three double digit seeds that make it to the Sweet 16 every year.
18. Location, location, location. Is there a team that is playing 30 miles from home against a team that is playing 3000 miles from home. Advantage closer team. Especially pay attention to lower seeds that are significantly closer than their opponents.
19. Experience matters. Looking for an upset special? Try going with a team that has been to the Big Dance recently or has an experienced ball club.
20. Balance your head and your heart in choosing winners. However, you know more about the teams you watch, use that knowledge, and you will also enjoy watching the game more if you pick your favorite team to win.
21. Pick a whole bracket on what you hope to have happen that way if everything works out, you can brag about your great bracket.
22. Don’t let your bracket ruin March Madness for you. If your bracket is busted, get over it. It doesn’t mean you are dumb, it means that March Madness is well, madness.