March Madness bracket: An idiot's guide
Before making any of your picks, it is important to assess the bracket pool you are competing in. The number of upsets you pick should be proportional to the size of the pool. It is okay to pick a few upsets, but the Elite 8 should be full of seeds The strategy is different if you are competing against thousands of people. While favorites normally end up in the Final Four, you are going to want to mix in some picks that are different from your competition. If you only pick favorites, you are going to have a hard time winning the pool given you are competing against a lot of people.
Upsets equate to risk, so you want to increase your risk when it comes to larger bracket pools. Part of considering the competition you are playing in is knowing the scoring rules and your competitors. Are you in a pool with a lot of Duke fans? Picking another favorite to win the title greatly increases your chances of winning your group, as the majority of your opponents are likely to pick Duke. While the majority of bracket competitions operate by standard rules, some encourage you to pick upsets by rewarding these picks in the scoring systems.
Some pools multiply the points by the seed, meaning you get more points for picking upsets. In these pools, you are going to want to pick a number of upsets to have a chance at winning. When people fill out their bracket, all seeds seem relatively equal, but this is not the case.
By now, most fans know to pick a No. How do you determine which No. This is where the Vegas odds can be your friend. Vegas may not help you fill out your entire bracket, but there will be odds listed for every single opening weekend game. While your competition is just looking at seed numbers , you will be able to dig deeper into matchup thanks to the point spreads for each game.
There have been times in the past where No. You want to pick the upsets where the point spreads for the underdogs are a little more favorable. You can also use the overall Vegas college basketball championship odds to identify the teams you want to have in your Final Four.
While it is great to gather knowledge about teams during the conference tournaments, keep in mind it is not always a great indicator of who will be left standing.
Five of the last six champions have not won their conference tournament, including the last four NCAA tournament champs. The Wildcats can shoot from everywhere and own the most efficient offense in the country. The Blue Devils rank third in the nation in offensive efficiency while sitting seventh on the defensive end. Two big keys to that success? A potential Sweet 16 run-in with Michigan State. Is the FBI cleaning up college basketball, or wasting its time?
Inside the most unlikely run in NCAA tournament history. Big 12 basketball is deep, and thinks it should roll deep in the NCAA tournament. Fancy Stats Analysis Analysis Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events.
The three best bets to win the NCAA tournament. Virginia boasts the highest efficiency margin of any team in the NCAA tournament field. College basketball and football are the only sports where fans' use of "we" is acceptable, but don't go overboard with it. Use your intellect and know your school's limitations. Flipping a coin for an matchup works just fine.
The selection committee is signaling that these teams are evenly matched, so there's really no need to go crazy doing research. Devote the time to finding the right 12 seed to pick against a 5 seed. If, somehow, you see a potential matchup of teams with the same name say, Wildcats vs.
Wildcats , write in that baby and hope the person in charge of the pool doesn't notice in time and make you decide if it actually happens. Remember there are play-in, er, First Four, games that count in some brackets. These games are played on Tuesday and Wednesday and match minor conference champs and bubble teams. When it comes to your bracket, the race isn't to the swift. Take your time, and maybe consult someone who knows the difference between a Jayhawk Kansas and a Bluejay Creighton.
Beware picking these schools in the Final Four.