Thursday, March 9, 2017

Picking Your Bracket

            March Madness is nearly upon us. The average citizen will fill out a bracket in hopes of it becoming perfect so that they can brag to their friends about the little moment they achieved with the bracket. Anyways, if you're having a hard time filling one out, here's a few suggestions to help you out.

  1. Look For The Big Names: Teams like Louisville, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke are the popular picks to make the Final Four year in and year out. They're basketball bluebloods and are known to pull in the best recruits every year. If you're having a hard time establishing a Final Four, look to these names for some help.
  2. Mascots!! If you're having a hard time filling a bracket out in general, just pick a team based on whose mascot you like more. It won't guarantee you a perfect bracket. Then again, what way will considering the unpredictability of March Madness?
  3. Bet On The Top Seeds: A No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed in the men's game. There have been eight No. 15 seeds that have beaten their No. 2 seeded opponent in the Round of 64 (Middle Tennessee State is the most recent to win). The closer the match-ups are seed-wise, the more likely of an upset (A No. 1 seed would have less likely of a chance to be upset than a No. 3 seed, for example). The only exception to this rule is the sixth seed/11th seed compared to the fifth seed/12th seed match-up (The 12th/11th seeds have won 46 times in the Round of 64 each). Also, keep in mind that there have only been four teams with the tenth seed or lower that have reached the Final Four (Syracuse is the most recent).
  4. Look At The Conferences. Popular Final Four picks tend to come from conferences like the ACC, the Big East, and the Big Ten. Conferences like the Pac-12 haven't produced a champion in a long time (Arizona in 1997) in spite of UCLA having the most men's basketball titles in tournament history. If you don't know who to pick, just go with the team that's either in one of the aforementioned conferences or pick against conferences like the Pac-12 (Unless they're a higher seed). 
  5. Research! Look up where a team's strengths and weaknesses lie. What defense does the school run? Is their offense an up-tempo offense? How do the match-ups line up? Knowing these attributes along with knowing the match-ups will help you not only pick your Final Four, but will help you pick which upsets will occur.
  6. Coin Flip: You can do a match-up (Or even an entire bracket) by flipping a coin. You might get some wacky results!
Photo Courtesy of Sporting News

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