March Madness Season is upon us, and with it, endless bracket pools. While no one has ever, in the history of March Madness, made a perfect bracket, we have a few tricks to help you take home the winnings from your pool! These are our tips for making the best possible bracket:
Take the emotion out of it.
People always love their own team, but if you want to win the pool, you may need to be realistic about how far your team will make it. You can always make a different bracket with your team winning for your own personal use.
Look at the rankings.
As much as we all love the underdog, it is rare that a 15th or 16th ranked team beats the top contenders in the first round. In fact a 16th seed has only toppled the #1 seed one time in March Madness history. The lowest ranked team to ever win the whole tournament was ranked #8. In the last 10 years, 7 of the tournament winners have been ranked #1. Based on these facts, it’s pretty safe to say that one of the top ranked teams will win the tournament. That being said, only once did all four of the #1 ranked teams make it to the final four.
Look at the upsets.
As we know, the first round of the tournament can feel like a virtual free for all. It seems like there are upsets everywhere, but there are only an average of 6 out of 32 games. The most common upsets in the first rounds are the 10th seed over the 7th seed and the 11th seed over the 6th seed. So try to fit 6 practical upsets in the first round and then each round after that cut the upset number in half, so 3 upsets in the second round etc.
Research the conferences.
Not all conferences are created equally. The ACC and the Big Ten are very competitive and house some of the nations top title contenders where as the mid level conferences may not be as challenging. This doesn’t necessarily discount a team if they are not from a tougher conference, but it can help put a match up in perspective.
There is no perfect strategy.
You may have noticed in the past that your friends that know nothing about basketball end up doing the best in the bracket pools. This is because there is no way to guess what is going to happen. That’s what millions of people love about this tournament, you don’t have to be an expert to participate and do well. The odds of having a perfect bracket are way lower than getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery. Just think no one has ever done it since the beginning of the tradition, and millions of people fill out brackets every year. So moral of the story is, be smart when making your picks but use whatever method seems right for you and you may just win!