March Madness 2013: Last-Minute Bracket Advice for 2013 NCAA Tournament

Alex KayCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2013

March 11, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Saint Mary's Gaels guard Matthew Dellavedova (4) dribbles against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second half in the finals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NCAA tournament begins shortly, meaning those of you who haven’t completed your brackets and submitted them into a pool are running out of time to do so.

At 12:15 p.m. ET, Michigan State and Valparaiso will tip March Madness off. You will need to have your upsets penciled in, favorites locked up and champion set by the time the Spartans and Crusaders take the floor.

If you are still on the fence, we’re here to help with some last-minute advice to picking a great bracket that will impress your friends and possibly pad your wallet.

Keep on reading to get some quick tips and last-second advice for the 2013 NCAA tournament.


Don’t Pick All No. 1 Seeds in Final Four

As enticing as it seems to pick all the favorites to advance through their respective regions and wind up in the Final Four, it’s just unlikely to happen. Historically, it has only happened a single time—back in 2008.

While it’s totally fine to think one or two of these top seeds will make it all the way to the Final Four, round out the rest of the openings with No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. These are the most probable programs to make the trip to Atlanta in 2013.

If you go with any seed lower than that, you are putting too much faith in an outcome that has hardly ever happened in years of tournament play.


Trust a No. 12 to Knock Out a No. 5

Since the tournament expanded, No. 12 seeds are 38-74 against No. 5 seeds. It may not seem like a lot, but practically every March at least one underdog pulls off a major upset in this portion of the bracket.

The candidates to do so this year are Ole Miss (over Wisconsin), Oregon (over Oklahoma State), Akron (over VCU) and Cal (over UNLV).

We like Ole Miss shocking the world and continuing its epic run that recently saw the Rebels win an SEC championship.


Keep It Simple

This likely isn’t going to be the year that a No. 16 seed topples a No. 1 seed for the first time in history. There’s not likely to be two No. 15 seeds beating No. 2 seeds (as was the case in 2012). There probably isn’t going to be a No. 14 seed competing for a national title, either.

While upsets are bound to happen, the men on the selection committee are great at their job and have done an overall solid job of seeding every team on the bracket.

For the most part, favorites are going to win and advance to the next round. It would be unwise of you to constantly bet against that happening, as the probability is low.

Be critical and wary of potential sleepers, but don’t risk your entire bracket trying to predict the impossible.


If you follow these three rules, you should be in better shape than 95 percent of your competition in whatever pool you may have entered. Good luck and have fun during March Madness!


Don't forget to print out your bracket and follow along with the live bracket.

Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game.

Follow all the exciting NCAA tournament action with March Madness Live