March Madness is here, and those who are still scrambling to fill out a bracket before the round of 64 kicks off do not need to fret. A few minor tips can help you make the tough decisions and win your pool.
Simply putting a bracket out there gives you a chance, as the NCAA Tournament is notoriously unpredictable. More than anything, luck will decide your fate.
But that does not mean you can’t put yourself in a better position to succeed than the other people in your pool. Take these tips into consideration, and be sure to use the links at the bottom to follow all the action from this year’s tournament.
13-4 Matchups Produce Upsets Too
If you’re looking for tips to fill out your bracket, you’ve probably already been told that you have to pick a 12th seed to upset a fifth seed. This is sound advice, but you should also pick a 13th seed to upset a fourth seed.
Looking at the past five years, it is still more likely that there is an upset in a 12-5 matchup, as this has happened nine times over this period. But there have also been six shockers in 13-4 matchups in the last five tournaments.
Make your pick in these games wisely, as there will be favorites going down over the next two days of nonstop action.
Let Points Guards Influence Your Picks
Teams that control the tempo of their games and avoid turnovers have a huge advantage in the NCAA Tournament.
If the school you want to select as the projected national champion has an inexperienced player at point guard with a lackluster assist-to-turnover ratio, think twice before submitting your bracket.
Emotions run high, and the pressure is unparalleled in this tournament. Experienced players taking care of the ball is the key to success.
Pay Attention to How Far Teams Are Traveling
Having trouble picking between two teams that appear to be evenly matched? Don’t let a minute difference in RPI influence your decision. Instead, look at where the teams came from and where they are playing.
Remember, these are college kids with midterms, girlfriends and who knows how many other distractions. Throw in a tight traveling schedule and a time change, and there is a decent chance that the team flying 1,500 miles for their Round of 64 game will not be sharp.
There are many tough decisions to make when filling out your bracket, but it will be the little details like travel burdens that will help you to make correct predictions and win your pool.
Link to Printable PDF
Link to Live Bracket
Follow all the exciting NCAA Tournament action with March Madness Live