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Printable NCAA Tournament Bracket: Picks and Advice for 2013 March Madness

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Peyton Siva #3 of the Louisville Cardinals handles the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2013

The 2013 NCAA tournament is already underway, but before the second round kicks off, it’s time for the college basketball fans swept up in the March Madness to make the final picks on their brackets (print yours here).

Whether indecision has forced you to wait this long or the typical procrastination, now is the time to print your bracket, fill it out and dominate your office pool or whoever you decide to compete against.

If you want to be a winner when the tournament is over, take these last-second picks and advice and use them to help build the perfect bracket.

With so much action in such a short time, no wonder they call it March Madness!

 

High-Seeded Team on Upset Alert

Whether it’s in the round of 64, round of 32 or even the Sweet 16, there are many highly ranked programs doomed to face a devastating defeat early in the tournament and ruin your chances and bracket supremacy.

Don’t be a victim.

As much as the mainstream media has flooded college basketball fans with stats and odds, those filling out brackets should be wary of teams like Duke, Miami, Indiana, Florida and Gonzaga this year.

Each of those teams are situated on high lines in the tournament, but serious fundamental flaws exist in their games. These teams will face serious competition in their respective regions on the bracket, but few, if any, will actually make it deep in the tournament.

If you are picking your tournament selections today, avoid all of the aforementioned teams the deeper the bracket gets.

 

Low-Seeded Team Ready To Play Cinderella

Arguably the best part of March Madness and the NCAA tournament is the upsets. Not only because the big-time schools and their fanbases are sent home early, but because the Cinderella teams that beat the major programs tend to live forever.

No one forgets the runs underdogs make (look at the Cinderella stories of VCU and Butler in 2011) and no one ever will. This year will feature more of the same.

With underrated teams like Villanova, Temple, New Mexico and Oregon getting little love on the bracket, do not sleep on these programs. Not only will they steal the show in the round of 64, a great regular-season showing will afford these teams the chance to make a deep run toward the Sweet 16.

You don’t win without taking big risks, and selecting all of the previously mentioned teams to stun their way deep into the tournament could be the chance that seals the March Madness bracket domination for college basketball fans.

Go big or go home.

 

Pick the Final Four First

As much as the mainstream loves the Cinderella teams that make the deep runs in the tournament, the Final Four typically consists of the best programs in the nation.

The VCUs and Butlers of the bracket are the exception, not the rule.

While every movie ever made has told us that playing it safe is no way to live, when it comes to the madness of March and picking a Final Four, taking big-time programs to make deep runs will ensure overall success for your bracket.

That’s why many fans pick their bracket backwards.

The easiest way to fill out the bracket quickly and with the most victories would be selecting the four teams you believe will make it to the Final Four first. After filling in all of those teams’ victories, the rest of the bracket should work itself out.

The bracketeer still must make plenty of hard choices in the second and third rounds, but knowing the winner of each region takes the pressure off selecting the rest of the games.

 

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

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