Printable NCAA Bracket 2012: Recent Tournament Trends You Should Ignore

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterMarch 14, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 27:  (L-R) Brady Morningstar #12 and Markieff Morris #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks react during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Virginia Commonwealth defeated Kansas 71-61. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Need a printable NCAA Tournament bracket?


Now that you have one, go ahead and print it out and fill it in at your leisure. Just make sure you do your best to make smart picks.

Or you could just be content not to make dumb picks. The easiest way to make dumb picks is to make knee-jerk picks based on which way the winds have been blowing in recent tournaments. 

A few examples come to mind. For your convenience, they are listed below.

Kansas Losing to a Mid-Major

Kansas in 2011.
Kansas in 2011.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Jayhawks are looking to make it all the way to their 14th Final Four in this year's Big Dance. To do that, they'll have to avoid slipping up against a mid-major team that wants it more than they do.

In 2010, Kansas was done in by Northern Iowa in the second round. In 2011, Kansas was beat by VCU in the Elite Eight. Teams like that don't typically stand a chance against powerhouse teams like the Jayhawks.

I wouldn't count on that happening again in 2012. The Jayhawks are strong this season, and the only team in the Midwest Region that really stands a chance of matching up with them is North Carolina.

The Tar Heels are not, for the record, a mid-major.

Louisville Bowing Out in Round of 64

Louisville in 2011
Louisville in 2011Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Cardinals have disappointed in the last two tournaments by bowing out of the tournament in the Round of 64.

That's not going to happen this year. Louisville won the Big East tournament and Rick Pitino has his squad playing outstanding defense. In addition, Peyton Siva was on a roll in the Big East tourney and Louisville is practically unbeatable when he's at his best.

Louisville is matched up against a high-scoring Davidson team in the Round of 64, but I wouldn't be too worried about that. Davidson's offense won't look so mighty up against Louisville's defense.

Don't Fear Kentucky's No. 1 Seed

The Wildcats are a No. 1 seed this year. Recent tournament history tells us they're doomed to fall short of the Final Four.

Kentucky in 2012
Kentucky in 2012Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In 2010, Kentucky was knocked out in the Elite Eight. In 2004, it was knocked out in the Round of 32. In 2003, it fell in the Elite Eight.

Don't worry about any of this. The Wildcats have as much talent as any team in the country, and John Calipari is a better coach than he gets credit for.

Plus, the Wildcats are heading into the tournament with a chip on their shoulder. They're looking to win it all after failing to win the SEC tournament.

So don't be afraid to pencil Kentucky into the Final Four.

No. 12 Seed Dominance

Does it feel like No. 12 seeds always do well in the tournament?

VCU head coach Shaka Smart in 2011
VCU head coach Shaka Smart in 2011Andy Lyons/Getty Images

That's because they do. Per ESPN.com, No. 12 seeds have reached more Sweet 16s than seven- and 11-seeds, not to mention eight- and nine-seeds combined.

Don't get carried away with No. 12 seeds, however. As consistent as they may be, only once have two No. 12 seeds reached the Sweet 16 in the same tournament. 

Besides, it's all relative. This year's No. 12 seeds (VCU, Long Beach State, Harvard and Cal/USF) all have their weaknesses. Do your research before picking one.

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