2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket Advice and Tips
by Aaron Smith - 3/19/2013
March Madness is here once again, which means it is time to fill out those NCAA Tournament Brackets. Passionate sports fans have been following college basketball all year long, but everyone else is jumping on board this week as March Madness brackets have a way of bringing in the public by the bunches. Before the end of this week, you’re likely to hear a lot of talk about March Madness around the office. It’s one of the best times of the year for a sports fan, and filling out that bracket never gets old!
How do you get an edge on the rest of your office pool? Many people will tell you that winning a bracket pool is simply luck, but that isn’t the case. Luck definitely doesn’t hurt, but there are some other important ways to get an edge on your competition. Every little area that gives you a small edge adds up in the long run. Often the winner of a March Madness bracket pool is decided by a point or two, so those little advantages could be the difference!
There’s always going to be some people who fill out a bracket that are completely clueless. If you are lucky, you’ll have several of them in your pool. However, you can’t count on everyone being horrendous when filling out the bracket. You’re going to have high quality competition, and those are the ones you’ll need to beat by doing your homework. Let’s take a look at some NCAA Tournament bracket tips and advice to help you finish on top in your office pool this year!
Be Careful with the Huge Upsets Early
There are going to be some big upsets early in the NCAA Tournament, but picking them is extremely difficult. A No. 15 seed has only won six times against a No. 2 seed, and a No. 14 seed wins less than 15 percent of the time. You don’t get extra points for looking like a hero and stumbling onto the biggest upset of the first weekend. Stay calm and stick with the high-quality team in the obvious matchups.
Where is the Game Being Played?
If you don’t consider where each game is being played, you are making a huge mistake. Check out the home vs. away records for many teams in the NCAA Tournament and you’ll see there is a massive dichotomy. For example, maybe you think the Memphis Tigers have a good shot at knocking off the Michigan State Wolverines this year. If you think that’s a good pick, then you should select it, but you’d be wise to remember that Michigan State would be playing a virtual home game in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Occasionally, you’ll find that the lower-seeded team will have the home-court advantage, and those are some of the best places to take a chance on an upset.
Stand Out with Unique Selections
Just following the pack and selecting similar teams as everyone else in your office pool is a losing strategy. Going against the grain is the way to go if you want to win a March Madness bracket pool. The bigger the pool, the more you need a strategy like this. You can never be completely sure who everyone in your pool will pick, but knowing their tendencies can often give you a good idea. Also, where you are located should play a role in your selections. If you are around a ton of Michigan fans, picking the Ohio State Buckeyes to go a long way is a good way to differentiate yourself from the rest of the group.
Back Coaches with Strong NCAA Tournament History
Handicapping the coaches is always a good idea in the NCAA Tournament. There are some guys who get into the NCAA Tournament and seem to find a way to win every single year. Think of the success that guys like Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino seem to have on an annual basis. On the other side, there are also coaches who can’t buy a victory in the Big Dance. Many people overlook the coaching factor when filling out a bracket, but coaches definitely make a big difference in March.
Spend Your Time Where it Counts Most
Too many people spend a bunch of time on the first couple rounds and then coast through the final few rounds. You are much better off clipping through the opening rounds quickly and then settling in and taking your time on the final few rounds. Break down the matchups closely when you are looking at teams to pencil into the Final Four rather than teams that will make your Sweet 16. It’s nearly impossible to win a bracket without doing well in the late rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Focus on the late rounds, and pile up the points late in the game!
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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