1) Pick a winner first and advance them all the way to the winner circle. One of the most common mistakes when filling out a bracket is NOT picking the overall winner. It is tricky because often the last game is not the same pick method or it is hidden a bit by the tie breaker.
Hint pick a #1 seed as they have won about 15% of the time.
2) Turn in your bracket on time. Remember the play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday are now called the "Round 1" games. Round 2 starts Thursday and the first tipoff is the deadline when most brackets need to be submitted.
3) The Top Seeds are top seeds for a reason.
#1 seeds make the final four 40% of the time. Pick two #1 seeds to make final four.
Number 2 seeds make the final four 23% of the time and...
Number 3 seeds make the final four 8% of the time
Number 4 seeds make it 6% (Number 6 do so 4%)
So pick two to three #1 seeds to advance and then add in a couple of #2 or #3 seeds. Have them win all their games into the final four.
Hint: If you add up all the seeds in the final four you should not exceed seven as a rule of thumb. So if you have two #1 seeds and a #3 seed do not pick anything but a 1 or 2 seed to finish out the final four.
4) Use the bookies to pick the winners of the close games-i.e the 8/9 seeds in Round 2. Usually these are 50/50 matchups.
5) Look for upsets in the 5/12 matchups and the 7/10 matchups. The underdogs win 36% in 5 v 12 matchups and 40% in 7 vs 10.
So pick one or two as upsets from category.
6) Do not pick a #1 seed to lose in their first game. They have never done so.
7) Only pick 6th or higher seeds to win in later rounds. Again the higher seeds usually win.
8) Look at home field advantage and momentum going into the tourney. I also get some extra help from Jeff Sagarin and his rankings!
9) Play in all the free brackets-they are free and you never know.
10) If you pick an 8 seed to upset the #1 seed in the third round then advance them to the Elite 8. And in general if you pick a team to upset continue to have them win until they face a team higher than the team they faced. So if you think the #13 will beat #4 in round 2 keep them winning the next game vs #5 seed.
My 2016 Picks
Final Four: (that's 6 if you are counting seeds)
Kansas, UNC, Virginia, Texas A+M (upset 3 seed)
Kansas vs Virginia (homer pick to win it 65-58)
Upset picks: Syracuse,
Long shot to win it all: Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame, Duke
Sleeper to go far: Pittsburgh (10 seed)
How did I do last year?
My 2015 Picks
Final Four: (that's 7 if you are counting seeds)
Kentucky, Duke, Arizona and Oklahoma
(actual were Duke, KY, Wisconsin and MSU(7th seed)-so I got two of four)
Arizona vs Duke (Got Duke and picked them to win it all too!!!!)
Long shot to win it all: UNC (lost in regional after 2 wins), Maryland (one win and one loss), Baylor (lost in 1st rd by 1 point)
Sleeper to go far: NC State (lost in regional after 2 Wins)
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