March Madness is upon us once again, and it’s time to start filling out your bracket. By following these 10 useful tips, you could just be the 1 in 9.2 quintillion who achieves a perfect bracket.
1. Know your scoring system
Get familiar with your bracket scoring. Are upsets weighted more? Do correct picks multiply each round you’re right? These factors could help you determine whether you can afford to give into that perennial impulse to pick your alma mater’s rival to make an early exit.
2. Forget the No. 16 seeds
We get it. Everybody loves an underdog story and while it my be tempting to pick a No. 16 seed like Texas Southern to upset a powerhouse like North Carolina, it’s NEVER happened before in the 70+ years the tournament has been around.
3. And while you’re at it, forget Cinderella too
They are called Cinderella teams for a reason, and the clock will eventually strike midnight. Only four double-digit seeds have ever made it to the Final Four. Cinderella who?
4. Pick upsets early
Picking upsets isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In last year’s tournament, 10 double-digit seeds won first-round games. Don’t get overzealous though, and we kindly ask you again to stay away from those No. 16 seeds.
5. Experience matters
15 of the past 17 national championships have been won by coaches with previous Final Four experience. Think twice before choosing a team (UCLA) to win it all.
6. Live by the three, die by the three
In this case, you live. Stick with teams that can make it rain. Since 1987, only six teams have won the title shooting less than 35% from beyond the arc.
7. Check the Vegas Odds
Why not, it’s free. And it can help you make a decision on the erratic 8-9 games.
8. Easy as 1,2,3
In the past 15 years, only one champion has been seeded lower than No. 3.
9. Blue rhymes with woohoo
Twelve of the last 13 national champions had blue as a school color.
10. Have Fun
Come on, it’s the most magical time of the year.