It is that time of year again, and my personal favorite time of the year: March Madness!!!
According to Forbes, March Madness will lead to, “$134 million in “lost wages” over the first two days, as an estimated three million employees spend one to three hours watching games and checking scores, instead of working.”
Hopefully you can multitask if you decide to give some attention to the tournament when the games begin, but for now, let’s focus on how to build a successful bracket.
Whether you desperately want to beat Tim in HR who won the pool last year and knows nothing about basketball, or you really want to beat Robin, your VP of Sales who is a know it all at sports, this article will give 5 simple tips that will help you win your office pool.
The #12 vs #5 match-up
In 29 of the last 33 years, a #12 seed has beaten a #5 seed Number 12 seeds have won 35 percent of games over this same period of time. Conversely, the #5 seed still wins 71% of these match-ups, but it would be a safe bet to pick at least one #12 to beat a #5.
Don’t count on the #15 or #16 seeds.
In the history of the March Madness tournament, there has only been one #16 seed to upset a #1 seed. Of course this was last year with UMBC beating UVA. A #15 seed has beaten a #2 seed only eight times ever, including the upset of Middle Tennessee State over Michigan State in 2016. Since this is pretty unlikely, however, it would be your best bet to choose all #1 and #2 seeds to win in the first round.
Number 1 seeds are number 1 for a reason
Number one seeds are 132-1 against #16 seeds, but how do they fare after this matchup? After a #1 seed beats a #16 seed, they play the winner of the #8/#9 matchup. The #1 seed has won this next matchup over 85% of the time. So, a #1 seed has a very high chance of progressing to the Sweet 16. With all this in mind, it would be a safe bet to have all #1 seeds in your Sweet 16. However, when picking your Final Four, remember that all #1 seeds advancing to the Final Four has only happened once since 1979 — This occurred in 2008.
Pick the National Champion Correctly…DUH!
In almost all scoring systems, including Yahoo, CBS, and ESPN, the most points are awarded for picking the national champion correctly. It is rare to win a bracket pool when you missing the national champion selection. My favorites currently to win it all- Duke, Gonzaga, Kentucky & Tennessee
Know your US Geography!
This nice thing about filling out a bracket is that you have Google at your fingertips. A school’s distance from its home court is an important factor when making picks. Travel can sway a matchup one way or the other, especially when teams are flying cross-country, and far away from their campus. A team playing in their home state, or close to will help out a team and increase their chances of winning a game.
This is March Madness, and anything can happen, but following these 5 simple principles will help you gain a leg on your competition. Feel free to comment below on any other tips that you use when picking games that have helped you in the past. Good Luck and you can also read my article Betting Tips to be Profitable this March Madness, for betting best practices on March Madness games in the first round.
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