Here we sit, just a week or so away from the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and I don’t have a clue how to fill out my bracket. The #1 team in the country is Gonzaga? Sure, they have a solid program and they are the conference champions, but can the West Coast Conference champ make a deep run in the tournament? That’s something I’m wrestling with right now. On St. Patrick’s Day the NCAA selection show will reveal all 68 teams in the tournament, so come Monday you can start filling out your bracket. I’m here to give you some handy tips to help your cause (and chances of winning your bracket). I’m no bracketologist, but I’ve done a little research and come up with the following 5 nuggets to improve your chances:
1. No #16 seed has ever beaten a #1 seed. Don’t get cute and try to pick a #16 seed to beat a #1 seed.
2. 2008 was the only time all four #1 seeds advanced to the Final Four. Chances are they all won’t make it this year…
3. Only six times have two #1 seeds faced off for the championship. You can’t pick all “chalk” for your bracket. Upsets will happen.
4. Since the tournament went to the 64 team format, the #8 seeds have a losing record against #9 seeds (54-58). Don’t hesitate to pick at least two #9 seeds to upset #8 seeds.
5. The dangerous #5 vs. #12 matchup produces an upset roughly once every three games. Only twice in the last 23 years have all #5 seeds advanced to the round of 32. Make sure to pick a #12 seed this year.
Once the field is announced, make sure to hit our NCAA Tournament page for fresh tourney gear and everything you need to cheer on your favorite teams this March (and April).