For as competitive as I am, and for as much as I enjoy the game of basketball; I have no idea why it’s only been since I got married that I got wrapped up in March Madness. Similar to fantasy football in that way but once I started playing them both I was in sports heaven. Even if you’re not a big sports fan filling out a bracket for the Tourney and following along can still offer tons of fun. Chances are a lot of your co-workers and friends are playing too so it will give you more water cooler conversation as well.
I’m going to give you tips for filling out your March Madness 2016 NCAA Tourney Bracket whether it’s your first year or the year that you want to figure out exactly what it is you’re doing :).
Get your bracket. These are either the paper kind if you have a pool of some sort with friends or co-workers or they’re filled out online. Here are some places you can enter the tourney online
Step Two/Round One
Start with the outermost games. If want to play it safe go for the higher ranked team (which are listed on your bracket). There is usually one or two big upsets in this round but it’s a really low chance that you can pick the right one (even if they win they usually don’t make it past the sweet sixteen) so it’s better that you just pick the obvious.
When you are choosing between an 8 and 9 seed anything could happen. Try looking at which school has traveled the farthest, do research if you care, or just pick based off the jersey:). It’s really 50/50 here. This is the round that there is usually an upset, and usually one of those is a 12 seed over a five so I would pick at least one of those. Some advice that I love is:
In other words, don’t go crazy. If you have a hunch on a couple of upsets and just want to have fun go for it. Plenty of the higher seeded teams will still advance so keep that in mind!
Step Three/Round Two
This is the round where plenty of brackets get busted (meaning you picked a team to go far and the are out early, which screws everything up). Stick to a similar strategy as Step Two.
Step Four/Sweet Sixteen
Usually, this is the round where the Cinderella/underdog teams stop their run (sadly). History shows the higher seeded teams make it on to the next round a higher percentage of the time and the 13 or 14 seed NEVER has.
Step Five/Elite 8
Similar to the Sweet Sixteen, usually the higher seeds go on. No 6 seed has ever made it on to the next round (the Final Four), and very rarely do any double-digit seeded teams progress either.
Step Six/Final Four
Similar strategy here; the highest seed to make the Final Four has gone on to win the championship 16 of 22 times in the last 25 years. So pick the higher seed if you want a better chance or buck the trend and see where it takes you!
Step Seven/National Championship
Pick your winner!
Here are some extra cheat sheet tips that I found helpful.
Have fun! We like to have the brackets up on our fridge where we cross out our incorrect picks (of which there are a lot) and highlight the winning picks.
There are plenty of apps that can help you track your progress and of course it’s all over TV. There are too many games to watch them all and technically you don’t have watch any of the games, but that’s part of the fun! Especially rooting for those Cinderella teams and falling in love with their stories. Anything can happen in March Madness!