I ignore NCAA basketball until March Madness rolls around each year. Then, I usually plunge into selecting my brackets by reading “expert” opinions and analyses. Having made selections each year for the past 15 years or so, I’ve tweaked my selection process and have developed a few tips to help.
Do Not Select a #16 Seed
A #16 seed has never won against a #1 seed. The likelihood of this happening is so small, and so few people will select a #16 seed that even if one manages the upset of the tournament’s history, it won’t affect the brackets, because no one will have selected it.
Do Select a Few Upsets
Select a #9 seed over a #8 seed, a #10 seed over a #7 seed, even a #11 seed over a #6 seed or a #12 seed over a #5 seed. Every year, there is at least one upset like that.
Do Not Select All 1 Seeds to Advance to the Final Four
Only once have all four #1 seeds advanced to the Final Four. In 2008, Kansas defeated Davidson, and Kansas, North Carolina, Memphis, and UCLA, all #1 seeds, were in the Final Four. Usually, at least one #1 seed will find themselves watching the Final Four on television.
Do Select at Least One #2, #3, or #4 Seed to Advance to the Final Four
Again, only once in tournament history have all four #1 seeds advanced to the Final Four. It may happen again, but I wouldn’t risk my bracket on it happening. Sprinkle in a #2, #3, or #4 seed.
Do Not Select a Seed Lower Than a #8 Seed to Advance to the Final Four
The lowest seed (higher number) to win the NCAA tournament was #8 seeded Villanova. They accomplished this in 1985, and they are also the lowest seed to ever play in the championship game. If you do select a lower seed, do not select them to win the championship game.
Follow these tips, and even if your bracket is not a winner, you’ll at least have a respectable showing each year!