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March 17, 2015

How To Fill Out Your Bracket

by Trevor Vallese

Want a winning March Madness bracket? Stick to the following tips and guidelines and you just might impress your friends!

When Filling Out Your Bracket:

1. Never pick a 16-seed to upset a 1-seed

In the 76-year history of the NCAA tournament, a 16-seed (the lowest seeds in the field) have never beat a 1-seed (the highest-rated teams). And with the likes of Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin, and Villanova, it won’t happen in 2015.

2. Always pick a 12-seed to upset a 5-seed

In the last three seasons of the NCAA tournament, the 12-seeds have beaten the 5-seeds 67% of the time. Though that may seem like quite the surprise since they are seven seeds apart of one another, it has become increasingly common in recent years. Look for underdogs like SF Austin or Wofford to spring the upset.

3. Consider picking an 11-seed over a 6-seed

In the past two years, the 11-seeds are 5-3 against the 6-seeds. While that upset doesn’t always occur, Texas and Dayton (both 11-seeds) are potential picks-to-click this postseason.

4. Always pick a team with blue and white colors to make the Final Four

Since 2009, every team to win the national championship has had white in their color scheme. Five of those six teams had blue in their uniforms as well. Over 80% of teams in the Final Four since 2009 had featured colors of blue and white. Three of the top four teams in the 2015 field (Kentucky, Duke, and Villanova) showcase blue and white as their primary colors.

5. Don’t pick every 1 and 2 seed to make it to the Sweet 16

Every single 1-seed and 2-seed have survived the first round of games only once in the last 30 years. There will be an upset in there somewhere, it’s just a matter of where and when it happens.

6. Pick Purdue to advance past Cincinnati

In Purdue’s 100-year history as a basketball program, they have never lost an opening-round game. They are 14-0 all-time, and have gone even further to the Sweet 16 six of those fourteen times. Pick them to advance past the Bearcats in the 8-9 game.

7. Here are some of my favorite ¨lock¨ picks for the first round:

  • Every 1-seed will beat their opponent
  • Purdue over Cincinnati and NC State over LSU in the 8-9 matchups
  • Notre Dame over Northeastern and Kansas over New Mexico State in the 2-15 games
  • Michigan State over Georgia in the 7-10 matchup

8. Here are some of my favorite ¨upset¨ picks for the first round:

  • #10 Ohio State over #7 VCU
  • #12 SF Austin over #5 Utah
  • #13 Eastern Washington over #4 Georgetown
  • #12 Buffalo over #5 West Virginia
  • #11 UCLA over #6 SMU
  • #14 Georgia State over #3 Baylor

Have fun with your bracketology and good luck!

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