There's a method to the madness.
With the NCAA Men's basketball tournament upon us, the challenge of putting together a bracket for your office pool suddenly becomes a major time waster.
For those of you who are novices on filling out your bracket, or who simply need some advice, check out these March Madness tips.
- Just like real estate, it's all about location, location, location. To get an edge on your competitors, take a look at where the two schools play each other. For example, North Carolina play their first two games in the city of Charlotte. They have a major advantage over their opponents because of this. Meanwhile, Duke has a long way to travel. So they may have trouble in their first games.
- Always choose the one seed over the 16th seed. When filling out your bracket, don't take the 16th seed to upset the first seed because it's too much of an underdog.
- Expect upsets. A person who puts four number one seeds in the Final Four is playing it too safe. More than likely, there will only be one or two number ones in the Final Four. Upsets happen a lot in college basketball. The No. 14 seeds have a better chance than in previous years of beating the No. 3 seed this year. Don't be surprised if a No. 6 seed makes it to the Final Four.
- Know that you don't know. Anyone who is supremely confident in their picks is delusional. The top minds in college basketball can't predict if a 19-year-old forward will miss all four of his free-throw attempts. Very unlikely things happen in the NCAA Tournament, so don't be surprised if you've done all the research and you're still wrong.
- Pick your Final Four before you fill out your bracket. Take a scan of each region, and make a decision about your Final Four before you start filling out the early rounds. After that, decide the winners of your Final Four and your National Champion. When you're done with that, start filling out your earlier rounds. You get more points if you have a team going far, and you're hurt if your top teams bow out early.
- Senior leadership matters. When doing your intense research, take a look at how old the team is. Schools with lots of seniors who play significan minutes are smarter and more efficient than a team of underclassmen.
- Just because you lost your Final Four teams, doesn't mean you're out. Many people who fill out brackets vent that their team bowed out early and quickly start lamenting their choices. Little do they know that many others made that same pick, so they're in similar predicaments. So don't get discouraged if your team falls short, because many people are in the same boat.
- This is fun, so there's no pressure. Watching games and filling out your brackets is supposed to be a fun time, so don't get too intense with your selections. Over analyzing your picks will take the fun out of the seeing how these games pan out. Enjoy the fun of the most exciting tournament in sports.
No go out and fill out your bracket.
Let the Madness begin.