March is one of the most exciting times of the year for the sports world because of the NCAA Tournament. It's intense, entertaining, miraculous, heart-jolting or heart-breaking for loyal fans, hence why it's dubbed "March Madness."
There is always a game on television, and any game has the potential to be the unbelievable game of the century.
Other than supporting your main team, the fun of March Madness is filling out a bracket. According to ESPN, 11.57 million people, some of them not even sports fans, filled out an NCAA tournament bracket through their website. Some did it for the thrill, while others did it for bragging rights or money.
The former president of the United States Barack Obama even took the time to fill out a bracket every year, although current president Donald Trump declined to ESPN this year to keep this newly acquired tradition alive.
However, of those millions of brackets last year on ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, after two days only .0024 percent of brackets remained perfect.
Here are some tips from someone who has tossed out his bracket after the second day, to being a three-time champion in a league with over 200 people.
Although filling out a bracket can’t be perfected by science, there are certain things you can do, based on history, to have a better chance of winning your friends league, work league, family league or ESPN NCAA Tournament Challenge.
Make a bracket with more than seven upsets and a bracket with less than five upsets. Also, in one of those brackets, have your favorite team win it all, because you don’t want to be that person that didn’t have their team winning it all and then it happens that they win it all, and on the other, a team you believe has the potential to win it all.
Don’t be that person that spends thousands of dollars or bets their house on a bracket (yes it happens). March Madness can win you some money, but don’t go overboard. A person flipping a coin can have just as great of a chance as someone who maps out each scenario.
Tips for the round of 64 teams:
Upsets are what make March Madness so interesting. However, a No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed. Picking an upset at this level of the bracket is not the place to do it. If you are going to pick an upset, a prime spot to do so would be the No. 5 vs. the No. 12 and/or the No. 7 vs. the No. 10.
Another interesting stat is the No. 9 seed has beaten the No. 8 seed more times than they have lost. It would be smart to pick the No. 9 seed in two of the regions (Midwest, West, East, and South) and the No. 8 seed in the other two regions.
Tips for the Final Four:
Having all four No. 1 seeds reach the final four is extremely rare. It has only happened one time, back in 2008. Do not put all No. 1 seeds in the Final Four. The No. 9 and 10 seeds have never reached the Final Four since 1985, when the league expanded to 64 teams.
Who should you put in the Final Four? A happy combination to put into the Final Four would be a maximum of two No. 1 seeds, a No. 2 seed and either another No. 2 seed or a No. 3 seed.
Tips for the Championship:
A No. 1 seed vs. a No. 2 seed seems to be the combination that works for me. The No. 1 seed has won the Tournament 52 percent of the time, therefore choosing a No. 1 seed is the logical decision to win it all.
March Madness can make you feel on top of the world, or down in the pits. Don’t miss out on the fun of filling out a bracket because you don’t know where to start.
—Edited by Paola Alor