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5 Tips and Tricks for you Bracket

Travis Stedman, Sports Editor

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Spring break is right around the corner, and with that comes the annual NCAA March Madness. You have better chances of winning the lottery then selecting a perfect bracket, but hopefully theses 5 tips and tricks will help you get closer to that perfect bracket.

Classic 12-5 Upset:

The most common upset in the history of March Madness is the 12 seed beating the 5 seed. This year should continue that trend. The most likely 12 seed to pull off the upset is Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. The Blue Raiders last year pulled off a win last year as a 15 seed defeating the 2 seed Michigan State which many though could win it all last year. Middle Tennessee returns with an even better team with experience. The second most likely 12 seed to pull off the upset is UNC Wilmington. They are facing Virginia, which plays some of the best defense than any other team in tournament allowing just 55 points a game, but also has one of the worst and inconsistent offense.  UNC Wilmington is led by a veteran senior team that puts up 84 points a game, so it will come down to which strength is better, Virginia’s defense or Wilmington’s offense.  I would advise against picking Princeton to beat Notre Dame because Notre Dame is one the hottest teams entering the tournament and same goes for Iowa State. However the 12 seed magic runs out after their first game, so I suggest stay away from advancing any of them into your sweet 16.

#1 Seeds As a Champion:

The first step in getting the most points possible is guessing the winner correct. The most common seed to win the National Championship is the #1 seed. 1 seeds have won seven of the last 10 march tournaments. This year’s number ones are; Gonzaga, North Carolina, Kansas, and defending national champion Villanova. All of these teams have great guard play which is key to any tournament run, but most importantly they all have depth and an experience coach/team. Although it is hard to choose one of these 1 seeds over another, I suggest that you choose one of these teams as your champion, but don’t put all 4 of the 1 seeds in your final four because that has only happened once.

Avoid Picking a Big Ten or Pac 12 as your Champ:

These two major conferences have not produced a national champion over the last 16 seasons. The Big Ten’s Michigan State won in 2000, and Arizona won it for the then-Pac-10 in 1997. Big ten Teams in this year’s tournament include: Purdue, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Michigan State. PAc-12 Teams include: Arizona, UCLA, USC.

#2 Mayhem

Only one time in the past 20 NCAA Tournaments have all four No. 2 seeds made the Sweet 16. Simply incredible. I think the most likely two seed to go down this season is Louisville. I believe they will get past their first game with ease but find trouble with round of 32 matchup with either Michigan or Oklahoma State. Both Michigan and OSU rank in the top 10 in offense efficiency, and a team that can put the ball in the basket will always have a chance to pull off the upset.

Be sporadic

Do not be afraid to go against the popular pick, the great thing about March Madness is the madness. Nobody ever expects all the upsets so the best thing to do is be willing to pick the team that everybody else is afraid to pick. Sure, that doesn’t mean picking 16 seeds to beat 1 seeds, but still. Lastly, if you are torn between a selection, ask somebody who doesn’t know much or anything about basketball.

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