How to win March Madness

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A sample of the NCAA tournament bracket from previous years.

March Madness is the most exhilarating moment throughout the season for any college basketball fan. For those that aren’t fans, it’s also an opportunity to earn bragging rights or win money. Creating brackets with colleagues, friends or family is a fun activity that many students and teachers take part in at AHS.

This year the tournament begins on March 19.

It is pretty much impossible to predict every game correctly. The tournament consists of 68 teams, then proceeds to dwindle down to 16, and eventually one champion. The most exciting periods of March Madness are from the Sweet 16 to the Elite eight, and then the Final four.

The pools consist of each person putting in a set amount of money, and then creating a bracket of the teams that they believe will win each game. The person with the highest amount of points then wins. Regular wins are worth one point, and upsets are worth two. An upset is when a lower ranked team beats a higher seed.

One notable thing about the NCAA tournament is the fact that any team can win. Whether it is a number one seed or a number 16 seed, the chances do not change. This element illustrates the magic of the tournament.

This mystery, the fact that any one team can win, leads many people to participate in competitions predicting what the outcome will be. However, many make the mistake of choosing teams that are ranked higher, losing vital points when upsets occur.

The key to winning an NCAA pool is to have a combination of upsets and regular wins in your bracket. While it is tempting to pick the higher seed team every time, upsets have been known to mess up an entire bracket.

Although it does take some skill to choose the correct teams to win and who will get the upset, it is mostly a game of luck. No one person can one hundred percent predict which team is going to play well.

If you’re trying to win a bracket, study up on the teams that are most likely going to be in the tournament. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses can help you spot a good match up. If you are really into the tournament, take the time to read articles on each of the teams and predictions made by sports writers. Their ideas may conflict, but you’ll get an understanding of what you should know about each team. Another easy way to make a good bracket is to know the coaching styles of each team’s head coach. Older coaches will often fare better in the tournament due to the fact that they have more experience.

Although knowing college basketball is important to doing well in March Madness predictions, luck has just as much to do with it. Some of the closest brackets have been chosen based on strange things such as mascots or school colors. Creating your brackets based on these things can make the experience much more fun and exciting.