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5 Tips to Dominate March Madness

Several of the organizations on campus started March Madness pools as a fun, competitive way to bond. If you aren’t a sports fan but don’t want pick teams based on your favorite colors, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some quick and easy tips to win your pool and look like an expert.


1. Number ones and number twos aren’t overrated

Crazy things do happen, but for the most part, number one and number two seeds are a good bet. In the past 30 tournaments, a number one or number two seed has won it all 21 times. Since the start of seeding in 1979, at least one number one seed has made it to Final Four all but three times. Be careful not to go all-in on the number one seeds, though. Only once has all four number one seeds comprised the Final Four. Number one overall Kentucky is predicted to win it all, and all accounts look like it will do so. The Wildcats finished off the regular season undefeated, and they are playing like an NBA team. Personally, I suggest not picking them. If everyone is doing it, then the only way you can win your pool is to venture outside the box!


2. The number five seed curse

For some reason, number five seeds always struggle against 12 seeds. Only three times since the tournament began have all four number five seeds been able to pull off a victory. In 2013 and 2014, three number 12 seeds came out on top in the first round. It’s safe and a good idea to put two number 12 seeds in the second round.


3. What to do about the rest of the double-digits

While 12 seeds tend to be a good bet, seeds higher than 12 aren’t as successful. Since the tournament began, only seven teams seeded 13-15 have made it to the Sweet 16. No number 16 seed has ever won in the first round. 11 seeds can be trusted a little more, with at least one 11 seed toppling a six seed every year for ten straight tournaments. Also keep in mind that at least one double-digit seed has made it to the Sweet 16 in 28 of the last 30 years.


4. Historic bracket busters

Some teams have a history of being successful, and some teams are regulars for disappointment. Georgetown is a good team from which to expect disappointment. The Hoyas haven’t been able to find a rhythm in the tournament in recent years, failing to make it to the Sweet 16 in their last five tournament appearances. Notre Dame has also been known to flop as of late. The Fighting Irish have two tournament wins in their last six trips.


Ohio State and North Carolina, on the other hand, can be expected to win at least one game each. Tom Izzo and his Michigan State Spartans can also swing an upset or two.  Michigan State finished the season strong, taking number one seeded Wisconsin to overtime in the Big Ten tournament. This is important because the way a team ends the season can be basically be an accurate depiction of how that team will continue to play.


5. Conference champions stay hot

If you want to do some research, look at how teams ended their seasons. You want to pick teams that are playing their best basketball right now. Conference tournament champions include Kentucky, Villanova, Notre Dame, Iowa State, Arizona and Wisconsin. On the other hand, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Texas, Utah and VCU are in the midst of cold patches. March Madness is enough pressure; it’s very hard for teams to make a strong turnaround after ending the year on a losing streak.



My final four are Kentucky, Wisconsin, Virginia, Iowa State. Good luck!



Photo: deadline.com

Cover photo: whoufm.com
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