The time of the year has rolled around again where sports fans everywhere begin to prepare themselves for the annual excitement of March Madness. The NBAA Tournament is one of the great basketball highlights of the year and creating the perfect March Madness Bracket is a highly debated task by game lovers all over the country. This year, the bracket was leaked only 20 minutes into the Sunday Selection show, so fans have had more time than ever to scrutinize and narrow down their selection. We’ve compiled a few tips to help sport lovers everywhere fill out a killer bracket and make the most of this year’s tournament.
You might always have a special place for your own college team in your heart or there may be a certain player that you have a bit of a soft spot for. Unfortunately, relying on your own personal biases when crafting your bracket will not take you very far. Relying on loyalty and naively placing your personal favorites as champions is sure to lose your win in the office pool or the bet between you and your friends. You know your team best out of anyone, so it’s down to you to make a rational and logical choice when placing them.
More often that not, the easiest way to create a well thought-out bracket is to work from the overall winner. Consider all factors, how the teams have competed this season, and then select a final four. From here, you can make decisions on each previous match, basing the scores on the result that will lead your winning teams into their spots of victory. The biggest choices always come with the final rounds so getting them out of the way first avoids difficult decisions down where there are far more outcomes to decide on.
Don’t Just Back No.1 Seeds
Many people rely on the fact that the No. 1 seeds have already been decided as the best of their pods. Just because statistically they’ve come out top of the bunch, doesn’t necessarily mean that will translate into results. Although there’s been a No.1 final score clean sweep once before, in 2008, the odds of it happening again are an extremely underwhelming 57:1. Particularly as this shapes up to be one of the most unpredictable seasons ever, it’s highly likely that some of the best teams might slip up and a few underdogs will pull through.
Consider Outside Factors
Team rankings and statistics may seem like a solid way to lay your bet, but plenty more goes into these games than just what has been put down on paper. Knowing your geography is an important factor when deciding on winners as long journeys and unfamiliar climates all play a bit part in each players performance. It’s easy to be off your game after long-haul flights and time zone changes. Similarly, recent injuries and media scandals also have a big affect, so it’s worth doing the research and identifying any potential factors that could influence the game play. This may be time consuming, but there are plenty of resources to help you scour the whole of the internet for clues!
Keep Controversial Decisions Early On
Everyone wants to have predicted a controversial result. Picking a No.16 seed team to triumph over a No.1 seed team may be a terrible idea, unless it actually happens! Then you become king of the bracket and get to lord your victory over everyone who went for the more predictable option.
However, if you are going to take the chance and aim to guess right on one of these surprise results, it’s best to do so early on in the bracket. In the beginning stages, teams are being knocked out all over the place, so the chances are you’re going to get one wrong anyway—might as well go fro broke! However, once you get into the final 16, the importance of each match increases and throwing away an important win could ruin your entire chance at coming out on top.
We’re all waiting in anticipation for this year’s March Madness to kick off, and once we’ve designed our killer bracket, all that’s left is to wait for the games to begin! If you have any more tips on making predications or have your own tried and tested system to fill out your bracket, be sure to leave a comment below and share you ideas with other NBAA fans.