- I react emotionally
- I think I’m smarter than I actually am
- I have bias for some reason or another
- Nobody knows shit
#4 is what you should take away from this post. Unless it’s Bill Belichick giving you advice on football, be wary of everyone.
NCAA Tournament Brackets
If you don’t fill out a bracket, you’re pretty much a stick in the mud and not a fun person. This is a blanket statement because there isn’t a better tournament on the entire planet and these next 4 days of sports are one of the best times of the entire year. It takes 5 minutes, it may cost you 10 dollars, just do it and enjoy it without worrying that you don’t know anything.
A fascinating part of this tournament is people who supposedly know what they are talking about give advice. These people range from commentators, former coaches, former players, and anyone else who looks pretty for TV. What you’ll notice is everyone has varying opinions so they can’t all be right. My strategy is to listen to everyone, than compile that info into what I think works the best.
Here are the teams that the ESPN analysts pick to make the final four – Arizona, Gonzaga, UNC, Duke, Villanova, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA. There are some straggling WVU, Iowa State, Florida State, Michigan, Wichita State, and Oregon picks in there as well. That’s roughly 1/4 of all the teams in the tournament. I would not be surprised if there is a team that makes the final 4 that isn’t one of these teams.
That being said, you need to make a bracket to plays towards whatever pool you are picking. If it’s a pool with 200 people, you’d be an idiot to pick Villanova (16.4%) or UNC (15.8%) who will be this years most picked champion. Especially since we are in Philly, the only way you win outright is if you outpick the other games of 40 other people if Nova manages to win. Not happening. You need to go off grid with the Jayhawks or Arizona to give yourself the best chance.
I listen to one true source for my upsets…VEGAS. Did you know the #12 seed Middle Tennessee State is favored by 1 point over Minnesota. #10 Wichita State is 6 point favorites over Dayton. Obviously you can’t see the 2nd round spreads but at least to get an idea of how good the team you are picking as an upset. I tend to use this indicator as who I then choose to move on further.
A final thought is the conference the team plays in. You could deduce that the Big 12 is a far superior conference than the Big 10. Picking the top 4 teams (Kansas, WVU, Baylor, and Iowa State) to make runs verse (Purdue, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) makes sense. These teams mostly play each other so you have no idea what out of conference basketball looks like until this part of the year. Your guess is as good as mine.
That being said, I like to go with hot teams who won their conference championships. My brackets will have varieties of Nova, Kansas, Arizona, UNC with sprinkles of some Shocking teams, Wolverines, and Cyclones. FYI, I was close to last in my picks in last years brackets.