NCAA Bracket Advice

Posted: March 12, 2012 in NCAA
Tags: , , , , ,

March Madness is wonderful. So many people, many of whom don’t know the difference between and basketball and a pumpkin, get involved because they fill out pool sheets.

Is there a workplace that doesn’t have a bracket? Very few, that’s for sure.

And, it seems, every workplace has that obnoxious know-it-all who thinks he’s clearly the smartest guy. He’s the nerd who has studied every team. He can tell you right down to who’s the fifth guy ff the bench. He can rattle off the statistics of every team and every player. He knows the postseason record of every coach.

He scoffs at you when you turn in your bracket. You want to slap the smug look off his face.

Well, I’m here to tell you no one has much of a clue as to what’s going to happen in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It is the most unpredictable of all postseason sports tournaments. There are 334 Division 1 teams. 68 made the tournament field. Few people, if any, have seen them all play. Most of us haven’t seen more than half of them, in fact.

My guess is 98 percent of winning the pool in your office is luck.

Having filled out brackets for more than 50 years I can offer you a few do’s and don’t.

Do’s include:

• Pick all No. 1 seeds to beat No. 16 seeds because no No. 16 has ever beaten a No. 1.

• Pay no attention to the size (enrollment) of a school. In football, the big schools nearly always beat the small schools. That is not the case in basketball. Enrollment is a non-factor.

• Take more into account how teams played the second half of the season instead of the entire season. Because so many of the better players leave school early for the NBA, many of the better teams are loaded with freshmen and sophomores and it takes those teams a half of season to start playing close to their potential.

• In the early rounds take into consideration if a team is loaded with upperclassmen. Experience may not be a factor late in the tournament but it is early.

Don’t include:

• Eliminate a school because you’ve never heard of it.

• Eliminate a school because you’ve heard of the conference it plays in.

• Laugh at anyone else’s picks.

• Take anyone else’s advice including mine.

 

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