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March Madness Brackets

Tournament Basics
Picking your Bracket
March Madness Glossary
What People Will Talk About

Office Pools & Picking Your Bracket

Someone you know has probably asked you to participate in a March Madness pool. To fill out a bracket, you write the name of the team that will win the match-up in each round. The seedings (1-16) are written next to the name of the school and are your biggest aid in picking your bracket (low numbers have greatest chance of advancing). Here are a couple of strategies you can use to pick your bracket.

1. The highest seed and modify approach.

Pros: This is the most likely outcome. Higher seeds have best chance of winning. The selection committee probably knows more than you do about the college basketball has structured the tournament in a “fair” way.

Cons: It’s kind of boring and your bracket will look like many other people’s selections. But you won’t look like an idiot. There will be plenty of upsets and it is unlikely that all four #1 seeds will advance to the final four.

My suggestion: Pick one of the #1 or #2 seeds to win the tournament. Have a minimum of 1 team that is not a #1 or #2 seed in the final 4 so that you don’t seem completely boring.

2. Steal someone else’s picks, and then make a few modifications.

Pro: Somebody else puts in the time and you just make a few tweaks.

Con: It’s not really as much fun if you use someone else’s picks.

My suggestion: ESPN analysts usually post a few free picks online. You can start with this and make a few changes.

3: Just have fun
Choose a team because their seed is your lucky number. Choose a team because you or someone you know went to that school. Here’s the thing: nobody really knows how this is going to work out and as long as you are having fun, who cares? You should note that all upsets are unlikely (for example, a #16 has never lost to a #1 seed and the lowest seed to ever win the championship was a #8 seed).

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