Adam Sebastian ‘19: The annual NCAA Tournament begins its first round of play on Thursday, March 15 and finishes with the National Championship game on Monday, April 2, 2018. A tournament of sixty-eight teams split into four divisions and then ranked one through sixteen. With the NCAA tournament comes the excitement and hysteria of filling out a bracket. Individuals have roughly four days to predict the winners of every game leading all the way to the Championship game. With all of the ‘madness’ of the tournament and various upsets, how is someone supposed to fill out the perfect bracket? Despite the long odds to fill out a perfect bracket, 1 in 9.2 quintillion in fact, people around the country give it their best shot anyways.

“I don’t know much about basketball,” Devin Palmer ‘19 said. “I usually look between ranking or research who each team has played and their rankings.”

Fortunately, with minimal basketball knowledge required to fill out a bracket, almost any one can complete one. The numerous way brackets can be picked include simply picking the higher seed, picking your favorite team color scheme, and even the favorite mascot of all the teams.

“I just pick whatever team I have heard of or whatever team my friends always talk about,” Julia Fadanelli ‘19 said.  

Another option for filling out a bracket is to select your favorite school mascots. Spartans, Wolverines, Wildcats, Tigers, or Bulldogs. Pick your favorite to advance, It’s as simple as that.  

Perhaps choosing your favorite color scheme suits you better than learning every team’s  mascot. For example, red and black v. blue and white, and the favorite scheme moves on. While picking you favorite color, remember that a team with the color blue as part of their color scheme has won the last thirteen of fourteen championships. Does history repeat itself or does your favorite color unseat the blue precedence?

If choosing you favorite color or favorite mascot proves to much work for you, maybe the best suited way is to simply flip a coin. Heads or tails. Each team has a fifty-fifty chance to advance. No knowledge at all, just a coin and a pen.

However, upsets prove hard to predict. Popular upset picks include a twelve seed defeating a five seed or an eleven seed defeating a six. Over the last thirty-one tournaments (excluding 2017), the twelve seed has one forty-four times while the eleven seed as won forty-three times, which proves much higher than any other seed below the twelve slot. However a great deal of luck comes in picking an upset.

“Usually my upset picks are completely accidents,” Palmer said.
The NCAA Tournament brackets become locked on Thursday, March 15 when the first game tips off. Happy bracketing and good luck to everyone!

Sources:

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/14982444/5-vs-12-matchup

https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertszczerba/2015/03/17/bracketology-101-picking-a-perfect-bracket-is-actually-easier-than-you-think/&refURL=&referrer=#be8d02d2abda

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2018/03/11/ncaa-tournament-college-basketball-easy-bracket/403241002/

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