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How to Pick a Winning Bracket

Posted by Kristin Herl on Mar 10, 2015 10:15:52 AM
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Now is the time to start signing up for the various NCAA men's basketball tournament brackets in hopes that this year you will find the recipe for bracket success. With so many contests, you can try a different strategy for each one you sign up for. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Preferred Mascot - I am partial to Bulldogs, so if a Bulldog team is competing, that is the team I am rooting for. 
  • Team Colors - It may be strange, but for some reason, when a team has better colors, it is easier to cheer for them. 
  • Favorite Conference - Regardless if the the team is ranked 1 or 10, always choose the teams in your favorite conference to win.
  • Tournament Ranking - This is probably the easiest, just choose the team with the highest ranking to win. It only becomes difficult with your need to pick a winner between to teams that are ranked.
  • School Name - Sometimes when I can't decide, I choose which name I like better. Some of my favorite school names are Wake Forrest, Gonzaga, Xavier and Virginia Commonwealth.
However, if you want a strategy that has a little more science behind it, I found an article from USA Today that listed 8 mathematically proven tips for picking a bracket. These methods were developed by Dr. Tim Chartier, a professor of mathematics at Davidson College. If you are serious about winning this year, maybe you should consider using these eight tips in your bracket strategy.
  1. Strength of Schedule - The harder the team had to work to get to the tournament the better they are positioned for a successful run during the tournament. 
  2. Recency - Does the team have mojo coming into the tournament or were they starting to experience a sluggish streak.
  3. Extended Winning Streaks - You need to win six games to become the champion. Find out which teams had a winning streak of at least six games during the season and how recent was that winning streak?
  4. Winning on the Road - Every game in the tournament is a road game. So if the team has not been able to win on the road in the regular season, they will probably struggle in the tournament.
  5. Winning Close Games - If a team did not prevail in down-to-the-buzzer games during the season, they may struggle when faced with a games like that during the tournament.
  6. Ignore Winning Percentage - There are many factors that could lead to a team having a good winning percentage but not doing well in the tournament. Ask yourself...What was their schedule strength? How recent were their wins? 
  7. Don't Ignore Intution - Intuition can help you fill in the blanks.
  8. Don't Root for the Home Team(s) - We all want to root for the home team, but consider the other tips before choosing to take them to the championship game.

For more information about these tips and how they can help you pick a winneing bracket, check out the complete USA Today article at-  http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/03/ncaa-tournament-bracket-math-picking-brackets.

However you decide to make your picks, remember to have fun!

Try your bracket strategy by participating in Nex-Tech's March Mania Contest

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Topics: Tips and Tricks