NCAA Tournament: Picking A Bracket

Win­ning your pool at work or with your friends can be a dif­fi­cult thing to do, espe­cially if you don’t watch much col­lege bas­ket­ball. Trust me, I’ve been fill­ing out brack­ets since I can remem­ber, and also trust me when I say this: THERE IS NO EXACT SCIENCE TO FILLING OUT A PERFECT BRACKET. But for those of you who don’t watch much col­lege bas­ket­ball or for those of you who watch a lot of col­lege bas­ket­ball, here are a few tips that might help you when fill­ing out your bracket.

When fill­ing out your bracket, here is some­thing you NEED to know: A No. 1 seed has NEVER lost to a No. 16 seed, EVER. So now that you know the chances of all four No. 1 seeds advanc­ing is nearly 100 per­cent, fill in Florida, Ari­zona, Wichita State, and Vir­ginia to advance to the next round.

The No. 2 vs No. 15 seeds are semi-interesting this year. Since 2004, a No. 2 seed has lost to a No. 15 seed only three times, with all three of those times com­ing since 2012. All of the No. 2 seeds (Kansas, Wis­con­sin and Michi­gan) look strong this sea­son. The one I’m not so sure about: Vil­lanova. I could see them los­ing to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Since 2004, N0. 14 seeds are 4–36 against No. 3 seeds, and this year’s No. 3 seeds are all pow­er­house teams except for Creighton. Creighton is in the West Region of the bracket, a region in which New Mex­ico lost to Har­vard last year. Watch out Creighton!

The No. 13 seed is 9–31 against the No. 4 seed, and it aver­ages out to just under one win a tour­na­ment for a 13 seed to beat a 4 seed. Out of the nine vic­to­ries, four have been from the West Region of the bracket and three have been from the Mid­west Region. This year, defend­ing National Cham­pion Louisville is the No. 4 seed in the Mid­west and they are about as hot as any team head­ing into the tour­na­ment. The No. 4 seed in the West Region is Sand Diego State. They have to play a tough New Mex­ico State team in the first round. NM State has a lot of size and that could spell trou­ble for SDSU.

The No. 12 seed has seem a lot of suc­cess in knock­ing off the No. 5 seed over the past decade. They have a record of 17–23 with wins com­ing in every region. This year’s No. 12 seeds are: S.F. Austin, North Dakota State, Har­vard, and NC State/Xavier (play-in game). If you want to pick an upset or two, take S.F. Austin to beat Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­sity and Har­vard to beat Cincinnati.

No. 11 seeds have a record of 14–26 against No. 6 seeds, but have an 8–8 record over the past four tour­na­ments. If you are look­ing to pick against No. 6 seed in this tour­na­ment, pick Prov­i­dence over North Car­olina. North Car­olina doesn’t shoot the three-ball well (almost dead-last in the nation in made threes). Also, if Ten­nessee beats Iowa in their play-in game, I could see Ten­nessee sneak­ing pass Mass­a­chu­setts because Ten­nessee has some seri­ous size inside.

No. 7 vs No. 10 is a toss-up. Even though the No. 7 seed holds a 25–15 record, on even num­bered years, the No. 10 seed is 9–11. 2014 is an even num­bered year. I could see THREE No. 10 seeds advanc­ing to the round of 32. St. Joseph’s, Ari­zona State, and BYU all have the abil­ity to run past their oppo­nent. It wouldn’t sur­prise me to see at least two No. 7 seeds go down in the first round.

Finally, the tough­est matchup of them all: No. 8 vs No. 9. While the No. 8 seeds holds a slight mar­gin in the win col­umn (22–18), I think at least two No. 9 seeds will advance. (Hint: Pitts­burgh and Okla­homa State). But like I said ear­lier, this is the tough­est matchup to predict.

Good luck!

Print Friendly