One of the best things about March Madness is playing a bracket pool. It's well documented how difficult it is to create a perfect bracket (odds have been calculated to be 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 - or 1 in 9.2 quintillion). Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve your odds of winning.
You don't have to be a college basketball nerd to benefit from a little selection advice. So pause your Internet search for "best team colors" and take in our ten tips to improve your odds of winning your bracket pool…
1. Know your pool's format.
If your pool progressively adds more points for picking teams that advance farther, then spend less time worrying about picking upsets - there's less value in it.
2. Location. Location. Location.
Teams that play closer to home benefit from the shorter travel times and get a lift from cheering crowds. Take a look and see who has to travel the farthest and be wary of them against a similar seeded team. Last year, South Carolina got to play in Greenville, SC just over 100 miles from home. This was no doubt a factor in their second-round upset of Duke last year.
3. Avoid just picking all No. 1 seeds.
All No. 1 seeds rarely to make it to the Final Four. Pick one to lose because they almost always do. The only time all four teams were No. seeds all made the Final Four was in 2008.
4. Don't ever pick a 16 seed to win.
A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 in the history of the tournament and it's not likely to happen this year.
5. Strength of schedule matters.
Teams from weaker conferences with a lot of wins against subpar teams are more likely to flame out along the way.
6. Find a team you like seeded 10 or higher.
It's likely one of them will make it to the Sweet 16. Every year a team in this range makes it past the second round.
7. No. 6 seeds are jinxed.
A No. 6 seed has not made the Final Four in the last 26 years.
8. No. 5 vs. No. 12 can be upsetting.
Greatest odds of an upset occur between games that match No. 5 seeds vs. No. 12 seeds.
9. Don't be lazy.
Copying someone's bracket and using it as your own is lazy and you're no more likely to win than if you tossed darts.
10. Don't be "that person."
Filling out multiple brackets and then bragging later when your "other bracket" is doing well is weak. Don't be that person.
If you need to view a tournament schedule and some possible upsets, read our blog article "March Madness - Complete First Four and Round One Schedules."
If you're tired of sitting at home obsessing over your bracket and want to see your favorite team live, Event Tickets Center can hook you up.