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Bracket Madness - Tips to Improve Your Odds

Ken Mack-Solden | March 12, 2018
Tips for winning your NCAA tournament bracket

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.

See the complete tournament schedule below for tickets or click here.



1-66-17
Tue
Mar 14, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: First Four - All Sessions Pass
University Of Dayton Arena - Dayton, OH
1-66-17
Tue
Mar 14, 2023
6:40 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: First Four - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
University Of Dayton Arena - Dayton, OH
1-66-17
Wed
Mar 15, 2023
6:40 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: First Four - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
University Of Dayton Arena - Dayton, OH
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
Amway Center - Orlando, FL
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
Legacy Arena at The BJCC - Birmingham, AL
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
Wells Fargo Arena - IA - Des Moines, IA
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
Golden 1 Center - Sacramento, CA
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Amway Center - Orlando, FL
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Golden 1 Center - Sacramento, CA
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Wells Fargo Arena - IA - Des Moines, IA
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Legacy Arena at The BJCC - Birmingham, AL
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Amway Center - Orlando, FL
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Legacy Arena at The BJCC - Birmingham, AL
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Wells Fargo Arena - IA - Des Moines, IA
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 16, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Golden 1 Center - Sacramento, CA
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
Ball Arena - Denver, CO
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
Greensboro Coliseum At Greensboro Coliseum Complex - Greensboro, NC
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - All Sessions Pass
MVP Arena - Albany, NY
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Ball Arena - Denver, CO
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Greensboro Coliseum At Greensboro Coliseum Complex - Greensboro, NC
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
MVP Arena - Albany, NY
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
MVP Arena - Albany, NY
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Greensboro Coliseum At Greensboro Coliseum Complex - Greensboro, NC
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 17, 2023
6:30 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Ball Arena - Denver, CO
1-66-17
Sat
Mar 18, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
Golden 1 Center - Sacramento, CA
1-66-17
Sat
Mar 18, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
Wells Fargo Arena - IA - Des Moines, IA
1-66-17
Sat
Mar 18, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
Amway Center - Orlando, FL
1-66-17
Sat
Mar 18, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
Legacy Arena at The BJCC - Birmingham, AL
1-66-17
Sun
Mar 19, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
Ball Arena - Denver, CO
1-66-17
Sun
Mar 19, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
MVP Arena - Albany, NY
1-66-17
Sun
Mar 19, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
Greensboro Coliseum At Greensboro Coliseum Complex - Greensboro, NC
1-66-17
Sun
Mar 19, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Rounds 1 & 2 - Session 3 (Time: TBD)
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 23, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: East Regional - All Sessions
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 23, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: West Regional - All Sessions
T-Mobile Arena - Las Vegas, NV
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 23, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: East Regional - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
1-66-17
Thu
Mar 23, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: West Regional - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
T-Mobile Arena - Las Vegas, NV
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 24, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: South Regional - All Sessions
KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, KY
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 24, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Midwest Regional - All Sessions
T-Mobile Center - Kansas City, MO
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 24, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: South Regional - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, KY
1-66-17
Fri
Mar 24, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Midwest Regional - Session 1 (Time: TBD)
T-Mobile Center - Kansas City, MO
1-66-17
Sat
Mar 25, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: West Regional - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
T-Mobile Arena - Las Vegas, NV
1-66-17
Sat
Mar 25, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: East Regional - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
1-66-17
Sun
Mar 26, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: South Regional - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, KY
1-66-17
Sun
Mar 26, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Midwest Regional - Session 2 (Time: TBD)
T-Mobile Center - Kansas City, MO
1-66-17
Sat
Apr 1, 2023
TBD
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Final Four - All Sessions Pass
NRG Stadium - Houston, TX
1-66-17
Sat
Apr 1, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Final Four - Semifinals (Time: TBD)
NRG Stadium - Houston, TX
1-66-17
Mon
Apr 3, 2023
12:00 PM
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Final Four - Championship Game (Time: TBD)
NRG Stadium - Houston, TX
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