Here are some vital tips for you to read before completing your bracket.
Brackets need to be completed in drafts. The first draft should be completed in pencil, the second in pen.
And there are the third and fourth brackets you complete to cover your mistakes from the other ones you submit. The draft with the best results you display on the fridge over your child’s homework.
There is No Butler This Time
One of the great developments of all of these one-and-doners is that veteran teams from smaller conferences are going deeper in the tournament. George Mason a few years ago. Butler last season came within a long shot of winning the whole thing.
Other than a solid Old Dominion team, there is no obvious choice to be a CBS darling in the mold of a Butler or George Mason.
The Huskies look good because they are a basketball blue blood and they have guard Kemba Walker. But they just completed a run of five games in five days to win the Big East tournament. That’s too much basketball in too short of a time frame. That will cost them in the first weekend.
Don’t Bet Your Heart
This needs to be said every single tournament - don’t pick with your heart, i.e. your alma mater. It can kill you. If you attended Ohio State or Duke or Pitt, that’s different.
If you attended the Harvard of the Midwest, Kansas, don’t be afraid to have the Jayhawks in the title game.
If you attended a junior college in Missouri, otherwise known as the University of Missouri, you deserve what you get.
The MWC is a Trap
We’ve heard all season how great the Mountain West Conference is, and it will have a pair of high seed teams in San Diego State and BYU.
But the loss of BYU center Brandon Davies to an honor code violation is huge. The Cougars are one bad-shooting night from Jimmer Fredette away from losing early.
San Diego State is athletic and tough, but unless Steve Fisher is coaching the Fab Five don’t bet on them to go too deep. No MWC team has ever made the Final Four.
Another Good Pitt Team That Won’t Reach the Final Four
Former TCU star and current Pitt coach Jamie Dixon deserves all types of love for what he’s done at Pitt, especially since the Panthers won the Big East regular season title. This is another Pitt team that rebounds, and rebounding usually wins. The Panthers rank second nationally in rebounding margin, but can they score enough?
The Panthers have not reached a Final Four under Dixon.
Avoid the Pac 10
All conferences go through down cycles, and the Pac 10 is currently stuck in one. Arizona is the best of the bunch, but these Wildcats aren’t exactly your Miles Simon Wildcats.
Observe the 3-point Teams Carefully
Teams that shoot it well from 3-point range look so pretty, but they have to hit those shots for six consecutive games. If they rebound well, and shoot the three well, go for it.
Ohio State and Notre Dame both fit that description. If you have to pick between one or the other, go with the Buckeyes and rebounding fool Jared Sullinger.
Don’t Get Too Cute
There is no greater feeling than to say, “I had Valpo’ beating Ole Miss on a heroic last second from Bryce Drew!” Or, “I had George Mason in the Final Four in my bracket; eat it!”
It’s OK, we know you lied.
Pick only three or four big upsets on the first weekend. And don’t pick them going to the Elite 8.
It’s OK To Hate Duke
Duke coach Mike HardNameToSpell can’t figure out why people don’t like his team. Perhaps it’s because of the sheer arrogance oozing from his team. When filing out a bracket, it’s OK to pick against the team we all love to hate.
It’s OK To Cry During One Shining Moment
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