The March Madness guide to a winning bracket
The Selection Committee has spoken and we are just a couple of days away from the greatest event in sports history. Over 70-million people in the U.S. will fill out a March Madness bracket, and everyone has their own way of doing it. Some base it off school colors, mascot, and even the name of the school. While others like myself look at the statistic side of things and use probability as the biggest asset. With that being said, breaking down the top seeds in the tournament can make or break your bracket.
The number one seed is always your powerhouse schools that are most likely to win it. There’s only been three cases where a one seed has not made the Elite Eight. Also, in the last 20 years, a one seed has won it 11 times. The one seed that has the easiest road to the Elite Eight and possibly the final four is Kansas.
In the last 21 years there’s only been one occasion where all four two seeds advance to the Sweet Sixteen. However, it’s essential to keep at least two of them in your Elite Eight. This has been the case for eight of the last nine years. Duke and North Carolina are the safest bet to make it into the Elite Eight, while Purdue could be the team knocked out of the dance early.
Three seeds are tricky to deal with after dominating in years 2000 to 2012 against the No. 14 seed, they have fallen into a hole losing five times in the last five years. The past three teams that have lost this game came from the Big 12 Conference. Texas Tech is a Big 12 team that has lost their last four games going into the tournament. Also, SF Austin won against West Virginia as a No. 14 seed last year. Sounds like the perfect storm for one of the biggest upset.
In recent years the No. 4 seed hasn’t struggled as much as the seeds around them have. This year could be the downfall of their recent success with not one but two upsets. Wichita State, a team known for being an underdog, will be the victim of an upset from Marshall. Marshall fits the rule, a high scoring team known for its fast pace offense and ability to hit the three ball. The other upset is Auburn falling to Charleston. Charleston has won 14 of their past 15 games finishing with an impressive record 26-7.
The top four seeds in the tournament have come home on top in 31 of the last 33 years so having one of those teams winning your bracket will immediately give you a better chance at a winning bracket. Also, a No. 12 seed has made it to the Sweet Sixteen 20 times since 1985. The two teams most likely to get there are South Dakota State or Murray State. Both teams share a great record and have the ability to drop 80-plus points on any given night. Also, a No. 11 seed has won 14 of the last 18 meetings against a No. 6 seed. St. Bonaventure and or Loyola-Chicago could be the No. 11 seed to take down a No. 6 seed. Gonzaga has won 10 of its last 11 games in the round of 64. Also, all eight times North Carolina has been a No. 2 seed under coach Roy Williams, they have managed to make it to the Elite Eight. However, they probably won’t go back to back because that has only happened a handful of times.
Hopefully, this information benefits your bracket for the best, but don’t get mad at me if you take my advice and your bracket tanks this year. Blame yourself for putting your trust in a high school student.
The first game should be a close one with No. 10 seed Oklahoma looking to upset No. 7 seed Rhode Island on Thursday at 12:15. March is finally here and we are hours away from the madness.