By: Armond McCray
The time has come again, the month of madness that everyone looks forward to, March Madness that is. March Madness is the month that holds the annual NCAA college basketball championship tournament. The tournament features sixty-eight D1 (division-one) teams. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination “bracket”. Each year millions of viewers tune in to watch and see which teams rise to the occasion, and which teams fold under the pressure. Everyone loves to see the big-name schools dominate, but loves it even more when an underdog, less heard of school sneaks in and steals a game or two. The best part about this tournament, and what sets apart from other big-time sporting events is the fact that the watchers at home also get to participate. Anyone can participate by simply filling out a bracket, picking teams one-by-one to advance up until the championship game. Thousands of offices, school campuses, and even groups of friends hold their own pool parties to compete and see who correctly chooses the most teams to win throughout the tournament.
However, deciding which teams to pick and move on only get harder and harder the deeper you get into the tournament. Having knowledge about most teams and how they compare against one another can be very helpful. But for people that don’t always devote their time to studying teams throughout the season, there are other things to know that can be just as helpful when deciding which school, you pick to win. My first suggestion would be to take it game by game. Meaning, don’t just choose a few handful of teams and advance them to the end. Instead, go through each single matchup and continue that way until you are left with one winner. Also, according to mcubed.net, No. 1 seeds have never lost to a No. 16 seed since the tournament expanded in 1985. No. 1 seeds also have an 84.9 percent win rate against No. 8 and No. 9 seeds in the second round and a 75.6 percent win rate against No. 4 or No. 5 seeds in the Sweet 16. So, with that being said, it is pretty safe to advance your number one seed, at least until the sweet sixteen (round with sixteen teams left). But also remember to sprinkle in a few upsets. That can be very hard to predict though, and is more of a gut feeling. And lastly, remember to have fun with it, don’t overcomplicate things and frustrate yourself. Watch the games with friends, enjoy the process, and cross your fingers that all goes as planned.