Posted on March 13 2017
March Madness officially begins this week, the first round starting in just three days. Here are our tips for staying sane as you lock in your bracket this week.
1. Follow statistics - Chances are, the ultimate winner is going to be a Number 1, 2, or 3 seed. Upsets in the final match up are rare so even if you've been a lifelong Troy fan, chances are they aren't going to make it to the National Championship game.
2. Pay attention to 10, 11, and 12 seeds - If there is going to be an early upset, it's probably going to come from one of these teams. Similarly, don't be afraid to advance higher seeds to the Final Four (and by higher, we primarily mean 7/8 seeds - your 16 seed team is probably not going to make it past the first round).
3. Watch the coaches - Coaches who have made it to the big dance (or at least to the Final Four) tend to know how to handle their players in these high-pressure games. We're looking at you Coach K.!
4. Not all conferences are created equal - Conference matters and if you want to pick a winner, you're best chances are to look to the ACC. A Big Ten team hasn't won since 2000, Pac-12 since 1997. The ACC consistently churns out champs.
5. Pick your favorites anyway - The whole fun of March Madness is picking favorites, especially for upsets. Statistics can only go so far so when it comes down to it, trust your gut and pick your favorites. Notre Dame graduate? Go ahead and advance this No. 5 seed to the final if you're just having fun. Just don't get upset when you bust your bracket picking favorites - remember, it's just a game (and chance are you already busted your bracket in an early upset).