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March Madness Tips

Read these 4 March Madness Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Basketball tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How to Make an Awesome Basketball Bracket for March Madness

When March Madness rolls around it's time for one thing. Brackets. Whether at school or the office or among friends, March Madness brackets are a great way to showcase your college basketball intelligence and/or your amazing luck when it comes to guessing stuff. Nevertheless, it is pivotal to understand what you are looking at when picking teams.

Basically, a bracket features 4 quartiles (East, West, Midwest and South) of 16 teams each. Before the tournament begins, the teams are ranked relative to the rest of the teams in that quartile of the bracket. The 1 rankings are the top team, while 16 rankings are the lowest.

In the first round, the 1st ranked team plays against the 16th, the 2nd against the 15th, and so on. It's usually a safe bet to pick all the 1 seeds over the 16 seedes. Same with the 2 seeded teams over the 15 seeded teams. For this round it's acceptable practice to pick the winners strictly by ranking.

However, keep in mind that upsets (when a lower seed beats a higher seed) happen quite often. Generally there are a few 12 over 5 seeds each year, and occasionally an 11 over 6. This tends to wreak havok on even the best brackets.

As you delve a bit deeper into the Madness, check out the scoring distribution among the players on each team. If a higher ranked team with a superstar player has a poor game this can lead to an upset since the lower ranked team will probably have a handful of decent players who can step up.

These introductory guidelines should have you on your way to a great bracket and March Madness.


Teams that Won March Madness in the Last 10 Years

March Madness has been thrilling basketball fans and enthusiastic coeds alike, since 1939. If you want to make your predictions for a winner for 2014's tournament, take a look at past schools that have racked up victories. Here's the breakdown of winners from 2003 to 2013.

  • 2003 – Syracuse

  • 2004 – Connecticut

  • 2005 – North Carolina

  • 2006 – Florida

  • 2007 – Florida

  • 2008 – Kansas

  • 2009 – North Carolina

  • 2010 – Duke

  • 2011 – Connecticut

  • 2012 – Kentucky

  • 2013 – Louisville

Betters who study the odds of any one team becoming victorious for this year's games can make their predictions. Of course, a team that hasn't yet won in the last 10 years could certainly come out of left field as well.


How to Impress Your Friends with March Madness Knowledge

Want to impress your friends or coworkers with your March Madness expertise this year? These tips will help you come off looking like a March Madness Einstein:

Watch your teams play:

Try to watch a few of the teams you think will do well in the tournament. When brackets are released after the NCAA selection committee has chosen who has earned the 'at-large' bids in the tournament, this is your time to shine as a March Madness expert. Pick the teams you think can rise to the occasion during crunch time. Doing your research can also help you place faces with names and those names with teams. Before you know it, you'll be leading conversations around the water cooler.

Play the rankings when doing a bracket:

This is also a time where your research and work should pay off. When doing a bracket make sure you go mostly by rankings in the first round, with a few upsets such a 9 seed over an 8 seed, an 11 seed over a 6 seed and even a 12 seed over a 5 seed. Upsets happen, but the way to win a bracket pool against your friends is to win by points. Many inexperienced bracketologists will attempt too many upsets in the first round and lose out on easy points that could cost them later.

Know the Jargon:

Using terms such as 'at-large' bid, and Big Dance will show your friends and colleagues that you know your stuff when it comes to March Madness. Furthermore if you pick a team other than Duke or UConn to win the national Championship, people will see you as a NCAA expert. (These two teams are usually fan favorites.) Bracketology, is the name branded to the research of doing an actual bracket.


Just what is March Madness?

March Madness is the Division I NCAA Men's Basketball tournament that takes place at the end of every NCAA men's basketball season. Based on their regular season performance teams are selected to participate in the tournament by the NCAA selection committee. A total of 68 teams are allowed to participate in the tournament. 32 are guaranteed spots, based on conference performance, while the others are given "at-large bids", determined by the NCAA selection committee.

The teams are arranged by differing regions in a bracket-type set, with a single game elimination process. Teams are seeded from 1 to 16 based on the selection committee's decisions and are matched up against teams with corresponding rankings. Each round sees fewer teams advance to the next, by way of 68, 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2,1. The final team not eliminated is then crowned national champion of the Division I college basketball teams.

Each of the later rounds has been coined with a label, such that teams in the final 16 are called "Sweet Sixteen", teams in the final 8 are called: "Elite Eight", and teams in the last 4, are called "Final Four". The tournament was established in 1939.

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