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The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

The student news site of Wayne State College

The Wayne Stater

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Best Overheard of the Week (01/19/2022)

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Tips and tricks for your March Madness brackets

Do you have questions on how you should fill out your March Madness bracket? How many upsets should I pick? What do the seeds mean? I’m here to give you some tips, tricks, and helpful hints in just exactly how you fill in the madness of March. 

One of my favorite times of the year has finally arrived, as March is finally here, at least in basketball terms. It’s the time when brackets are busted and friends and family huddle around the TV hoping your team can avoid, or pull off, that coveted upset, the time of year where you root for the teams you have going far in your bracket, even it means rooting against the hometown side. 

Point being, March is madness. The madness of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments are unmatched, and so is the madness of trying to create your March Madness bracket. It can be scary, and really complicated, but follow these simple, easy tips to help you gain an edge this March. 

Let’s start with the men’s bracket. First off, do the seeds matter? Yes, they do, kind of. This is a tricky question to answer. However, generally speaking, higher seeds perform better than lower seeds, but it’s still March. So if you’re looking to look like the office genius in calling those early upsets, look at those 5v12 and 6v11 matchups. According to ncaa.com, since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, a 12-seed has beaten a 5-seed 53 teams, and an 11-seed has beaten a 6-seed 58 times. To add to this, at least one 5-seed and at least one 6-seed have fallen in 32 of the 38 tournaments since the field expanded. With this in mind, don’t go upset crazy. 15-seeds have only beaten 2-seeds 11 times and a 1-seed has only fallen to the lowly 16-seed twice. 

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So how many upsets should your bracket have? According to ncaa.com, there have been at least 10 upsets in all rounds of the tournament in 15 of the past 38 tournaments. So again, don’t go upset crazy, but make sure you have at least double-digit seed making it to the Sweet 16, since in 15 straight tournaments such a feat has happened. 36 of the past 38 tournaments have had a double-digit seed reach the second weekend.  

Ok, so you have your upsets down. What about the Elite Eight, the Final Four, or your National Champion? Well, you can always count on the 1-seeds. In 10 of the past 11 tournaments. According to ESPN, at least one 1-seed has reached the Final Four, but the last time all four made it was in 2008. To add, at least one team seeded as a 7-seed or worse has reached the Final Four in nine of the last ten tournaments, so pick your Cinderella stories carefully. 

The women’s bracket is a little bit more simplistic. To keep it short, there aren’t nearly as many upsets are there are in the men’s tournament. Cinderella type runs usually end around the Elite 8 in the women’s game, as the top teams through the regular season tend to shine more. Your 6v11 and 5v12 matchups are still ones to target when considering upsets, but tread carefully and rely on those one, two, and three seeds to carry your bracket to the promise land.  

What about the rest of the bracket? Honestly, that part is up to you. If you’re a nerd like I am, you can use statistics and analytics to help predict who goes far. If you haven’t watched a lick of college basketball this year, fill in who you want to win. There’s no science in creating the perfect bracket. Basketball gurus like myself often find our bracket busted by the second round. Play around with it, have fun, and happy bracketing!  

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Nate Bope, Sports Writer
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