NCAA tourney bracket tips for the casual fan
by Reid Cherner, USA TODAY Sports
If you are reading this, we’ll assume that you plan to get no work done in the office this week.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
In fact, that just might be the best money-making idea of the year.
All across the USA, productivity comes to a grinding halt as the work force ponders their NCAA brackets.
And we’ve all worked with Bracketheads, those individuals who apply logic, trends and higher math to find the teams that will survive and advance.
But what of those who are filling out a bracket for the first time and haven’t seen a game this year?
Should they go by color or team nickname? Why not?
For those of us “experts” who have toiled for decades, knowledge is not always power.
Here are some tips for the first timer. Some of them might sound silly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win a title with them:
Numbers game: Everyone talks about the seeds, and of course the lower the number of the seed the more highly regarded a team is. In the opening round, a No. 1 seed has never lost (112-0) to a No. 16. But that doesn’t mean you can always trust the math. Your best bet is picking a No. 9 over a No. 8 (58-54) but there can also be value in the No. 10 vs. a No. 7 (45-67) and the No. 12 vs. a No. 5 (38-74). But remember this, only teams seeded 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 have won national titles.
You’re my man blue: If you think it is silly to pick by team colors, then pass on that. But at your own risk. In 2003, the Syracuse Orangeman won the national title. Since then, no team without blue in its colors has won a championship.
You might want to zig instead of Zag: Since the coaches began voting in the USA TODAY Sports poll in 1993, the final season No. 1 has won the title just four times. This year’s No.1 is Gonzaga.
Can I buy a vowel: The tournament went to a seeding system in 1979. In the 34 tournaments … [For more on Easy March Madness Money: NCAA tourney bracket tips for the casual fan, click here.]