Monday, March 12, 2007

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

The circus that is the NCAA Men's Basketball championship kicked off yesterday with the selection show. We now know the identities of the 65 teams that will vie for the coveted and non-mythical (as opposed to football) championship. So it's once again time, boys and girls, for you to fill out your brackets. I'm just here to offer some sage advice and a few tips that will help you excel.

First of all, no #16 seed has ever beaten a #1. I know it's going to happen at some point, but banking on this being the year that happens is not a good bet. The #15 seed has beaten a #2, but it's only happened a couple of times. Once again, this is a good way to start your bracket off on a down note. I know it's sexy to pick the spectacular upset, but stay away from picking upsets in these games and you'll have an easy 8 points (unless of course your alma mater happens to be the underdog in one of those games, then by all means feel free to pick them).

Now that we've gotten you and easy 8 points, let's move on to the harder picks. The first pick that usually sees consistent upsets is the #12 vs. #5 game. I'm not sure why this is, but it's just a fact that at least one #5 will go down in the first round and as many as three have lost in the first two days of the tournament. Picking the upset in this game may hold the key to winning a region. Get it right and your one up on the rest of the pool, get it wrong and you're looking up from the bottom. Here are the key things to look for; look for a team playing close to home, look for a team on a long winning streak (at least 8 or more games), If the #5 went on a miracle streak in their tournament then pick against them, If the #5 has suffered a significant injury to one of their key players, bet against them.

That's about all I have to offer as far as picking goes. The rest of the tournament is pretty much a crapshoot. I've been filling out a bracket for almost 20 years now and I've never won a damn thing. I'm pretty sure that there are six year old girls who are better at this than I am. There was one year that I picked 31 out of the 32 opening day games, but the game I lost happened to be the team that I had picked to win it all (damn you Jason Kidd!). I've picked longshots, I've picked favorites, but in the end, I'm never even close to winning. You'd probably do better picking out of a hat than I will. So good luck with the office pools and may the best woman win (they always do).

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