Your Guide To March Madness Part 2

Your Guide To March Madness Part 2

Tip #3: Not for the Faint-Hearted

Yes, heartache is on the horizon for 67 men’s basketball teams and millions completing their brackets before Tuesday’s first tip. Why? March is not the month for singles. Whether pulling for a favorite mascot, team, player or coach, you need to know that single status is a harsh reality in March Madness play. The single elimination format leaves no room for a second date. The old adage, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression” is what is so maddening about March. In just a few short weeks of buzzer beaters, blocked shots, emerging stars and mid court meltdowns, 68 hopeful teams will reduce to the Final 4 in Phoenix. With them will rise and fall the hopes and dreams of impassioned players, crazed alumni and traveling fans of the NCAA’s most anticipated team tournament. We’ve already seen major upsets in the conference tournament ranks with Kansas, North Carolina, Baylor and UCLA being upset and now watching the action from home. The question is how much weight will the Selection Committee place on early tournament bounces or lower seeds making a run for an invitation to the year’s biggest dance. So choose wisely to stem the heartbreak, and brace yourself for the exhilaration and depression that the end of the road will certainly bring.

Tip #4: On A Roll?

If you’re among the more than 10 million who’ve completed his or her bracket, you’ve possibly factored trends in seeding, underdogs and maybe even coaches ATS. What’s ATS? Against the Spread, meaning that you’re considering points in your selection process. For example, Michigan’s Head Coach John Beilein is 9-1 ATS as an NCAA tournament favorite since 2005. Translation: His winning percentage is among the best when under one-and-done pressure. Compare this to No. 1 seeded Gonzaga’s Head Coach Mark Few sitting at 11-14 ATS. Even more to consider is that since 2001, every National Champion except one (UConn’s 2004 team) was a No. 1, 2 or 3 seed, while just four teams have won it all when ranked No. 1 in the regular season AP poll {since 1985’s field expansion}: Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and UCLA. Madness, right? Today’s tips are to consider these trends, and stick with what makes sense. No. 1 seeds enjoy an 87.6% success rate in the first three rounds, and 74% of all higher seeded teams have prevailed in the first and second rounds. Yes, Cinderella still lives, and it’s your roll of the dice that may predict “her” dream at The Dance.


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