2022 NCAA Tournament Bracket Duquesne Dukes clothesAdvice, Best Strategy Tips for Winning March Madness Pools
One thing is certain this March Madness: You're going to hear a lot of bad advice for making your 2022 NCAA Tournament picks. We hate to say it, but some of the most trusted and respected vo College Cold Weather Gear ices in the college basketball world haven't got a clue when it comes to bracket strategy. Following their advice will torpedo your chances to win your NCAA pool.
After analyzing the results of tens of thousands of real-world pools, we know what the data says about winning bracket strategy. In this article, we'll summarize our research by highlighting four proven tips to give yourself an edge in March Madness bracket contests.
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Editor's Note: This is a guest post from TeamRankings.com, a s Clemson Tigers shirt ite that provides expert bracket picks and analysis. Since 2017, TeamRankings subscribers have reported over $1.75 million in bracket pool prize winnings using their NCAA Alabama vs. Auburn Rivalry Jerseys Bracket Picks product.
March Madness Bracket Strategy: How to win your NCAA Tournament pool
Strateg Alabama A&M Bulldogs Jerseys y 1: Zig When Your Opponents Zag
You can only win a bracket pool if you get picks right that your opponents get wrong. It's that simple. So, before you even start to fill out your UNC vs. Duke Rivalry Gear 2022 bracket, think about the teams that are likely to be popular picks in your pool this year. If you find yourself torn between two teams that you believe have similar chances to make a deep run in this year's tournament, go with the one you think fewer of your opponents will favor in their brackets
For example, if you are in a bracket pool full of Baylor graduates, you can assume that Baylor will be the NCAA champion pick or at least a finalist pick in a high percentage of brackets in your pool compared to national averages. Unless you are absolutely convinced that Bay Broward Seahawks clothes lor is going to repeat its 2021 title run, your pick strategy should strongly consider at least a slightly earlier exit for Baylor than most people expect this year.
To get a sense of national bracket picking trends, you can consult data published by major bracket contest sites like Yahoo or ESPN. For a more accurate picture, though, our NCAA Bracket Picks product consolidates pick popularity data from multiple sites.
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Strategy 2: Don't Go Upset Crazy
We know — it’s March Madness — and we all fondly remember the past Cinderella stories. Everyone dreams of being the only person in their bracket pool to predict the next 2018 Loyola-Chicago, a team that captivated the nation by making an improbable run to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.
Hindsight is 20/20, though. On the one hand, a relative longshot makes the Final Four reasonably often. On the other hand, predicting whether it will happen in 2022 — and, more important, predicting which team it will be if it does — is an entirely different story. Your odds of doing it are terrible, and the stakes are high. If a popular pick ends up making the Final Four instead of your longshot pick, your bracket may have no chance to win a prize.
A big reason why our algorithmic bracket picks consistently outperform the public is because many bracket pool players make picks that are borderline reckless. They feel compelled to put one or two dark horse teams in their Final Four without realizing just how risky that strategy is. They succumb to the urge to make multiple bold upset picks in the first round and end up eliminating a team that goes on a deep run.
Don’t just take our word for it. Back NCAA Spirit Jerseys in 2009, the Journal of Applied Social Psychology published a study about NCAA Tournament predictions. The professors who studied picks from the public came to a similar conclusion—specifically, that simply picking the better seeded team in every matchup would have outscored the national average bracket score on ESPN.
(If your pool's scoring system awar Central Ohio Technical College Jerseys ds bonus points for picking upsets, you can ignore this advice. That changes strategy in a big way, as we'll discuss shortly.)
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Strategy 3: Know When To Take A Risk
The larger your pool, the more chances you usually need to take with your picks to maximize your chance of winning. Let’s examine why.
In a small pool (say 20 entries or less), there might only be a few other brackets with the same champion pick as you. If you get your champion pick right while sticking to a generally conservative pick strategy in the earlier rounds, you should have a great shot to win. The traditional 1-2-4-8-16-32 bracket pool scoring system gives huge rewards for getting later-round picks correct, and just getting some of them right is often all you need to do. Picking even one longshot in the Final Four or beyond can be too risky in a small pool.
However, if you’re competing against 500, 1,000, or 10,000 other entries, that's no longer the case. In big pools, the odds are much higher that multiple entries will nail both their champion pick plus some unpopular upset picks in the earlier rounds. In the worst case, a relatively popular champion pick wins the tournament (like Baylor did last year), resulting in hundreds of entries getting their all- Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Shirts important champion pick right. If that happens, it will be extremely difficult to outscore all of those entries.
As a result, increasing your odds to win a big pool often requires a much more contrarian strategy. We've run millions of bracket pool simulations to develop the logic behind our customized bracket picks, and the results are clear. When you need to beat hundreds or thousands of people, gambits like picking an unpopular No. 4 seed to win it all or having a No. 6 seed and a No. 8 seed both make the Final Four can make a lot of sense.
Strategy 4: Follow The Rules
Some bracket pool administrators like to get creative with their pool rules. Most pools award the following number of points for a correct pick in each successive tournament round: 1-2-4-8-16-32. If your pool is different, don't even start making picks until you understand the strategy implications of your scoring system.
For example, some pools award points based on the difference in seed number between the winning and losing team. In that system, you score eight points for correctly picking a No. 12 seed to beat a No. 5 seed in the First Round. In comparison, you score only one point for correctly picking the No. 5 seed to win.
That difference makes No. 12 seeds a great value from an expected points perspective, because No. 5 seeds certainly aren't 8 times as likely to win the game. As a result, in a seed difference scoring system, you should pick No. 12 seeds to win much more often than you should pick them in a traditional scoring system.
Some pools even base point scoring on the round number multiplied by the seed number of the winning team. In that kind of pool, correctly picking a No. 10 seed to make the Sweet 16 yields a whopping 30 points, while correctly picking a No. 1 seed to win the national title yields only 21 points. Picking lots of double-digit seeds to make the Sweet 16 in these pools is therefore a very smart risk. Even if only a couple of them make it, you'll still earn a ton of points.
We've researched bracket pools for over 20 years and have noticed one especially consistent trend. While many players tend to pick too many upsets in the standard bracket pool scoring system, they often don't pick enough upsets in scoring systems that reward them.
The Best Bracket Strategy For Your Pool
Winning an NCAA bracket pool isn't easy, and, yes, it always takes some luck. However, by keeping these bracket strategy tips in mind, you will avoid the common pitfalls that doom many players to lose year after year. As we like to say, the smarter your strategy is, the less luck you need to win.
The good news is you don't need to be a math whiz with a supercomputer to get the best chance to win your bracket pool. You can just hire one instead!
At TeamRankings.com, we've built the only product that provides ready-to-play brackets customized for your pool's size and scoring system. Just tell us a few details, and in less than a minute our algorithms have done all number crunching for you. In addition, we offer the most comprehensive set of bracket tools, data, and analysis available anywhere — including tools for NCAA survivor and Calcutta pools.
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Over the past six NCAA Tournaments, on average, 57 percent of TeamRankings subscribers have reported winning a bracket pool prize each year.