Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The Regular Season Can Be Overrated. When it comes to the polls, it is nice for a team to be ranked as one of the best 25 teams in the nation, but by no means is it a solid indicator of where a team truly stands. Te perfect example is LaSalle, who entered the tournament with a 29 - 1 record in 1990 and lost in the second round of the tournament to Clemson. The same goes for those less than stellar teams who gain entry to March Madness by winning their conference tournaments. In 2008, the tournament had their first 20 loss team in the field of 65 when Coppin State earned an automatic bid for winning the MEAC conference tournament.
The First Round is Susceptible to Upsets.
Remember, a # 16 seed has never beaten a # 1 seed since the field was expanded to 64 teams. Do not be the one person in your pool to rest your hopes on College of Charleston being able to upset the University of Connecticut. When it comes to the #15 seed, teams have had very little success as well. Only 4 teams have been able to knock off the # 2 seed in the first round of the tournament.
But by no means does this mean you should ignore lower ranked teams because they are plenty of upsets in the tournament. The lower ranked teams that have the most success in the first round of March Madness have been the #10 through # 12 seeds. On average the lower ranked team has been able to earn a victory against a higher seeded team 35 percent of the time. The chance for an upset continues to decrease as the teams move deeper into the tournament. Remember this when you are filling out the later rounds of your bracket.
Foresight is Key to Success
When it comes to having a successful run with your bracket, it is important to remember to look beyond the excitement of the first round. You need to take a look at what teams you have advancing and what kind of history they have against their potential opponents. If you see a favorable path for a particular team that will help them reach the Elite Eight, by all means select them, no matter what seed they are. Every year there are bracket busters or teams who cause havoc with the field during March Madness. Last year was the first time in the history of the tournament, all four # 1 seeds made it to the Final Four of March Madness. Do not expect the same thing to happen in 2009.
Cinderella Stories Are Meant for Bedtime
Every year college basketball fans are treated to a team that seemingly comes out of nowhere in the tournament and advances to the Sweet Sixteen, sometimes even further. The most recent Cinderella team was in 2008 when Davidson College was able to make it to the Elite Eight before losing a 2 point game to eventual tournament champion, Kansas. That is the beauty of March Madness. The problem is they rarely have any success in the final rounds of the tournament. The last time this happened was in 1985 when Villanova won the championship as a # 8 seed. Three years later, Kansas won the championship as a # 6 seed.
Otherwise every other national championship has been at least a # 4 seed in the brackets.
Keep It Simple Stupid
There is something to be said for simplicity when it comes to filling out your brackets. It is very disheartening to find out the hours and hours you spent researching the field of 64 was all for nothing after the top four teams in your bracket are knocked out in the first round. There have been several times where my most successful March Madness bracket was the one I completed at the last minute and used a coin to help make my decisions.
Remember, March Madness is something to be enjoyed and nothing that should cause you to lose sleep over.