We want to help you win your pool. Here are some tips:
Do your research
While not a science, past championships can tell us a lot, so make sure and see who has won and what positions they were in in past years. "Since the expasion of the tournament, teams seeded No. 1 and 2 have won the championship in 21 of the 30 years. No. 3 seeds won the tournament four times, No. 6 seeds won twice and seed Nos. 4,7 and 8 each won once," according to AJC.com. So picking a one or two seed to win is a good bet.
Remember, defense is everything
"Cinderella" stories don't happen often
While it's easy to get excited about dark-horse winners, the stats prove relying too much on them is a losing move. While it's fun to boast to your friends you knew the team had it in them (IF they win!), more often than not you'll just be kicking yourself. Yahoo sports has this advice: "Obviously, don't pick by the book; just be mindful that small schools do occasionally upend regional favorites from power conferences, but rarely over multiple rounds."
Let the size of your pool guide you
If your office pool has 50 people in it, who you pick to win is different than if the pool is made up of 8 people. "Your optimal bracket will change depending on the size of the pool," Brad Null, founder of the site BracketVoodoo.com said to Reuters. "It is basic game theory: You are not just picking winners, you are playing against others." His advice: if there are only a few people in your pool, stick with the favorites. The bigger the pool, the more risks you should feel comfortable taking.
Don't place too much hope in the top seeds
While going for the top seeds may be obvious, don't primarily use them as guiding stars when it comes to picking your bracket. According to NJ.com, only 40.5% of No. 1 seed teams have reached the semifinals since the bracket exapanded to 64 teams. And all four No. 1 seed teams have only reached the Final Four once. Yes, just once.