March Madness 2013: Rules and Tips on Making Your Bracket Picks


If you haven’t already, you have just one day remaining before it’s time to lock in those brackets! Some of you may be having some difficulties deciding between two tough teams somewhere on your bracket. Old North Banter have a few tips and rules that should help you!

First Round: In the first round, don’t pick No. 1 or No. 2 seed team to lose. Yes, it happened last years, but it’s very rare. No. 16 seeds are 0 for 112 and No. 15 seeds are 6 for 112.

Pick at least one No. 13 or No. 14 seed to win because at least one top four seeded team has lost in the first round in twenty-four of twenty-eight years. Those seeds also have a combined winning percentage of eighteen percent in the first round of the tournament.

Don’t be scared to take a chance. Pick an upset in the No. 12 through No. 9 seed match-ups. No. 12 seeds have won at least one game in twenty-two of twenty-four years. No. 9 seeds are also four wins above .500 against No. 8 seeds.

Second Round: Don’t entertain the thought of a No. 1 seed losing this early on. If you do, you better have good reasoning behind your choices. 88 percent of No. 1 seeds advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

If you picked a No. 12 or No. 10 seed to win in round one, keep on taking them further. Those seeds have combined to win about half the time in Round Two. No. 12 seeds have the same exact total of appearances in the Sweet Sixteen as No. 7 seeds. In twenty-six of the past twenty-eight years, a double digit seed has made the Sweet Sixteen.

Pick at least one upset win over a No. 2 or No. 3 seed. Only once in the past twenty-eight years have all the top three seeds made the Sweet Sixteen.

However, here is something NOT to do! Don’t pick any seed worse than a No. 12 seed to win in round two. Only 7 of 448 teams have advanced past round two when they were seeded worse than twelfth.

Sweet Sixteen: Advance exactly three No. 1 seeds into the Elite Eight. Seventy-two percent of No. 1 seeds make it past the Sweet Sixteen.

Keep all teams seeded worse than eleventh out of the Elite Eight. Twenty-six have made it to the Sweet Sixteen, but only once have they made it past the round.

Elite Eight: Pick only one or two no. 1 seeds to advance to the Final Four. In twenty-two of the last twenty-eight years, exactly one or two no. 1 seeds have advanced into the Final Four.

Don’t take any team seeded worse than eighth into the Final Four. Only 3-of-112 Final Four teams have been seeded worse than no. 8.

Final Four: Do not advance a team worse than a No. 6 seed to the championship game. Only one team seeded worse than no. 6 has made it in the past twenty-seven years.

Don’t advance two No. 1 seeds to the championship game either. Only six times have two No. 1 seeds made it to the final since the tournament began seeding in 1979.

Championship Game: Only one tip to give here! For twenty-four consecutive years the champion has been a No. 4 seed or better!