Hoop Thoughts: A closer look at each region of the NCAA tournament bracket

Should they get to the Elite 8, there is a 61 percent chance they play their conference foe Gonzaga for a chance to go to the Final Four. Email Address Enter valid email address Password. This generally means that you are using server rendering and the markup generated on the server was not what the client was expecting. The bracket is set. When Syracuse won Sunday night, it became the sixth ACC team to reach the Sweet 16, extending the record for number of teams from one conference to make the second weekend. What is the NCAA basketball tournament?

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NCAA Tournament bracket tips

How many upsets should you go with in the first and second rounds? Which teams to pick is a much more difficult decision. In the Round of 64, Wichita State is the most likely double-digit seed to win its first game. Wichita State is also the most likely double-digit seed to make the Sweet BPI gives the Shockers a 30 percent chance to get past a potential Round of 32 matchup with Kentucky.

The matchup is a fan favorite and the seed has won at least one game in four out of the past five years. This year there is a 72 percent chance we see at least one seed beat a 5-seed. Middle Tennessee has a 42 percent chance to beat Minnesota while Princeton and Nevada each have greater than a 20 percent chance to pull off the classic seed upset.

Want a small conference team that could surprise people and make it to the Sweet 16 and perhaps further? The Gaels are the eighth-most likely team to reach the Elite 8 at 26 percent. Should they get to the Elite 8, there is a 61 percent chance they play their conference foe Gonzaga for a chance to go to the Final Four. SMU is another team casual fans may not be familiar with.

Villanova was often thought of as an underachiever before last season, so people stayed away from picking them. Gonzaga and West Virginia may evoke similar thoughts this year. While it is fun to pick a few upsets, even the greatest Cinderellas are unlikely to move past the Sweet By the time the final weekend of the tournament hits, it is normally full of teams expected to be there. Going crazy picking upsets could end up costing you valuable points later on by eliminating the key favorites.

Identify the handful of teams you like this year, and fill out a few brackets playing out different scenarios. If you are going to pick some early upsets, the No. Most of all, remember to have fun as March Madness is full of ups and downs. If you have the most fun picking a lot of upsets, go all out.

If your goal is to win your bracket pool, these are some tips to follow that give you the best chance of having bragging rights over your co-workers during March Madness.

Before making any of your picks, it is important to assess the bracket pool you are competing in. The number of upsets you pick should be proportional to the size of the pool. It is okay to pick a few upsets, but the Elite 8 should be full of seeds The strategy is different if you are competing against thousands of people. While favorites normally end up in the Final Four, you are going to want to mix in some picks that are different from your competition.

If you only pick favorites, you are going to have a hard time winning the pool given you are competing against a lot of people. Upsets equate to risk, so you want to increase your risk when it comes to larger bracket pools. Part of considering the competition you are playing in is knowing the scoring rules and your competitors.

Are you in a pool with a lot of Duke fans? Picking another favorite to win the title greatly increases your chances of winning your group, as the majority of your opponents are likely to pick Duke. While the majority of bracket competitions operate by standard rules, some encourage you to pick upsets by rewarding these picks in the scoring systems.

Some pools multiply the points by the seed, meaning you get more points for picking upsets. In these pools, you are going to want to pick a number of upsets to have a chance at winning. When people fill out their bracket, all seeds seem relatively equal, but this is not the case. By now, most fans know to pick a No.

How do you determine which No. This is where the Vegas odds can be your friend. Vegas may not help you fill out your entire bracket, but there will be odds listed for every single opening weekend game.

While your competition is just looking at seed numbers , you will be able to dig deeper into matchup thanks to the point spreads for each game.

There have been times in the past where No. You want to pick the upsets where the point spreads for the underdogs are a little more favorable. You can also use the overall Vegas college basketball championship odds to identify the teams you want to have in your Final Four. While it is great to gather knowledge about teams during the conference tournaments, keep in mind it is not always a great indicator of who will be left standing. Five of the last six champions have not won their conference tournament, including the last four NCAA tournament champs.

While conference tournament play is important for mid-majors, some of the top college basketball teams are able to rebound from slipping up in their conference tournament.

Having NBA talent on your roster does not guarantee your team a deep run in March, but you would be wise to consider top teams that do have these top-level players. Andrew Wiggins did little to help Kansas in the tournament, but here are a few things to consider when it comes to future NBA players. They found teams with NBA level guard play give their teams a better chance to make a deep run.