68 men’s college basketball teams begin March Madness on Tuesday, and battle through the next three weekends, culminating with the Final Four.

Over 100 million Americans are expected to take part in the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament  brackets, risking an estimated $3 Billion dollars in online and office bracket pools.

Some are big college bball fans who pick their bracket like a science, while others have not watched a game all season, picking by seedings, and flashes of insight gained from SportsCenter, the newspaper, or the color uniforms of the teams.

Tourney Brackets are social and fun, and you can win a lot by only risking a little. These 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket tips are historically proven rules, advice, and bracket strategy that will help novices and the experts alike fill out their brackets.

NCAA Tournament - FIRST ROUND:

Pick no more than two seeds worse than #12.
#16 seeds are 0 for 104 in the modern era (since 1985).
#15 seeds are 4 for 104.
#13 and #14 seeds win only 18% of first round games combined.

Don't be shy about picking upsets with #12 through #9 seeds.
Give special consideration to picking #12 seeds: #12 seeds have won at least one game 20 of 22 years.

#9 seeds have won over half their games (54%) vs. #8 seeds.

NCAA Tournament - SECOND ROUND:

Advance #1 seeds almost automatically into the 3rd round.
#1 seeds win their first two games 88% of the time.

Keep advancing the #12 and #10 seeds you picked to win in Round One.
These teams win about half the time in Round Two (#12s are actually win more than 50% in the second round). A double digit seed has made the Sweet Sixteen 24 of 26 years. Only once in 26 years has all the top three seeds (#1, #2, #3) made the Sweet Sixteen.

Seeds worse than #12 DO NOT win in the 2nd round.
Only 6 of 416 teams that have advanced past Round 2 were seeded worse than #12.

NCAA Tournament - THIRD ROUND (Sweet 16):

Advance exactly three #1 seeds into the Elite 8.
72% of #1 seeds advance into the 4th round (that's a higher percentage than #5 seeds who win a single game)!

Advance no team worse than a #11 seed into the Elite 8
24 have made it to the Sweet 16, but only 1 has ever advanced.

NCAA Tournament - FOURTH ROUND (Elite 8):

Advance exactly ONE or TWO #1 seeds to the Final Four.
The Final Four has included exactly one or two #1 seeds 21 of the last 26 years (meaning that only 5 times on 26 years has there been either zero, three, or four number one seeds)

Advance no team worse than a #8 seed to the Final Four.
Only 2 of 104 Final Four teams have been seeded worse than #8.

NCAA Tournament - FINAL FOUR:

Advance NO team worse than a 6th seed to the Championship game.
Not a single one has made it in the last 25 years.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
 

Pick a #4 seed or better to win it all.
For 22 straight years the champion has been a #4 seed or better!

The posting forum will be overflowing with free NCAA tournament picks and predications, and here are some online sportsbooks to check updated tourney lines and odds.

Feedback . . .

What tourney bracket tips, rules, advice, and strategy do you follow?

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