Bracket Picking Rules & Tips from Vegas!
(all records since modern era began in 1985 unless noted)
FIRST ROUND picks:
TIP: Pick ZERO #1 or #2 seeds to lose.
#16 seeds are 0 for 112
#15 seeds are 6 for 112
TIP: Pick at least ONE #13 or #14 seed to win.
At least one Top 4 seed has lost in the first round 24 of 28 years
#13 and #14 seeds combined win 18% of first round games
TIP: Don't be shy picking upsets with #12 through #9 seeds.
#12 seeds have won at least one game 22 of 24 years
#9 seeds are 4 wins above .500 vs. #8 seeds
SECOND ROUND picks:
TIP: Advance #1 seeds into the 3rd round unless very good reason not to.
88% of #1 seeds advance to the Sweet 16
TIP: Keep advancing any #12 and #10 seeds you picked to win in Round One.
#10 and #12 seeds combined win about half the time in Round Two
#12 seeds have the same number of Sweet 16 appearances overall than #7 seeds
A double digit seed has made the Sweet Sixteen 26 of 28 years
TIP: Pick at least ONE upset of a #2 or #3 seed.
Only once in 28 years has all the top three seeds (#1, #2, #3) made the Sweet Sixteen
TIP: Do NOT pick any seed worse than #12 to win in the 2nd round.
Only 7 of 448 teams (1.6%) advancing past Round 2 were seeded worse than #12
Sweet 16 round picks:
TIP: Advance exactly three #1 seeds into the Elite 8.
72% of #1 seeds make the Elite 8
(that's a higher percentage than #5 seeds that win a single game!)
TIP: Advance no team worse than a #11 seed into the Elite 8
26 have made it the Sweet 16, but only 1 has ever advanced
Elite 8 round picks:
TIP: Advance exactly ONE or TWO #1 seeds to the Final Four.
The Final Four has included exactly one or two #1 seeds 22 of 28 years
TIP: Advance no team worse than a #8 seed to the Final Four.
Only 3 of 112 Final Four teams have been seeded worse than #8
FINAL FOUR round picks:
TIP: Advance NO team worse than a #6 seed to the Championship game.
Only ONE team worse than #6 has made it in last 27 years
TIP: Do NOT advance TWO #1 seeds to Championship game
Only 6 times since 1979 has two #1 seeds made the finals
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME pick:
TIP: Pick a #4 seed or better to win it all.
For 24 straight years the champion has been a #4 seed or better!