Tips On Picking Your 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket

I'm betting you're going to be seeing way too much of this guy.

If you're like me, you've spent most of basketball season watching a game or two, probably involving your favorite team, or your conference, and not much else. 

Then this 2011 March Madness thing rolls around and you're faced with 231 invitations from "Pick Your Bracket" games and you realize (again) that you haven't a clue as to who might win this thing. 

I'm not going to give you any tips on who to do this because I don't want you blaming me for the resulting suck. However, you're still in luck in that SB Nation is full of smart people who have way more ideas than I do about what it takes to be a successful bracket-picking guy. 

The guys at Georgia take things pretty serious, starting with the recommendation: 

Tip #1: This is the most important tip of all. Do some homework, you lazy slob. Look, if you want a slim chance to win money without doing any work your local 7-11 has a bevy of lotto scratchers you might try. But real degenerate gamblers do their background research because they understand that easy money is anything but. All of the tips below presuppose that you've taken the time to dig up the little gold nuggets from which you can forge one bracket to rule them all.    

Dave at Maize N Brew - not so serious. I particularly hate him for this one: 

4. The Highest Seed Approach - Pick the highest seed to advance in each match up. This never works. Except the year that it does. Last season the highest seed was unusually successful against the lower seeded team, which means that it'll never happen again. But that's what the universe wants you to think. Or does it?    

The South Florida Bulls site Voodoo Five gets pretty specific and includes some references to myths that pervade the way we think about March Madness: 


  • Guards win tournaments. Only 50% of the equation. You need guards AND posts that can rebound. You can't win without both.
  • Teams that press don't like to be pressed. Just not true anymore. There are so many teams that run Nolan Richardson/Rick Pitino type systems that today's athletes are prepared for it. They've seen run and jump teams since 8th-grade AAU ball
  • Experience matters. Give me talent over experience seven days a week and twice on Sunday. 

Mark over at the Iowa State site Clone Chronicles was thinking of me when he wrote this: 

4. Clueless fan. You want to know where the teams are located, the team's colors are, what their mascots are, and pick accordingly. This person almost forgets they do a bracket, but almost always wins your pool.    

And he goes onto to select his entire bracket and put it up on display. 

Which leads me to a strategy that I don't think anyone else has mentioned yet: 

Find Someone Who Seems to Know What They're Doing And Copy Their Bracket 

which is what I think I'll be doing. Thanks, Mark. :) 

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