NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 11: Lance Goulbourne #5 and Festus Ezeli #3 of the Vanderbilt Commodores fight Anthony Davis #23 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats for a rebound during the championship game of the 2012 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The fields are now set for NCAA Tournament and their field of 68. Four Mountain West teams made the cut this year. That gives you even more reason to pay attention to March Madness this year. If you're going to fill out a bracket online, then be sure to enter the Yahoo/SB Nation "Wisdom of the Crowds" Tourney Pick Em' Contest this year.
Now that you know where to enter your bracket, I'm here to help you with some pointers. I'm not a tremendous Bracketologist but here are few helpful tips I've picked up over my years.
- Don't pick a 16 seed to beat a #1 seed. This isn't happening folks, Cinderella teams do not scrape the bottom of the barrel of a bracket. Follow this advice and you are guaranteed to get at least four picks right!
- Don't fall in love with "power conferences". Just because a schools football team can play in BCS bowl game doesn't mean they will automatically dominate on the hardwood. There are some traditional powers you can't ignore like: Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse to name a few. What I'm talking about are those 8/9 and 7/10 match-ups mainly here. The mid-majors tend to play with more of a chip on their shoulder. Also remember that the PAC 12 and SEC are not dominant when it comes to hoops.
- Pay attention to Geography. Check out the sites where each game is played. Sometimes a neutral site is more of home game for some teams. Colorado State faces Murray State in Louisville, KY in the second round. All those Kentuckians will be rooting for Murray State which is located in Murray, KY. I thinks the Rams will have a very hard time against the Racers. Also the further away a team has to play from home, the harder it will be for their fans to make the trip.
- If the shoe fits. Pick a Cinderella and give them a nice run in the tournament. Find at least one mid-major team that is flying under the radar and give them a nice run into Sweet 16 or Elite 8.
- Don't recite your entire bracket to everyone you know. Nothing is more annoying then having to deal with the guy who tells you every single pick they made. You picked a 12 seed to beat a 5? Congratulations, I don't care. Millions of others did the exact same thing. If you really want to show everyone your picks at least print off a copy and let them look. Hearing you run through your entire bracket with every person in the office will put one on everyone's bad side.
Have fun with your bracket and enjoy all the madness that awaits.
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