Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NCAA Tournament Tips

Tired of relying on experts picks or your own knowledge? Well I have my own strategy at trying to pick some of the NCAA Tournament games myself. Now I will reveal my own strategy and you can decide for yourself if it's useful or not...

Picking a National Champion
Before filling out a single game, pick your national champion first. It just works out better that way, in my opinion. There are a few characteristics a national championship team should have; Here are some qualities you should look for in a champion (In no particular order):

1. Guard Play
A title team needs to have floor generals and an experienced PG who lead the team. The teams who lack an efficient floor general will be more susceptible to turnovers and shooting woes.

2. Defense
Defense is probably the biggest factor for a national championship team. A team with a stellar defense can dictate the flow of the game and force their own tempo usually prevails.

3. Experience
You gotta have experience in order to win it all. The players who have played in these big games and have gotten their teams there before usually have the upper hand. The teams that are battle-tested and get their teams through adversity usually come out on top.

4. Post Play
When was the last time a national champion didn't have a prominent big man? There are quite a few teams in this tournament with a big time post presence. UNC, Kansas, UCLA, Georgetown, Louisville, Memphis, and Wisconsin all have that.

5. 3 Point Shooting
You gotta be able shoot the long ball in order to be a champion. Team's at times may stack their defense inside the lane in a zone and will force you to win from the outside. If you're not consistent from beyond the arc you're not going to win it all.

Picking Games
A lot of people like to go with their head rather than their heart. I suggest to go with your heart. Go with your gut feeling, don't just pick a team to win because you simply think they're better or should win.

Ignore seeding... I repeat ignore seeding. Unless it's a 1 vs 16 or 2 vs 15 in the first round, I suggest you should not factor in the seeds at all. Seeding is basically worthless, it doesn't always mean a lower seed is better than a higher seed. You gotta look inside the individual match ups and look more into stats. Look at the individual teams and their results, and make an informed decision.

Don't be afraid to pick upsets. There are always big time upsets. For the past 7 of 8 tournament's a 12 seed has knocked off a 5 seed. When picking an upset, look for the experienced mid-majors who played a tough non-conference schedule and also have a good front court. The upsets will happen, just go with your gut feeling.

NCAA Tournament Stats and Guidelines
Number one seeds are 64-0 over the past 16 years and a perfect 92-0 since the tournament went to 64 teams in 1985.
Number two seeds are nearly as strong, winning 95% of first round games since 1992.
The #13 and #14 seeds have had some success in the first round, winning 20 of 124 games.
In the past three years, a total of four 13/14 seeds have won in the first round.
Interestingly, #12 seeds have performed better than #11 seeds (37% vs 25%)The #7 and #8 seeds are 60-60 against the #9 and #10 seeds since 1992

Did You Know?
The odds of picking a perfect bracket are: 9, 223, 372, 036, 854, 775, 808 to 1. So good luck to you all.

1 comment:

stephen a said...

This was a shock to me as well, but it's been statistically proven that offense is a bigger determining factor than defense. More teams that pull off upsets are hot shooting teams rather than good defensive teams.