March Madness

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Cracking Bracketology

Selection Sunday has come and gone leaving us with the single greatest gift in sports. The clean un-touched canvas that is “The Bracket”, which has more than 9.2 quintillion(a 9, followed by 18 zeroes) possible variations for you to choose from. Makes the billion dollars that Quicken Loans is giving out seem kinda shitty.
Now undoubtedly I will be asked by friends, family, coworkers and perhaps an absolute stranger who I like for upsets, who I have going to the Final Four and if I will help them fill out their bracket. I guess it’s a compliment and it comes with the territory, so this year I will share some of the wisdom I have gained over the years.
For those of you who watch enough college basketball to know each of the 64(i know its 68 but I’m a traditionalist) teams and handicap each and every matchup, good luck and you probably not the demographic asking these questions of me . To the rest of you its important to follow some very simple guidelines when selecting who advances and who goes home (no it’s not cooler mascot).

March Madness Truths, Well Most Of The Time Truths:

  • Don’t be duped by seeds. It’s not un-common for an 11 seed to be favored over a 6 seed. Take the time to look at the point spreads to see who vegas thinks is the better team, they back up their opinion with cash.
  • Good defensive teams will play good defense.
  • Teams that struggle to score at times will struggle to score at times.
  • Its hard to prepare for complex defenses on 48 hours notice.
  • Guard play, free throw shooting and rebounding are often the difference between advancing and losing to Harvard.
  • Don’t be scared if your bracket looks chalky, the top over seed has won the last 2 NCAA championships.
  • Teams that rely on the 3 point shot are prime candidates for the upset.
  • 25 years in a row a top 4 seed has won the tournament.
  • 12 out of the 13 years a 12 seed has upset a 5 seed, including three last year.
  • Teams that rely on the 3 point shot are prime candidates to play above their talent level.
  • #1 seeds never lose in the first round and I mean never.
  • Oh and lastly if you really want to put the time in check out he is the Bill James of college basketball analytics, great stuff on his site.

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All point spreads and lines on the podcast this week curtesy of
Ryan Kramer and Sean Green are writers and co-hosts for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow the show on twitter @GamblingPodcast.

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