March Madness Bracket Guide

March Madness bracket guideWant to put together an NCAA Championship Tournament pool? Need a March Madness bracket guide to set things up and figure out scoring? Look no further!


First, you will need to download a tournament bracket sheet for each person who wants to be included in the pool. If you do this ahead of time you’ll need to use a blank template and fill it in on your own, but after Selection Sunday (March 15th) you’ll be able to download tournament brackets with all the teams in place.


Remember that now you will need a 68 team bracket, as opposed to the 64 team bracket that has been used in years past.

Next, check out www.NCAA.com for a complete tournament schedule so you know when all the games will be played.
Here are the rules for a NCAA tournament pool (Both simple and advanced):

SIMPLE POOL SCORING

Round #1 = 1 point per game
Round #2 = 2 points per game
Round #3 = 4 points per game
Round #4 = 8 points per game

Semifinal = 12 points per game picked
Championship = 16 points to pick winner

Tie-breaker = Total points scored in championship game

All completed bracket forms must be turned into the pool judge prior to the tip off of the first game in the tournament. Forms should include the predicted outcomes to all 68 games in the tournament and a tie-breaker final score total for both teams in the championship game.

Only teams predicted to win each game should be included in the next round and subsequent brackets.

Incomplete forms should be scored according to completed areas only, and forms not including a championship game total will forfeit the tie-breaker to any other tied score participant that included a game total on his/her form.

ADVANCED POOL WITH UNDERDOG SCORING

Round #1 = 1 point per game PLUS Underdog seed difference
Round #2 = 2 points per game PLUS Underdog seed difference
Round #3 = 4 points per game PLUS Underdog seed difference
Round #4 = 8 points per game PLUS Underdog seed difference

Semifinal = 12 points per game picked PLUS Underdog seed difference
Championship = 16 points to pick winner

Tie-breaker = Total points scored in championship game

Underdog Scoring — If you successfully pick an underdog to win a game, you earn that round level points for the win, in addition to the difference in tournament seeds. For instance, if you pick a #11 seed to upset a #6 seed in the first round, you will earn 1 point + (11-6=5) 5 additional points for a total of 6 points for that pick. If you successfully pick a favorite to win a game, you will only earn the points awarded in that round.

Only teams predicted to win each game should be included in the next round and subsequent brackets.

Incomplete forms should be scored according to completed areas only, and forms not including a championship game total will forfeit the tie-breaker to any other tied score participant that included a game total on his/her form.

MARCH MADNESS BRACKET GUIDE

Tips for Winning Your Bracket

Want to make smarter picks, and hopefully win a little more? We did some research for you on picking NCAA Tournament winners (with some help from Pete Tiernan, owner of Bracketscience.com) and here are six key stats that can help you come out on top.

1. Don’t pick a seed lower than four – 24 out of 26 champions in the 64 team era were seeded one through four.

2. Find experience — 24 out of 26 played in the previous year’s tournament.

3. Honor thy conference — 24 out of 26 belonged to a power conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big East, and others)

4. Honor thy coach — 24 out of 26 have coaches who’ve been to the tournament at least five times.

5. Pick run-and-gun teams — 23 out of 26 averaged 77 points per game coming into the tournament.

6. Mind the gap — 24 out of 26 won by at least 10 points per game, on average, before the tournament.

7. Gauge your risk — The larger the pool, the riskier you need to be. If you’re up against 20 people, safe bets work best. Some people are looking less for the money than the prestige of picking upsets. But if there are hundreds in the pool, there will be plenty of competition. In this case, picking the underdog counts for more.

Good luck and have fun!

thumb-march-madness For more ideas on celebrating March Madness, check out our March Madness party ideas page!

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