Five Keys to Filling Out a Winning NCAA Bracket

ctsports picksAnalyst IMarch 17, 2009

March Madness every year starts with every person filling out NCAA tournament brackets and trying to win the office pool. This year, how about you win the office pool with tips from sports handicapper Craig Trapp on handicapping the big dance?

By the way, make sure you check out Craig's article breaking down the Big East odds breakdown to win the NCAA Championship! Craig's handicapping tips for March Madness will help you fill out your NCAA bracket and give you tips to win your NCAA bracket.

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1. First thing you must know in handicapping the NCAA Tournament brackets is put the No. 1 seeds into the Sweet 16. A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed. Very few times has an eight or nine seed beat a one seed. So go with the handicapping trend and put them in the Sweet 16.


2. Second thing you must know in handicapping the March Madness brackets is that you must pick two No. 10 seeds to upset the No. 7 seeds. Many fall in love with the seven seeds, but most of these teams are ripe for upsets.


3. Third thing you must know in handicapping March Madness winning brackets is you must pick one No. 12 seed and possibly two. Recent years have almost a 50 percent win percentage straight up in this matchup.


4. Fourth thing is don't take all the No. 1 seeds. Pick at least two non-No. 1 seeds. Last year was the first time all four No. 1 seeds made the Final Four. Don't go crazy picking below a No. 4 seed to make your Final Four. Ninety-three percent of the Final Four teams have been made up by seeds No. 1-4.


5. Last tip for handicapping and picking a winning bracket is don't pick below a No. 3 seed to win it all. Don't try to find the longshot or underdog winner; just take one of the top 10 teams and run with it. The chance of you winning if you pick a No. 4 seed is not very good because if they lose it will be to the No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16. You need your teams to advance to at worst the Elite Eight.


By the way, I want to leave you with one last tip: Don't forget about handicapping conferences. Many people fall in love with the Big Six conferences. Don't make that mistake. Handicap the conferences and rank them from best to worst. Have that help you in determining a smaller conference underdog against maybe an overrated big conference.

Hope you enjoyed Craig Trapp's tips in handicapping the NCAA tournament brackets this year. Of course, as in any form of gambling, there are no guarantees, but this will really help point you in the right direction. Use these tips in forming your basis of your bracket, and cross your fingers that you win the office pool this year.

Get all of Craig's handicapping picks and articles at his site!!