I wanted to write a few tips for filling out your bracket and let you know a few things I like to do when making my picks. Here they are:
1. Always check the point spread. I know I’m the gambler and I always look at this stuff, but it’s the best way to figure out how close the matchup is expected to be. A perfect example of this is the Texas Tech-Utah State matchup. Texas Tech opened up as a five-point favorite and the line is going the wrong way. That makes Utah State a live dog for me.
2. Aim small, miss small … when in doubt, take the lower seed. You would rather pick with a majority of the field and get it wrong than take the underdog and miss out on points. People tend to get too cute and want to take a bunch of underdogs.
3. If you want to get different, it’s better to do it later in the tournament. Gonzaga will be the most-commonly picked team to win it all. Get different in your Final Four. Pick a different champion if you are trying to gain an edge.
4. I always put all of my No. 1 seeds into the Sweet 16. They are more likely to get there than to fail and get upset in the Round of 32. Again, better to be with the public, in my opinion, than to get cute and hope you get the upset right.
5. Have fun. This is supposed to be enjoyable, so don’t stress out over every game.