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Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com

The Madness has begun. The teams are picked. You are sitting in front of your brackets. Hating these play-in games. Trying to figure out who is going to survive it all. Why? Because winning your NCAA bracket pool is a crown you can wear for a year. And the money. There’s always the money.

So, here at y’all.com we did some research and here are 10 tips that y’all may want to consider going into the Big Dance:

  1. Don’t take a 16. Last year a #16 UMBC beat #1 Virginia. This is the first time this has ever happened. You wanna be right once, or often?
  2. #12 v #5 – If there is a first round upset, usually it’s that a #12 seed beats a #5.
  3. The top four seeds in a given region have all made it to the second weekend just 10 times in the past 26 years.
  4.  All four one seeds have only made the Finals one time in the history of the tournament.
  5. #8 and #9 seeds matchups- Not sure? Flip a coin. Throw a dart. These matchups are usually difficult to call.
  6. The 5th seed and seeds #9-#16 have never won the Championship. The #5 seed has been and lost 3 times. The others never been.
  7.  In 27 of the 34 modern day NCAA tourneys, there have been between 10 and 16 upsets each year (where the winning team was at least two seeds worse than the losing team).
  8. In each of the past five years, the top defensive team has been Virginia. In those five tournaments, the Cavaliers never made it past the Elite Eight, falling in the second round twice, and losing in the first round last year. They are #1 in defense again this year.
  9.  In the past 34 years, no team that has finished with the top defense has ever reached the national championship, and only one has ever been to the Final Four. What’s more, 25 of the 34 either didn’t make the tournament or lost in the first two rounds.
  10. And finally, from the folks at NCAA.com : Okay, this one may not be the best picking strategy, but if you want to pick based on mascot showdowns, dogs really are your best friend. They boast a 37-26 record against cats in the tournament.
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