The real ones wait until until Monday night, or maybe even Tuesday or Wednesday, to fill out their March Madness brackets. Feel free to use this info at your own risk. It’s like when a stockbroker tells his client: “hey, these are my stock picks, but I can’t be held liable if you lose your money.” hahahaha!
It’s the biggest sports betting month of the year, so for the latest lines, spreads, money lines, totals and more check out PickATM. And without any further ado, our March Madness picking tips.
Some general guidelines to work with.
-Don’t pick Kansas, defending champions almost never repeat.
-You have got to pick only #1, #2, and sometimes #3 seeds in your Final Four. #4 seeds or lower rarely ever make it that far. But definitely don’t pick all #1s either- that’s only happened once (2009). And don’t pick any #16s over #1s, that’s only happened once (UMBC over Virginia) as well.
-#12s beat #5s all the time, pick the right one and you’re golden. Pick the wrong one and it could screw up your entire bracket.
-Iowa hasn’t made it to the second weekend since 1999, Illinois hasn’t done it since 2006. Don’t pick them to go far, as both the Illini (more on them here) and the Hawkeyes failed to reach the second weekend, the entire time that they had two of their best players in school history on their squad. (Iowa- Luka Garza, Keegan Murray Illinois- Kofi Cockburn, Ayo Dosunmu)
-Gonzaga and Michigan State (more on them here) have a solid track record of making it to the second weekend, but don’t pick them to win it all.
-Double digit seeds often make it to the Sweet 16, and sometimes the Elite 8, but they never make it to the Final Four.
-If you picked a heavy favorite, and they crash out early, don’t worry about it, everyone else did too, you’re still in it. Happened to me last year, my national champion pick (Kentucky) lost in the first round, but I still had a chance to win my pool heading into the Final Four.
I’ve done a bracket every year since 1991, I’ve never won my pool, but six times I’ve headed into national title game night with the chance to win the whole thing. Six times my pick to win it all…finished runner-up. Here is that roll call of “second place is the first place loser.”
March Madness Roll of (Almost) Honor
2016 North Carolina
So close, and yet so far. Maybe the seventh time is the charm? Purdue hasn’t been to a final four since 1980 (more on the Boilers and their chances here), but I’m actually picking them to lose to UCLA in the title game this year.
Will this FINALLY be my March Madness one shining moment?
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.