1. The Indiana Hoosiers are a No. 1 seed, but they are just two years removed from going 12-20, three years removed from going 10-21 and four years removed from going 6-25. Can a program really turn around that fast? All the way to a national title? Or even the Final Four? Maybe you should have them going out early in your bracket. Maybe.
2. Is this the year a 16-seed wins? There has never been this much parity in college basketball. Correctly picking a 16-seed to beat a 1-seed would give you a HUGE leg up in winning your tournament pool. Have to take a risk sometimes, right? Who knows, maybe even two 16-seeds might win this year. It could happen. Picking two upsets that big would almost assure you of winning your pool. Granted, if zero 16-seeds win, you'd be out of the pool before the weekend even arrives. Hmm.
3. A 5-seed is always a sure bet to lose to a 12-seed. Usually.
4. If a major conference team just won their conference tournament, you know they come into the NCAA Tournament with momentum. On the other hand, they may have peaked a week too early and could be tired.
5. Think about picking a team to win it all with blue in its uniform. A team with some blue has won nine consecutive NCAA titles. Nine! That has to mean something, right? Although it might just be a total coincidence. Who can really say for sure? No one. Still. Nine years in a row.
6. Trends are weird because sometimes they just suddenly end.
7. Teams with Tournament experience are good bets. Also, teams without Tournament experience can do well because they just play instinctively and may not even realize the stage they're on. It sort of depends on the team.
8. A team you never even considered as a contender always ends up making a run. So consider a team you have never considered. At that point you will have considered them, though, meaning the whole thing could be messed up.
9. Kansas is a No. 1 seed and lost three games in a row to mediocre Big 12 teams a month ago. How good could they really be? Unless, of course, they learned a lot from those losses and are now a dominant team.
10. Did you do well in your Tournament pool last year? Well, what are the chances the same strategies and thought processes will work again? You should probably consider changing things up a bit.
11. Certain programs almost always get eliminated early in the Tournament. That's likely to happen again unless the years of disappointment have primed them for a breakthrough this year.
12. You have to give an advantage to teams that are playing close to home, unless playing close to home is distracting for them. Probably depends on the personality of each team.
13. In a season of great parity, you have to think it's unlikely that all No. 1 seeds would advance to the Final Four – something that hasn't happened since 2008. On the other hand, maybe all that parity means that the top seeds will easily breeze past watered down talent. You could really see it going either way.
14. Just pulling team names out of a hat could work, but you still would probably want to allow some of your basketball knowledge to override unlikely outcomes like all the No. 1 seeds losing by the weekend. However, if that were to happen, you'd kick yourself. Maybe it is best to leave it up to random chance.
15. Experienced coaches with a track-record of success have an advantage in the NCAA Tournament. Yet sometimes coaches who have been around a long time lose their edge and their players tune them out. Maybe going with young, energetic coaches is the way to go.
16. Power conferences are the way to go. That said, what really even is a college basketball power conference these days?
17. Did you do poorly in your Tournament pool last year? Maybe it was just an aberration. The same strategies and thought processes you used last year could win your pool this year. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water, so to speak, right? At least give it some thought.
18. A poor shooting team can suddenly get hot for one game and blow out a team that is supposed to be better than them. Usually that doesn't happen, but sometimes it does.
19. Senior-laden teams have the experience and leadership that's needed come Tournament time. At the same time, how talented could a senior-laden team really be, right? If they were so good, those players would have gone to the NBA. Sort of a gray area.
20. Maybe think about filling out your bracket drunk. It could work.
21. Butler and VCU always make runs. That can't happen every year, though. Even the top power programs sometimes flame out in the first or second round.
22. Tournament play is all about match-ups. Except in the games when you can throw stuff like that out the window.
23. Maybe no 16-seed winners this year, but a few 15-seeds could happen, right? One, two, maybe even three could win. Yeah, it's all possible. You can never say never.
24. There are 9.2 quintillion possible bracket combinations, thanks to all the many Tournament outcomes and upsets, but don't let that large number overwhelm or discourage you. You just need to try for the one right bracket out of the 9.2 quintillion.
25. What if you take all of your current picks, erase them and do the exact opposite. It could work. Think on it.
Hope this has helped! Best of luck on your bracket!