March Brackets 101
10 Mar, 2016
It’s that time again…with the big college basketball tournament tipping off, you may be creating a bracket of your own with your office, friends or family! But how does it all work? For those who are college basketball rookies or need a refresher, we’ve broken down the steps of how to make a bracket in our 101 overview.
Selecting the teams
The tournament starts with 68 teams that are seeded by a committee. Of these teams, 32 of them are automatically entered into the tournament after winning their conference tournaments. The other 36 teams are the “at-large” teams and are the next best – they are deemed by the committee to be the 36 best teams that didn’t win their conferences. The last four at-large teams and the worst four automatic qualifiers play games in Dayton, OH. These four games are sometimes referred to as play-in games, since the winning teams will then enter into the main part of the tournament.
Breaking down the brackets
So here’s the big question – how do the brackets work? There are four quadrants in the bracket that represent geographic regions: South, West, East and Midwest. A team’s region is determined by the location of the regional semifinals and finals. Within each region, the teams will be added to the bracket according to their seed number (1-16). The first seed in a particular region will play the 16th seed in the same region, the second seed will play the 15th, and so on. The winning team from each game will move on to the next round in the tournament.
Creating your bracket
We wish there was an art to making a perfect bracket, but according to the Chicago Tribune’s interview with a mathematics professor, the odds of your bracket being perfect are less than 1 in 9.2 quintillion. When you create your bracket, start with the outer section and choose the team you think will win for each game. You’ll find that some bracket challenges even ask you to predict the score of each game. Some people do intense research on the individual team’s statistics and records, while other choose their winning lineup by the color of the uniforms! No matter how you pick, it makes for an interesting month of college basketball.
Monitor your bracket
Bracket picks are locked into place before the tournament starts. Tablets are a great way to keep tabs on where you are in the standings. You can easily check in on your progress while at home without pulling out your laptop. Depending on your workplace policies, you may also pull up scores throughout the day on your desktop computer. Wondering if the tournament is making you go mad? Be sure to take our quiz, How Mad Are You This March? to see the intensity level your fandom has taken.
Are you creating a March bracket? Which bracket system is your favorite?
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