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How not to make your NCAA tournament picks

It's that time of the year again. The NCAA tournament is upon us. Enjoy the next month of excitement and don't forget to point out to @INSIDEtheBCS how much better a tournament can be than a convoluted football "championship."

Now if you're like me, the lack of good basketball in the Boise State area probably stifled your interest in CBB. I know I haven't watched a full basketball game all year long. This isn't a new thing for me. Every year I tell myself I'm going to watch more college basketball, and it never quite happens.

Of course, this doesn't stop me from filling out many brackets every year with my limited knowledge. But, I do have to have some method to my mediocrity, so join me after the jump as I go through a few rules to live by for those with limited college basketball knowledge (and/or laziness).

Join our group

First off, make sure you join our tournament pick'em group. We'll have copious amounts of prizes including:

  • A limited edition Boise State art print courtesy of OBNUG's Drew
  • A blue, Boise State WAC champions T-shirt (size: large)
  • Copy of The Blue magazine's special Fiesta Bowl issue
  • Infamy, courtesy of a spot on OBNUG's Wall of Heroes (on the site's homepage sidebar)
Get your picks in before tomorrow. Great entry names are always appreciated like the following:
  • Watched 2 games all year, M. Kingery
  • Beware the Hout, R. Hodges
  • Football Season Yet? T. Pagel
  • Coin Flip!, B. Butler
  • Coin Flip, J. Anderson
  • Modified Coin Flip, J. Anderson
Okay, on to the rules. 


Do not pick a 16 over a 1

Seems simple enough, but I always have to fight the urge. Is this the year? Parity in college basketball is getting better. It's going to happen someday...

Don't do it. Even when it happens, that 16 seed will be knocked out in the round of 32. If you feel that unsure about a number 1 seed, pick them to lose a round or two later like Kevan did. He has Duke losing in the second round.

Do not let the sum of the seeds in your Sweet Sixteen exceed 50

This is a good one. Why did I decide on 50? It's a good round number, and despite what I've seen from several of brackets in the Pick 'Em group, 100 was too high. 

Let's think this through. If all the top seeds win out, that would be the top 4 from every region, that would sum up to 40. So, that gives you a little room to improvise. You could throw a few 6's or 7's in there and, if you feel really good about it, a 12. But don't go too crazy.

By the way, Kevan just told me his sweet 16 adds up to 70. I guess he's still a dreamer. 

Do not pick more than three upsets per region in the first round

Seeing how there are only 8 games in each region, trying to pick 3 or less per region seems to make perfect sense. But there always seems to be a region where everything blows up. It's inevitable. 

Well, you don't know what region that's going to be, and if you think you know, chances are you're wrong. Imagine picking 5 upsets in the South region because you just know that the cream puff region that the NCAA set up for Duke is going to backfire. Well, when the West inevitably goes haywire, you're screwed. Cut your losses, remember the rule of 50, and plan for the Sweet Sixteen. 

What did Kevan do? That would be 5 upsets in the South region. Sigh.

Do not leave yourself hanging by knocking out all the No. 1 seeds  before the Elite Eight

Historically, we know that most likely the Final Four will not have four number 1 seeds. However, what do we know about how many number 1 sees make the Elite Eight only to lose before the Final Four? Well, not much because I don't know anyone at the Elias Sports Bureau.

However, my gut tells me that a lot of them make it this far, and I just finished reading Blink so I'm all about trusting my gut these days.

Do not pick more than two 12 vs. 5 upsets

That is so five years ago. Everyone knows the 13 over 4 is the new 12 over 5. 

Do not pick a team because you have always picked that team

This is not Gonzaga's year. Trust me on this. I do it every year. I pick them to go to the Final Four, and I play out in my head how glorious the victory would be. Even if they do make it, you can still enjoy the victory with them. No one is going to check your bracket and yell at you for being happy for them when you didn't have enough faith to pick them.

When all else fails, pick high seeds, schools that sound cute, and schools with cute mascots

That's what your wife, girlfriend, significant other, or annoying office co-worker does every year, and they still manage to beat you.

Your turn

What else did I miss? What are your tips for picking winners? This list is in no way set in stone, so let's hear what you've got.