How to Win your March Madness Pool

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(Pictures from Google Images)

By: Monte Perez

The day after Selection Sunday should be called Black Monday. Every so-called “expert” goes on TV, radio and social media to complain about the teams that get left out of the NCAA Tournament. This article is not about that, but I will say this…There is no way Syracuse(19-13) should be in the field of 68. Head Coach, Jim Boeheim was suspended by the NCAA earlier this season and the Orangemen had the lowest RPI rating for an at large team in the history of the NCAA Tournament. St. Bonaventure Men’s Basketball had an overall record of 22-8. They were 14-4 in their conference and an RPI rating of 29. It is a damn shame that they did not get in. This is the classic example of how the NCAA is all about money. They rewarded a mediocre Big Conference team in Syracuse and not an up and coming program like St. Bonaventure.

Last year I picked all final four teams. I had Wisconsin beating Kentucky and Duke beating Michigan State. In the Finals, I had Duke beating Wisconsin for the National Championship. Below you will find a “cheat sheet” or rules to follow…before you enter your March Madness pool.
5) Don’t believe the Cinderella Hype- This notion that March Madness is great because everyone has a chance to win is one of the greatest lies ever perpetrated on the American public.


(Picture from Google Images, From the 1991 Movie JFK)

In the history of the NCAA Tournament only 3 teams ranked 10th or higher have made the Final Four. They were all #11 seeds… LSU (1986), George Mason (2006) and VCU (2011). Neither of these lower seeds ever made it to the National Championship Game. So if you have any team over a 10 seed going to the Final Four or Title Game, you are throwing money away.

4)The Most common upsets – Excluding the play-in games, a 16-seed has never won a game in the men’s tournament.
There have been seven 15 seeds that have defeated 2 seeds in the first round.

There have been twenty 14 seeds that have defeated 3 seeds in the first round.

There have been twenty-five 13 seeds to defeat 4 seeds in the first round.

There have been forty-four 12 seeds to defeat 5 seeds in the first round: (If you are going to pick an upset in the first round the safest bet is the #12 seed. But over the last two years the 12 seeds are 0-8).

There have been forty-two 11 seeds that have defeated 6 seeds in the first round.
3) Go with the top 6 seeds to make the Final Four: Since1985, only one team ranked higher than an 8 seed has made the Final Four. Wichita State did it as a #9 seed in 2013.
2) Always bet on Michigan State and Tom Izzo-  The Spartans have made the sweet 16 seven out of the last 8 years. Izzo has led his team to 3 Final Fours as well. Izzo always has his team prepared and will never be out coached. It is a safe bet to pick them to get to the Elite 8. MSU is a 2 seed for the third time. In each of the previous two instances, the Spartans have reached the Final 4.


(Picture from Google Images)
5) I don’t believe in the Carolina’s – Duke’s Grayson Allen is one of the best players in the country. He is averaging 21.4 PPG, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists. But, the Blue Devils basically play 6 players. For Duke to win the National Championship, Allen has to be the most dominant player on the court for 6 straight games. That is a monumental task.  The Tar Heels won the ACC Tournament and many have them as a favorite to win the whole thing. The have the talent but their weakness is three-point shooting. North Carolina was last in the ACC in 3 point shooting percentage (31.4). If Carolina runs into a hot shooting team …it could be lights out for them before the Final 4.

Good luck in your office pools 🙂


(Picture from  Google Images)

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About Monte Perez 502 Articles
I am a former AAU and College basketball coach as well as a Former Stand Up Comedian. Over the past three years, I have written over 600 articles for numerous websites. I am the former host of The Monte Cristo Sports Thing on WRNJ radio in New Jersey. I am now the host/producer of The Full Monte Sports Show live on Youtube Sunday's at 11 AM and Tuesday at 9 PM Over the past 3 years I have been a featured guest or host on over 300 radio shows and podcasts. For bookings send emails to Follow me on Twitter MonteJP231
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