2017 NCAA Tournament Bracket Tips

2017 NCAA Tournament Bracket Tips
March 14, 2017 Ben Niehues IV
ncaa tournament bracket tips

You’re running out of time to fill out your pool winning March Madness bracket. But before you do, you’ll want to check out these simple NCAA tournament bracket tips to increase your chances of beating your friends and co-workers.

The following tips have proven to be relatively successful since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Use these tips as a guideline, the numbers aren’t an exact science. For example, if you feel (3) or (4) 1-seeds will be in the Final Four, do it (but it’s only happened 11% and 3% of the time respectively). On the other hand, (1) or (2) 1-seeds reaching the Final Four has each happened 39% of the time. I error towards the likelihood of favorites so I prefer choosing (2) 1-seeds.

Below are my suggested number of each seed to advance to each round and examples of who I’ve chosen in my bracket. These suggestions won’t complete your bracket but will give you a solid foundation.

Advance to the 2nd Round

(2) 9-seeds
(2) 10-seeds
(2) 11-seeds
(1) 12-seeds
(1) 13-seed
Vanderbilt, Seton Hall
Marquette, Wichita St.
Rhode Island, Xavier
Princeton, Middle Tennessee St.
(1) Michigan St.
(1) Wichita St.
(3) USC, Rhode Island, Xavier
(1) Middle Tennessee St.
(0) None
UPDATE (03/17/17):
In a fairly uneventful first round, we only had 6 upsets by seed rank (last year we watched 13!). I missed the mark predicting 3 too many upsets, but I guess the silver lining is I picked 4 of the 6.

Advance to the Sweet 16

(2-3) 2-seeds
(2-3) 3-seeds
(2-3) 10, 11, or 12-seeds
Duke, Louisville, Kentucky
Oregon, UCLA
Xavier, Middle Tenn. St.
(2) Arizona, Kentucky
(3) Baylor, Oregon, UCLA
(1) Xavier
*Only 12.5% chance a region’s 1, 2, 3, and 4-seed all advance to the Sweet 16
UPDATE (03/20/17):
The second round proved to bring a little more excitement with the exit of a 1-seed, (2) 2-seeds, and a 3-seed. Although, of the five double-digit seeds in-play only one (#11 Xavier) advanced to the Sweet 16.

Advance to the Elite 8

(2) 2-seeds
(1) 5-seed or higher
Duke, Kentucky
St. Mary’s
(1) Kentucky
(2) South Carolina, Xavier

Advance to Final 4

(1-2) 1-seeds
Gonzaga, North Carolina
(2) Gonzaga, North Carolina
UPDATE (03/27/17):
The South region busted a lot of brackets moving into the Elite 8. Not only did I have (2) Duke in the Final 4 but I had (7) South Carolina being upset by (10) Marquette in the First Round! I nailed the other top seeds but missed the mark on my dark horse pick of (7) St. Mary’s.

Need More 2017 NCAA Tournament Bracket Tips?

Below are list (in order) of the “cinderella” teams I like to advance in the dance.

10, 11, and 12-seeds to the Sweet 16 (Pick 2)
10 Wichita State
11 Xavier
12 Middle Tennessee State
11 Rhode Island
11 Kansas State
10 Oklahoma State
5-seeds or higher to the Elite 8 (Pick 1)
7 St Mary’s
5 Virginia
5 Iowa State
10 Wichita State
7 Michigan
6 Cincinnati
UPDATE (03/27/17):
I nailed (11) Xavier in the Sweet 16, but I didn’t even have Xavier or (7) South Carolina on my list of possibilities to advance to the Elite 8.

Do you have any other suggestions or successful bracket strategies? Maybe something less serious, team colors or mascots? Share below in the comments!

2017 ncaa tournament bracket tips