How To Pick A Winning NCAA Final Four Bracket

Ah … it is that time of the year again. A time of the year when the warm weather starts to approach the northern United States, but we all are stuck indoors shoving our face with hot wings and beer to watch March Madness. Instead of embarrassing yourself this year when your four-year-old daughter picks a better bracket than you, rely on the time-tested percentages of the tournament.

While everyone else will be relying on picking that one Cinderella story, you will come out on top by relying on percentages from tournament history.

Why you ask?

It is a simple theory really. You get higher points rewarded to you for having teams in the Final Four and NCAA Championship game.

Picking one low seed to advance to the Final Four could be disastrous for your bracket selections. Even if an unlikely team does advance, your competitors probably did not select them either.

I’ll take my chance based on some of these percentages.

No. 1 Seeds

We know that a No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed, so you can pencil them in for a first round victory. They have also win their second-round game 80% of the time. Go ahead and advance them to the third round as well.

Since the field expanded in 1985, there have only been two years where a No. 1 seed did not make it to the Final Four (2006 and 2011).

We also know that only twice has two No. 1 seeds played in the Championship game.

Top Three Seeds

Top three seeds have won the championship 24 out of the last 27 years. Be sure that your champion is highly ranked seed.

While the No. 3 seed is a good bet to win the championship, not all of them have success. Only once in the last 12 years has all four No. 3 seeds survived to the Sweet 16 round.

Picking An Upset

If you want to pick an upset, stick to the No. 10 seeds and No. 12 seeds in the first few rounds of play.

No. 10 seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 20 times since 1985 and No. 12 seeds have advanced 19 times.

But end the No. 12 seeds right there. They are 1-12 in Sweet 16 games and have never won an Elite Eight game.

Chances are that a seed lower than sixth is going to survive to the final eight teams (22 out of the past 27 years to be exact).

What Does This Mean?

Four those of you who want to know exactly what teams will win, we can’t predict the future.

We can tell you that if you want to score high in your office pool year after year and possibly win, your Elite Eight should look like this:

Sweet 16:

  • 4 No. 1
  • 3 No. 2
  • 3 No. 3
  • 4 No. 4-9
  • 1 No. 10
  • 1 No. 12

Elite Eight:

  • 3 No. 1
  • 1 No. 2
  • 2 No. 3
  • 1 No. 4-9
  • 1 No. 10

Check out my current picks below and I will let you know how this system works this year. Please keep in mind that I had to go back and have UNLV beat Baylor to follow the system.

My selections for the NCAA Final Four

The system at practice