As March is getting near in the calendar, sports fans are riled up not only because of the excitement March madness brings. Along with the anticipation of watching your favorite NCAA basketball teams play in the tournament, March madness also hypes up the exhilaration brought by filling out the March Madness bracket.
March madness bracket is a form of sports betting based on the yearly NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament each spring in the United States. You can complete the bracket online or print it out and complete by hand. The participants in this betting game make a prediction of the outcome of each game in the tournament. Whoever has the closest prediction wins the game.
It’s incredibly difficult to fill out a bracket with the winners of each of the 67 games in the tournament. Your odd of perfecting a bracket is estimated to be 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (9.2 quintillion).
Don’t get intimidated with this number though. You would need more skills than luck in filling out the NCAA Tournament bracket. If you are still struggling with this endeavor or has not tried this before, below are your step-by-step guide to joining your local bracket pool
Search for a Bracket Pool and Join
You don’t need to search the whole archipelago to find a bracket pool. All you have to do is simply talk to whoever is running the pool. There are still some old school methods, like in your office for instance, where you have to print out two copies of the blank bracket. One copy is for you to submit while the other one is for your record.
Most of the office pools have an entry fee; in fact intra-office gambling is allowed and even encouraged. Most dues are not expensive – with $10 or $20 entry fee to join the pool. After you paid your entry fee to whoever is running the league, you will be given the name and password of your league. Use these details to log in online and begin filling out your bracket.
Thanks to technology, there are a lot of websites nowadays that are hosting brackets for the public. You can go to sites like CBSSports.com, ESPN.com or similar sites and join the public pool. If you have a Facebook account, you don’t need to create a new account since most of these sites have the option to “Sign in through Facebook”
Filling out Your Bracket
Don’t get carried away by the “madness” March madness brings. There is no wrong way to fill out your bracket so don’t get too crazy or stressed out.
The logic in filling out the brackets is quite simple, even for beginners. The higher seed (the team that has the lower number next to its name) is more likely to be the better team. It would be wise if you pick some of these teams to be on your side. Don’t fret though if you made an error, again there is no perfect way of filling out your bracket.
Don’t make the same mistakes that many of us commit – picking all the top seeds to make it to the Final Four. Pick probably from the higher seeds then fill out the rest with few other teams. You can’t go wrong with North Carolina, Duke and Michigan State as they have been good bets historically when it comes to building brackets. Here are some of the other teams that you should watch out for this 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Though you have to use some facts in filling out your bracket, make the bracket your own by doing what you feel is right according to your gut feel. There is no wrong way of doing it; some have even built their brackets based on mascot appearances or whimsical feeling.
Once you are done filling out your bracket, your next step is to pick a final score as a potential tiebreaker. You can generally go with what your heart feels, but 70-69 is usually a good number. There is nothing worst in the world than submitting a blank bracket so make sure that you save yours before the games tip off Thursday at noon EST.
Watch the Tournament
Now here is my most favorite part of this process – watching the tournament. With all the stress and confusion this conundrum brings, it’s now time to breathe easily, relax and simply enjoy watching the game.
Now that you have your bracket, get updated all day Thursday and Friday with what’s happening in the tournament. When Friday comes, you can gather all your friends who also have brackets, go to your favorite hangout place and celebrate your wins and mourn your losses together. You will have your chance of winning your pool as long as most of your Final Four are still intact. The game comes at a less fast-paced run during the second weekend so it becomes easier to track what teams you need to come through for you.
You don’t need a cable subscription to watch the NCAA Basketball Tournaments. There are various sites on the internet that you can do live streaming. Click here to get the complete list of Livestream schedule for March Madness.
Don’t Forget to Tip the Host if You Win Money
Congratulations in winning your bracket pool. Though others may point it to beginner’s luck, your winning did not just solely rely on luck. You have to take credit on your analytical and sharp bracket picking skills that made your first betting successful.
If you won on your pool, tipping whoever put the league together is always a nice gesture. What’s the acceptable amount that you can tip? Most players tip the amount of their own entry fee. Though most of the pool host will refuse the tip, it’s the nice gesture of thoughtfulness that will give you a good karma for the next March madness season.
Now that you have learned everything that you need to know on how to fill out your bracket, it’s time to put these learning into action and reap the result of your good luck and smart picking skills.