One of my favorite tips:
Defense wins championships … most of the time
Of all the attributes a team possesses, defense is the greatest factor in predicting a team’s potential tournament success. Schools that force turnovers, guard the glass and generally frustrate opponents are almost always in a game, regardless of how good/bad it may be performing offensively. According to the ridiculously addictive KenPom.com, 2011’s VCU team is the only school to reach the Final Four with a ranking of 40-plus in defensive efficiency. When in doubt, use the data located here to determine who should advance on your sheet.
While I’ve known plenty of ladies – and a few gents – who suddenly and suspiciously become HUGE college basketball fans right around March, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on X college’s defense or Y player’s life history. I just love a little friendly competition and generally enjoy watching the NCAA championship because it’s so exciting and unpredictable. I remember how proud I was of the men’s basketball team at George Mason when we went to the Final Four – and every season I just know that we’re going to make it again.
I faithfully fill out a bracket every year, and though I’ve never won a pool, I somehow always come close. My method involves a bit of casual research, educated guess work, and some intuition (to try to predict a couple of upsets!). While Yahoo!’s guide is sure to get you far in your pool, my number one rule is: don’t get too bogged down in the details when filling out your bracket, because half the fun comes from unexpected outcomes (unless of course, you were expecting your team to win).
And if you need any more proof: