NCAA Basketball March Madness

5 Ways to Create the Perfect 2014 NCAA Tournament Bracket

Ways to Create the Perfect 2014 NCAA Bracket

5 Ways to Create the Perfect 2014 NCAA Bracket
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

For fans and sports nerds alike, Selection Sunday is like Christmas morning. Why? Because March Madness gives everyone Bracket Fever! The NCAA tournament is an exciting three weeks. While everyone will be questing for that billion dollar perfect bracket and bragging rights within the office, there are some tips that could go a long way in having a chance at some maddening success. Here are five ways to create the perfect 2014 NCAA Bracket.

5. Start at the top

Wichita State Shockers
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

5. Start at the top

Wichita State Shockers
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

In order to have success with any bracket it starts at the top. The no. 1 seeds have never lost to a no. 16 seed. While it will eventually happen, there is no need to go out on a limb that quickly. Wichita State, Virginia, Florida, and Arizona are all likely to advance to play at least one more game this year. There will be upsets, but not in this spot. There is no need to be that bold.

4. The 5 vs 12 Upset

Cincinnati Bearcats Mascot
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

4. The 5 vs 12 Upset

Cincinnati Bearcats Mascot
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The classic 5 versus 12 matchup is where upsets can be found. Last year, only one no. 5 seed advanced out of the round of 64. The underdogs advancing is what makes March Madness great. It is why taking a sick day on the first Thursday of the tournament is perfectly acceptable. The trick is selecting the correct upset to really get your bracket on the right track and early bragging rights.

3. Avoid the Chalk

Harvard Basketball
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

3. Avoid the Chalk

Harvard Basketball
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Picking all of the high seeds is boring, and the strategy rarely works out. Upsets are a part of the lure and pageantry of the tournament. Historically, there is about 3-5 upsets in the tournament each year. Also, having a double-digit seed advance to the Sweet 16 is not uncommon in recent tournaments. This is the spot where if you are bold and choose correctly, it could pay off in those office pools.

2. Follow the Trends

Michigan State Spartans
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

2. Follow the Trends

Michigan State Spartans
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Leading up to the opening round, following the trends is where you can pick up key knowledge that could sway one of the many toss-up games. Which teams are playing well and riding hot streaks? Which teams are shooting the best and playing strong defense? Also, what teams are the oddsmakers favoring? Following the trends could set you on the path to correct picks and avoiding the fate of seeing your bracket wind up in the trash can.

1. Have at least one No. 1 Seed in the Final Four

Florida Gators
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

1. Have at least one No. 1 Seed in the Final Four

Florida Gators
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Bracket success not only starts at the top, most of the times it ends at the top as well. At least one of the top seeds is able to navigate through the bracket and onto the Final Four, but only once has all four of them turned the trick. The last two years, the tournament has seen the No. 1 overall seed cut down the nets. Also, in the last 15 years a No. 1, 2, or 3 seed has become champion. Be bold early, be smart late. Good Luck.