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The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
March Madness Bracket Cheat Sheet
- Always bet at least one No. 12 seed to beat a No. 5 seed. Over the last 19 years, there has been at least one 12 over 5 upset 16 times.
- There are actually more No. 11 vs No. 6 upsets than 12 vs 5. The percentage is 37 percent for 11 seeds to win their first game and 35 percent for 12 seeds.
- Don't pick a 5 seed to win it all. A No. 5 seed has never won the tournament.
- Take at least one No. 1 seed to make the Final Four. Since 1985, No. 1 seeds have made the Final Four 41.2 percent of the time.
- Don't pick all four No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four. Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, all four No. 1 seeds have made the Final Four in the same season just once (2008).
Printable bracket for the 2019 NIT Tournament! pic.twitter.com/p2877bIxAz— The Duel (@TheDuelSports) March 18, 2019
- Pick a No. 1, 2 or 3 seed to win it all. No. 1 seeds have won the NCAA Tournament 21 times since 1985. The next closest is No. 2 seeds with five titles and No. 3 seeds with four titles.
- The lowest seed to win the tournament is No. 8 seed (Villanova) in 1985. UConn was a No. 7 seed when it won in 2014.
- Don't pick a 16 seed to beat a 1 seed. Last year was the first time it happened since the tournament expanded in 1985.
- 8 and 9 seeds are historically 50-50 picks. But if you pick a 9 seed to win, don't expect a second upset. They win only 10 percent of their second games, which is tied for the worst (No. 14 seeds) of any seed with more than one second-round appearance.
- If you pick a 10, 11 or 12 seed to win their first game, just know they have a 43 percent or better chance of winning their second game, which is surprising because they're usually going against another high seed.
- Four 11 seeds have made the Final Four, but no 12 seed or above has made it that far.
- Don't go crazy picking 13-seed upsets. They win only 21 percent of their first games historically.
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