Secrets to Making a Winning Bracket

There is a cure for March Madness: 200 CCs of tourney-winning cash! 

ENTERTAINMENT  |  March 14, 2011By Dan Bova

There is a cure for March Madness: 200 CCs of tourney-winning cash! Listen in as Adam Figman, resident hoop head at Slam magazine, shares his tips on grabbing triple-double ducats.


To Know Your Future, Know the Past
“The rankings, generally speaking, are based on the team’s performance for the entire season so you want to look at the team’s record over the last third of the season,” says Figman. “You’ll be able to see who’s gaining momentum and who played really well at the beginning the season, got a good ranking, and has fallen off since.”

Don’t Get Too Upset

“History tells us that there’s always going to be one or two or three Cinderella teams that are gonna come out of nowhere,” says Figman. “So pick a fairy tale ending for one or two teams. If you guess correctly, chances are you’ll be the only one with that team going to the Sweet 16 or the Elite 8, and you’ll probably win your tournament. But don’t go nuts: Risk it all across the board, and you will screw up your bracket in the first round.”

3 Is The Magic Number
“Three-point shooting is always big—if a team has strong shooters, they’ll be able to put a lot of points up very quickly,” Figman says. “Those schools can be dangerous, and are good picks for upsetting better squads.”

Set Up a Hot Foursome

Figman says to start by make your Final Four picks, and work your way backwards and forwards from there: “Your goal is to get a perfect Final Four. My picks: Ohio State, Kansas, Pitt, and Texas, with Kansas taking it all. I would’ve had BYU in there, but I think talking to Maxim breaks the honor code.”

Don’t Be a Smartass
It’s a good idea to do some research and read up about the teams, but at a certain point, information overload can have you second-guessing and you’ll wind up screwing your bracket. “If you think spending 12 hours a day reading and researching will result in a perfect, masterful bracket, then you have another thing coming,” says Figman.

Warm Fuzzy Feelings
“If your knowledge of basketball is minimal or non-existent, I recommend making your picks based on which team has the better mascot or craziest hairdos,” Figman says. “Or you can find the most obnoxious, know-it-all college fan you know and just pick the opposite of what he picks—those people are always wrong.”

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