filling a march madness bracket

March Madness fever never fades for the Americans. As the NCAA college basketball championship is near, filling the March Madness bracket becomes another standard norm. Bettors wait every year to participate in this mega-betting event. It’s an annual game of chance to make money while cheering for your favorite team. Sounds exciting?

You can also compete with friends, colleagues, or online players to win the pool prize. If you need help figuring out where to start, fret not! Follow this comprehensive guide to fill the March Madness bracket and improve your chance of winning the pool prize.

What is March Madness Bracket?

As the name indicates, the March Madness Bracket is a popular pool betting game conducted during the annual college basketball championship. The NCAA Men’s basketball selection committee announces the 68 teams contesting for this league. The same day also kicks off the March Madness prediction game.

This game has an organizer or bookie to manage the pool. The real-money college basketball betting initiates once the 64 teams are on the board. It means scoring for the March Madness bracket starts only after the First Four play-in games. Since March Madness is a single-elimination tournament, you’ll be out of the pool if your chosen team loses.

Usually, players can submit or modify the bracket up to a minute before the first game of the round of 64. However, the specific deadlines vary based on the online sports channels hosting the contest.

Method to Fill March Madness Bracket

Here’s the step-by-step method to seamlessly fill the bracket for the upcoming March Madness.

Step 1: Download the Template

You can easily download the March Madness Bracket template from online sports channels or betting sites.

Step 2: Send the Invitation

After downloading the March Madness bracket, an organizer can invite others to join that pool. It can be a printed template or forwarded via email.

Step 3 – Fill Out the Brackets

Now the real fun of filling the brackets begins. Start predicting the teams you think will win a particular round. Make sure to apply the right strategy at this stage.

You’ll pick and write the names of the teams in the March Madness pool template. The bracket-filling process stays the same for each tournament round.

Step 4 – Submit the Pool

The March Madness bracket completes once all participants add their picks. Submit it with the entry fee to the pool organizer.

Once the basketball tournament begins, you’ll know the results of each round. So enjoy the matchups and wait for your luck to do wonders.

Score Board

You’ll earn a better score as you advance in the bracket round. The scoring for every correct prediction in the March Madness pool challenge works as follows:

  • First round – 1 point
  • Second round – 2 points
  • Sweet 16 round – 3 points
  • Elite Eight round – 8 points
  • Final Four round – 16 points
  • NCAA championship round – 32 points

To know the winner, multiply the number of correct picks by the points assigned to that round. The participant with the highest point total wins the pool prize!

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Bracketology Tips & Strategies

Instead of hunches, pay attention to facts and higher probabilities instead of hunches when filling the bracket. These crucial strategies can help you play the MM pool game smartly.

Focus on Seeds

You can’t randomly pick any team while filling the March Madness bracket. Favoritism is also a strict no-no in this contest. After all, you’re playing to earn some real bucks!

Make sure to fill the brackets based on seed numbers assigned to all college basketball teams. After evaluating the year-long performance, the NCAA selection committee ranks each team with seed numbers between 1 and 16.

Don’t Underestimate Chalk

Don’t call it a day by choosing the high-seed teams over the “chalk” (low seeds) during the initial bracketology. Sporting events are often unpredictable. That said, even dark horses can move ahead in the game. Thus, focusing on a few upsets in your March Madness pool is also vital.

Choosing upsets in the first or second round is a better strategy to beat the odds. For instance, UMBC (No. 16 seed) dismantled Virginia (No. 1 seed) in the first round during March Madness 2018.

So, identify talented teams ranked in the top 25 during the preseason. This way, you can add one or two underdogs in your bracket who can make it to the Sweet 16.

Tip: Put your trust in at least one No. 12 seed team. In the last 36 years, 12-seed advanced thirty-one times out of the first round.

Keep Top Levels for High Seeds

High seeds usually dominate the bracket in the Sweet 16 and beyond rounds. Generally, the best teams face each other in the final round matchups, i.e., No. 1, No. 2, or No. 3 seeds.

So when in doubt, choose the better-seeded basketball teams for the Final Four.

Tip: Choose at least two No. 1 seeds you assume can make the Final Four to boost your winning odds.

Follow Stats and Predictions

If you’re an ardent follower of the NCAA basketball league, you’ve already passed the first level. Next, use your knowledge base to analyze the teams’ performance.

These days various online channels use Machine Learning models for match predictions. These stats and data allow players to sketch the bracket strategically for every round.

Besides, follow sports experts and bracketologists online to stay up-to-date about the basketball game. Your research level also increases your probability of winning the pool.

Final Words

March Madness 2023 seed list is already out! With the championship league around the corner, keep your A-game ready. This season, get into the action with your colleagues or neighborhood buddies. Show them you’re a college basketball pro.

For better predictions, make sure to stay realistic throughout the betting event. Listen to your brain, not the heart.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports and Surprise Movies.


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