9 Remarkable March Madness Facts To Know While Filling Out Your NCAA Bracket
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With the constant barrage of games, beer drinking, wing eating, and bracket filling, the NCAA tournament continues to be a dream day for basketball fans who can’t wait to use that next “personal day,” or, heck, even a vasectomy, to be consumed solely with the sport. It’s March, which means it’s time for the Madness to commence.
The opening tipoff to March Madness is a holiday in some areas of the country. And it’s also a big day in Vegas for those who not only professionally bet on games, but do so through bracket pools. If you’re one of the millions of casual fans who fill out your bracket due to favorite color, coach, or mascot, more power to you. However, below are nine facts you need to know before choosing Fairleigh Dickinson to cut down the nets.
How the ‘Madness’ began: 25 Facts You Don’t Know About March Madness
Don't pick all No. 1 seeds to make the Final Four.
Here's the rundown of how many No. 1 seeds have reached the Final Four since the beginning of seeding in 1979:
None -- 3 times
One -- 15 times
Two -- 17 times
Three -- 4 times
Four -- 1 time
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Pick all No. 1 and No. 2 seeds for the opening round.
A No. 1 seed has only lost to a No. 16 once (135-1). In fact, aside from last year's UMBC upset of Virginia, since 1998, only four of the 84 matchups have been decided by single digits. And a No. 15 seed has only beaten a No. 2 eight times in 34 years.
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Pick at least one No. 2 seed to lose in the second round.
Remember how you should chalk up a win for all No. 2 seeds in the first round? Well, the same rule doesn't apply for the second round. Only once in the past 22 years has the tournament had a Sweet 16 in which all the 2-seeds were still alive, and only four times in the modern era has that happened (1989, 1995, 1996, 2009).
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Pick one Cinderella for the Sweet 16.
Write in one team seeded No. 10 or worse to get through the opening weekend. At least one team seeded 10th or lower has advanced to the Sweet 16 in 32 of the 34 years since the tournament's expansion to 64 teams.
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Pick at least one No. 12 seed to win a game
Don't overlook the No. 12 seed vs. No. 5 matchup. At least one No. 12 has beaten a No. 5 in 29 of the last 34 years (1988, 2000, 2007, 2015 and 2018 are the only exceptions).
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3-point percentage is your crystal ball
Since 1987, only six teams have shot less than 35 percent on three-pointers and won the title. This year, Duke shoots 30 percent from behind the arc. LSU shoots only 32 percent.
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Pick at least one 'First Four' team
Exactly one team from the First Four has advanced to the second round each year since the preliminary round began in 2011. In fact, in seven of the last eight years, that winning team has been the team that won the Wednesday non-16 seed game (last year it was Syracuse).
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Bet on the MVC
A Missouri Valley Conference team has won at least one game in the tournament the last 7 years. This year that Cinderella team could be Bradley.
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Don't hesitate to take a No. 13 seed early
A No. 13 seed has beaten a No. 4 in seven of the past ten NCAA Tournaments. They may not make the Final Four again (only five double-digit seeds have) but it's likely they will win at least one game.
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