How to Fill Out A March Madness Bracket

Let’s learn how to fill out a March Madness bracket with this simple guide. Place a college basketball bet at now!

Once again, it’s that time of year when a great deal of college basketball fans are struggling. They spend their hard-earned cash on a March Madness bracket pool entry fee, only to lose against a knowledgeable opponent and fail miserably.

But there is a way to solve this issue; with my help and my NCAA bracket advice, you may become an expert by learning how to fill up NCAA brackets.

Researching results from previous elimination rounds can still provide an advantage, even though no one has figured out the magic recipe for success in NCAA Tournament bracketology after decades of analysis.

How To Fill Out A Bracket

While some outcomes, like No. 1 Virginia’s loss to a 16 seed in the first round a few years ago, are beyond our control, you should be able to use the information we found to fill out your tournament bracket and stay in the running until the title game.

Start Smart … Obviously

Having a successful bracket requires a good start. Sure, winning in subsequent rounds can get you more points (according on the scoring format of the pool you’re in), but in large college basketball bracket pools, the winner is frequently determined by a small number of points, which are points you can gain in the Sportsbook round.

Many casual fans become confused when filling out their brackets for the first round because they don’t know how to handle the tournament’s lesser-known mid-major teams. The secret to selecting wisely in the first round is keeping an eye on the betting spreads, particularly the one about the number 5.

Examining data from 1996, we found that an outright Sportsbook was the betting favorite in 74.4 percent of games during the Sportsbook round; however, the true advantage stems from employing a 5-point “cut-off spread.” During that time, teams with a 5-point or greater advantage won 85% of their games.

Teams favored by fewer than five, on the other hand, significantly underperformed, winning just 54.4 percent of games — almost as close as tossing a coin to determine the result.With these figures in mind, your March Madness betting strategy for the first round should be straightforward: choose the team that is favored by at least five points.

If it’s less than five, use our matchup reports to identify the squad that is hotter heading into the tournament, identify any flaws, and take it from there. This ought to guarantee a high percentage of accurate first-round selections.

Upset The Competition By Picking The Right Upsets

Bracket busting occurs in the second round of the NCAA Tournament when things start to get complicated. You should aim to remove at least one No. 2 seed from the field of the final 16 teams because it has only happened twice since 1997 that all four No. 2 seeds made it to the Sweet 16. The difficult part is choosing the best one, however, we can assist with choosing a sportsbook.

The fact that all four No. 2 seeds advanced to the Sweet 16 has only happened twice since 1997.

Look for the No. 2 seeds who have won six or fewer of their previous ten games. Since 1997, there have been 17 occurrences of this, and a staggering NINE of them—including Louisville in 2017 and Kansas in 2015—have fallen in the second round.

Other Red Flags

Three more warning signs that No. 2 seeds should be aware of are teams with worse turnover rates than average, bad three-point shooting, and teams who typically try fewer free throws than the team they are playing. Since the No. 3 seeds’ outright victory percentage in the second round is comparable to that of the No. 2 seeds, the same factors should be taken into account.

The following summarizes each seed’s performance in the second round since 1996:

Second-Round Record
Seed Since 1996
#1 84-15 (84.8%)
#2 61-33 (64.9%)
#3 54-33 (62.1%)
#4 48-30 (61.5%)
#5 33-28 (54.1%)
#6 27-34 (44.3%)
#7 19-37 (33.9%)
#8 11-43 (20.4%)
#9 5-41 (10.9%)
#10 19-25 (43.2%)
#11 17-22 (43.6%)
#12 14-25 (35.9%)
#13 5-17 (22.7%)
#14 1-11(8.3%)
#15 2-5 (28.6%)
#16 0-1 (0.0%)

It’s Not Hip (Or Profitable) To Be Square

Indeed, this section’s Sportsbook is harsh and cruel, especially to those who are only learning how to complete a March Madness bracket. However, it’s entirely justified because I’m attempting to make a point. Avoid being the office pool chump who selects all four No. 1 seeds for the Final Four. In the tournament’s existence, it has only ever occurred once.

That is the primary factor for the top seeds. The second thing to keep in mind when it comes to top seeds is to avoid taking a risk and eliminating them from your bracket too soon. Eighty-four percent of the top seeds since 1996 have moved to the Sweet 16, and sixty-eight percent have reached the Elite Eight. Just 41% of the top seeds have advanced to the Final Four since 1996, so that percentage has reduced significantly.


Naturally, this brings us to the championship game, which in 13 of the previous 19 years has had at least one No. 1 seed. Since teams ranked No. 1 through No. 5 have participated in 17 of the previous 19 championship games, no team seeded lower than No. 5 should be playing in your title game.

To be more precise, since 1996, 92 percent of tournament Sportsbooks have had a top-three seed, and the top seed has won 17 times over that time. For that reason, you shouldn’t bet on your No. 12 seed to pull off a Cinderella run this year.

Other Bracketology Tips For Winning Your NCAA Bracket

  • Show some love to conference tournament sportsbooks.Since 2001, conference tournament Sportsbooks have made up 45% of the teams that have advanced to the championship game.
  • Give the runners-up in the conference tournament some shit. Conference tournament runners-up made up just 10% of the teams that have advanced to the final game since 2001.
  • Your choice of filling approach for your bracket should be based on the size of your bracket pool. If there aren’t many people in your pool, it’s probably okay to have a bracket with lots of chalk. For this kind of strategy, I advise figuring out how far to progress each team based on our futures odds as a starting point. Of course, you should also use betting spreads to figure up your Sportsbook-round selections.
  • Turn off the public! You will have to take more chances to win if there are more people in the bracket pool. Well-known websites like ESPN publish the results of who is most likely to win the entire tournament. That squad is probably also the one that a lot of people in your pool have picked to win. Oppose that choice.

Trust The Facts: Stay Away From Your Gut

It is far better to follow facts and higher probabilities while filling up NCAA brackets than to follow your intuition. One of the most unpredictable sporting events of the year is the NCAA Tournament.

It is nearly hard to forecast picks such as No. 8 Villanova winning the entire tournament in 1985 or a double-digit seeded No. 11 VCU and No. 8 Butler facing off in the 2011 Final Four or No. 7 Michigan State’s Final Four trip in 2015.

Predicting such results is largely based on chance, thus you should suspect the person who claims they “really believed” or “just had a feeling” about the 13 seed.

NCAA Bracket Tips

You should be able to do more with March Madness than merely learn how to complete online NCAA brackets. This article’s March Madness bracket advice is applicable to wagering on individual games in many cases. In the first round, I plan to place moneyline bets on teams favored by five or more. In the second round, I plan to select a few upsets in games involving the second and third seeds.

Let the madness commence now that you know how to complete a basketball bracket! For more amazing statistics, follow me on Twitter and keep chasing that paper!

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