Bracket Advice: What are the upsets going to be and who is going to win it all?
It’s that time of year again when millions of people fill their bracket to see who can pick the best as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starts on Thursday.
With that being said, a lot of people have many questions about filling out their own personal bracket.
WHO ARE THE FAVORITES?
This year’s bracket is chalked full of multiple teams that could possibly win the championship this year with no clear favorites.
However, the two teams that have been steady for the majority of the season at the top are Alabama and Houston.
Both the Crimson Tide and the Cougars have been a consistent presence in the Top Ten rankings since Week Four.
One of the hardest things to do when picking is identifying a team that is under radar that can pop up and ruin a bracket.
Not exactly a one or two seed or a double digit seed but rather the seeds in the 3-7 ranges that were under-picked but good enough to make a run.
Texas A&M could potentially be one of those teams who are currently a seven seed.
The Aggies, who were second in the SEC and finished runner-up in the tournament championship, have a really good chance of sneaking up on people and making a run.
TCU is another team that could sneak up on people after being picked as a six seed. Speaking of the Big 12.
UNDERSTANDING THE CONFERENCES The road to the Final Four can be best described as a war of attrition.
Every game is going to be a battle and the last one standing left standing will advance to fight another day.
The same thing can be said on conference play, which is important to know when picking a bracket.
The tougher conferences will have teams already prepared for the grind while the weaker conferences will have teams struggling to keep up.
If you are looking at a conference that could send multiple teams in the deeper rounds, look no further than the Big 12.
With seven teams in the tournament, the Big 12 has established itself as one of the toughest basketball conferences in the nation with the last two national champions coming from the conference in Baylor (2021) and Kansas (2022).
Expect someone from the Big 12 to be in the mix for a national championship.
The SEC has been a rumble similar to the Big 12 with multiple teams making the Top 25.
Every year, someone’s bracket ends up going bust because a double digit seed goes on an extraordinary run out of nowhere.
One of the keys to picking a winning bracket is deciding when to pick an upset and when to hold off.
Knowing which mid-major teams to look for that can make a potential deep round can do wonders especially in the later rounds when the points are worth more.
A team to keep an eye on is the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Rams.
Winners of the Atlantic-10 Conference, the Rams are no stranger when it comes to Cinderella runs.
Another team to look for is the Florida Atlantic Owls.
The Owls, winners of Conference USA, is another team that look out for that could make a deep run.
Ultimately, the whole point to filling out a bracket is to have fun.
In the end, no one really knows how a bracket will turn out.
Last year, the notion of a team like the St. Peter’s Peacocks making a run to the Elite Eight would have been laughed at.
But then they are the times when successfully picking a team that shocks everyone offers the best bragging rights for an entire year.
Which is kind of the point. Have fun when picking a bracket and choose whatever strategy works best for you.
It could be listening to the experts, deciding what mascot could win in a fight, riding hard for the alma mater, or flipping a coin.
Whatever you choose, have fun and may the odds be in your favor.
The San Marcos Daily Record is hosting their own Tournament Challenge and you are invited to join. Go to the ESPN website or download the Tournament Challenge app to join the “SMDR Bracket Challenge 2023”. Special rules are that you can only submit one bracket. Join before the Thursday deadline.