Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Bucky Channel's Keys to Victory

Unless you're in one of those crazy pools where you have to get your bracket in before the play-in game, you still have a little more than a day to fill out your picks. And if you still haven't filled out the bracket, here's some of the tips we've used in the last few years (we've only won a bracket pool once, but that's enough to let us feel like experts).

1. First off, do your bracket in pencil. You will change your mind at least once.

2. We're going to disagree with Dan Patrick and say it's ok to do more than one bracket. But we do agree with him that you lose bragging rights as soon as you fill out that second entry.

3. Upsets are sexy, and some pools reward bonus points for picking them, but don't get carried away. Ignore the seeds when you're looking at a matchup, just take the team you feel will win (with that said, make sure you take one 12 seed!)

4. The upset I'm taking is #13 Siena over #4 Villanova. Just for the giggles of it. But I'm allowing myself that pick because I would have taken Villanova to lose to #5 Clemson in the next round anyway. Taking upsets in those situations could get you the extra points you need to win your bracket.

5. Remember who you're playing against. I'm in a pool with many Wisconsin fans. Obviously, they are going to take them far because of the homer effect. I took them to the Elite Eight in my pool, but I'm sure many others took them even farther than that (actually, I think I'm playing the homer call).

6. Don't rely too much on your basketball knowledge. For a team to win the tournament, they have to win six straight games against the toughest teams in the nation. Anything can happen, and anything will. Your basketball knowledge will help, but may only get you so far.

7. Girlfriends, mothers, and sisters are good people to take advice from. They are usually the ones that wind up winning these things.

8. Pick teams for no legitimate reason. I'm taking Texas A&M over BYU, because of a previous relationship I had with Mormon sweetheart. I'm taking South Alabama over Butler because I liked watching the South Alabama team celebrate on the CBS show. And quite frankly, I'm taking Kansas to win the whole things because I had a good time when I visited Lawrence, Kansas last fall.

With that said, here's our Elite Eight (really like the high seeds this year): Tennessee over North Carolina, Kansas over Wisconsin, Texas over Memphis (or Pitt), UCLA over Duke

Final Four: Kansas over Tennessee, UCLA over Texas

National Champions: Kansas

With that said, you can enhance your NCAA tournament experience by throwing a little extra money on these games. If that's to your liking, give our friends over at Stock Lemon a try. They're giving free picks on every game in the tournament, and they got over to a good start by taking Mount St. Mary's tonight with the spread.

Have fun, good luck, and if you gamble, don't get caught!


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