Make Your Picks, Choose Wisely

Aidan Brami, Financial Specialist

With the March Madness tournament approaching, bracket fever will start to take over sports network airways. Constant talk, predictions and upset possibilities will be discussed, and almost all of it will be incorrect. Even though a quality bracket is hard to create, it is hard to deny that it is loads of fun.
Last year, Villanova won the championship in the final seconds with a buzzer beater against North Carolina. The final score of that game was 77-74, that game came down to the wire and will surely leave this years fans wanting.
AP statistics teacher Mark Bradley has incorporated the NCAA tournament into his class. For the past eight years, Bradley has had a competition where the boys and girls of each class fill out a bracket.
“After the tournament is over, we conduct significance tests on the results, comparing the accuracy of our picks to those of previous years’ students. We also determine if females are equally adept as males at choosing their brackets,” Bradley said.
The NCAA bracket committee released its pre ranking for the bracket Feb. 11, with the official bracket being released March 12. In the pre-rankings, the number-one seeds are Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas and Baylor.
When picking your bracket, take into account these important statistics:
Number-one seeds win just above 60 percent of all NCAA tournaments, so having your favorite team win the tournament as a nine seed is highly unlikely. However, only an average of 1.8 number 1 seeds make the final four. This means a chalk bracket, where the highest seed wins every game, will not work out either.
Bradley said he considers himself to be an above average “bracketeer.” “Unless you know the teams in a match-up very well, pay attention to the seeds and don’t pick too many upsets. Do not be ashamed to pick your favorite team to lose if the odds are against them,” Bradley said.
Junior Ian Mendoza participated in Bradley’s bracket challenge last year.
“I was very excited when we started the bracket challenge, I picked almost all the games right after the first two days of the tournament. After that, it went downhill, but I thought it was a fun relevant topic to the class,” Mendoza said.
This year, I predict the UCLA Bruins will reign as national champions. The team has outstanding ball movement, great shooters and two outstanding players; Freshman point guard Lonzo Ball and freshman forward T.J. Leaf both have the talent to bring them a national championship
The most important part of picking your bracket is to enjoy yourself, so do not let anyone tell you how to change your bracket. Trust your gut and the best “bracketeer” will be revealed!