An idiot’s guide to the NCAA Tournament
by John Jastremski
Mar 16, 2016 | 12106 views | 0 0 comments | 302 302 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JJ's 2016 NCAA Tournament Bracket
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Merry Christmas basketball fans! Thursday through Sunday are some of the most action-packed, entertaining days of the year. The NCAA Tournament is an idiot-proof system for entertainment.

You can’t screw it up. One and done, the best team does not always win, and it’s a guarantee year in and year out that you should expect the unexpected.

Before I post my official bracket, a couple of rules that I think need to be followed by everyone participating in the festivities.

1. Only Have One Bracket of Record

I encourage everyone to participate in as many NCAA Tournament pools known to man, however there’s nothing worse than hearing a guy or girl in your office say, “Well in one pool, I have Kansas winning it all, the other pool I have North Carolina!”

Nonsense! I understand you may be decreasing your odds of winning a bracket pool, but it’s the principle of filling out a bracket. I can’t take someone seriously who says they picked the 8th seed to upset the top seed in one bracket, but in their other they have that 1 seed going to the Final Four. It’s hypocrisy at it’s finest.

Please, for the integrity of the event, pick one Final Four, one bracket and enter it in as many places as you’d like.

2. Seeds 10/11/12...$$$$

There’s nothing worse than looking at somebody’s bracket who has the top seed advancing all the way through. It’s boring, it’s no fun and quite frankly more often than not, you’ll be wrong.

I notice it year in and year out, and I especially have noticed it with this year’s tournament bracket, so please take a chance on at least one or two 10-11-12 seeds to make a run in this year’s event.

I expect at least one 12 seed to beat a 5. I think a couple of the 11 seeds in Wichita State (if they can beat Vanderbilt) and Northern Iowa could easily find their way to the second weekend.

The math is in your favor, and sometimes folks you just have to roll the dice.

3. Pay Attention To The Coaches

In college basketball, coaching matters. There are certain coaches that have a knack for advancing deep into March. Tom Izzo, Rick Pitino, John Calipari and Coach K.

Likewise, there are other coaches that have had a knack for losing very early in the tournament. Guys such as Jay Wright, Rick Barnes and Bill Self.

If you reach any moment of indecision, always go with the more battle-tested head coach.

4. Pay Attention To The Point Spreads

I cannot stress this enough. I’ll always do a preliminary run through of my bracket, before I even take a look at the spreads, but the spreads are a useful tool in predicting upsets, especially in the first round.

For example, this year Gonzaga is an 11 seed, they are a 2.5-point favorite against sixth-seeded Seton Hall. Seton Hall had a magnificent run in the Big East Tournament, they have a dangerous group, but yet they’re a 2.5-point underdog. What gives?

Sometimes, Vegas just knows.

Usually 7-10 matchups are pretty even. One would think Iowa-Temple would be a tossup game at the Barclay’s Center on Friday. It’s anything but. Iowa is a 7.5-point favorite against the Owls.

Use the point spreads as a guide. If you see a line between a 5-12 that’s a lot lower than it should be, take the double-digit seed.

In Vegas, we trust.

Good luck to everyone. Enjoy four of the best days of the year! Check out my bracket that is sure to go up in flames.
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