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Fill out your bracket like a pro

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By Teresa Russo

There is not much of a science to making a perfect March Madness bracket. For the most part it’s just a little luck and going with your gut feeling. However, it would not be a bad idea to brush up on your tournament history to see who has the best and worst track record in recent history. You might also want to keep up with the stats of not just your favorite teams, but get a feel for most of the teams in the tournament.

Of course if you’re even making a bracket, you would probably already be pretty familiar with how most of the teams are doing. It’s important to watch even the unknown teams though, because you never know when there might be a miracle comeback.

Also try to look for well balanced teams, ones that do well both offensively and defensively. Try not to pick teams that are particularly weak on one or the other.

Go with teams that have veteran coaches, those teams trust their coaches. Those are the teams that are going to work hard and continue to be consistent in their efforts.

Make sure that you go with your first instinct and don’t doubt yourself multiple times. Second guessing could create quite a messy bracket. You have to trust your gut feeling on the lower seeded teams, ones that could go either way. Until the game truly starts you have no idea how the game will go, so just trust your instincts.

A smart way to fill out your bracket would be to work your way backwards, starting with your champion. Whether it’s your favorite team or the one who’s got the best statistics, either way that’s your very first decision you should make. Once you know your champion, you can begin to create the journey.

Moving on to the top two, who will your champion beat to become the best? Then going backwards towards the final four, who do you think has the talent to make it this far? Then you just keep going with your gut all the way until you get to the first round, making sure to not doubt your initial instincts.

While we all are hoping and praying that we, as die hard fans of our favorite team, will have something to celebrate and come out as champions, sometimes that is not the case.

If you really want to make a perfect bracket, sometimes you have to stray from loyalty and go with the team who you think will actually win.

Be careful not to confuse your loyalty for who you want to win, with your common sense on who you think will actually have a shot at winning.

Top Five Tips:

1. Brush up on your basketball tournament history
2. Know your stats
3. Look for well balanced teams
4. Look for veteran coached teams
5. Be careful not to be too loyal towards your favorite team