Saturday, March 15, 2008

How To Win Your Office Pool

Last year I did a four part series on how to win your office pool. This year I've added one new rule and I've combined them all into one post so it's easier to read.

My goal is to give you some tips on how to beat the odds over the average person in your pool. Picking only the higher seeds is not going to make a hill of beans by the championship game, picking a lot of upsets is very risky and usually doesn't pay off, so hopefully you'll do better in this years office pool. I've analyzed the winning pick sheets and here are a few tips and trends I've noticed through the years of my winners.

Here are my 21 Tips To Win This Years Office Pool

  • Always pick last years championship team to repeat as champs if they return all five starters.
  • Pick all of the number 1 seeds to win their first round games. Since 1985, all number 1 seeds have won their games over the number 16 seeds 100% of the time.
  • Don't pick a number 1 seed to be one of the last four teams, let along the national title, if the school wasn't in the playoffs the previous year.
  • Pick at least one number 2 seed to lose before the second round games complete.
  • Don't pick more than two of the four number 1 regional seeds to reach the final weekend of games when only four teams remain in the tournament.
  • Pick at one number 3 seed team to lose in the first round of games.
  • Pick a team seeded 1 or 2 [there will be eight of them] to win the national title.
  • Don't pick more than two of the four number 1 seeds to be the last four teams in the tournament. In 2006, not one of the number 1 seeds made it to the championship weekend. I'd call it a fluke year.
  • Pick one team seeded 12th to reach the regional semi finals.
  • Despite some success, and I do mean some, don't go too far with the number 4 and 5 seeds.
  • Pick two teams seeded 13th to 15th to be victorious over teams seeded 2nd to 4th.
  • Don't pick a team from the Big Sky, MEAC and Southland to win a first-round game. They're winless in the Division I playoffs since the field was expanded to at least 52 teams in 1983.
  • Don't pick an at-large team with a losing conference record to get beyond the second round.
  • Two of your Final Four picks should be teams that didn't finish atop their regular-season conference standings.
  • Don't be too concerned about a regular-season defeat against a conference rival with a losing league record.
  • Don't pick a team to reach the Final Four if it lost in the first round of a postseason conference tournament.
  • Don't pick a team seeded #16 to #13 into the field of 8. Not once has one ever advanced.
  • Do pick three #1 seeds into the field of 8. 70% of all number 1 seeds have advanced to the fourth round of games.
  • Don't pick a team seeded #16 to #9 into the field of 4, only two times has a team in this range advanced to the field of 4 [George Mason in 2006 was the last]
  • Don't pick a team seeded lower than a #6 to the championship game, not a single one has advanced in the last 21 years.
  • Do pick a seed ranked #4 or higher to win the championship game. For 18 straight years, this has been true.

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