11 Tips to Help You Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool

by | Mar 19, 2019 | Sports

11 Tips to Help You Win Your NCAA Tournament Pool 1

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The 2019 NCAA March Madness Tournament will be narrowed down to 64 teams by Thursday morning. Here at ThisWeekinWorcester.com, we are here to help you win some “dough” over the next few weeks with 11 tips to get you through the first few rounds.

You have until 12 PM on Thursday, March 21 to submit your brackets. Get going!


Here’s 11 Tips to Help You Beat Your Friends and Co-Workers in Your NCAA Bracket Pools:

  1. There’s three teams from New England in the tournament

    – Northeastern, Vermont and Yale.  Pick #14 Yale to upset #3 LSU in a game that goes to the wire. And if you need a #13 seed to win, pick the stealth-like defense of the Vermont Catamounts over #4 FSU. Northeastern is going to get rolled by Kansas.

  2. Auburn is on an absolute roll

    – Ranked #14 in the country at the end of the season, Auburn cruised through their conference tournament and past Tennessee in the SEC Championship and have won eight in a row. Ride them while they’re hot. Put them in at least your Sweet 16.

3. Picking the #8 vs #9 Games

– These seem to be the toughest of the bunch. For starters, take #9 UCF over #8 VCU in the East Region, and #9 Oklahoma over #8 Mississippi in the South. The other two games (Syracuse vs Baylor in the West and Utah St vs Washington in the Midwest) are real tough to call. But when in doubt, choose the favorite: Syracuse (-2) and Utah State (-2). They’re going to be close.

4. The First Game and Last Game on Day One

– The first game will be close, but go ahead and take #7 Louisville over #10 Minnesota. And (as seen in tip #3) – take #8 Syracuse over #9 Baylor in the final game of Day 1.

5. Big Upsets on Thursday and Friday

— Big upsets are great for ratings. And, typically, the NCAA tournament doesn’t disappoint. Here’s our picks for first-round upsets:


                              #11 St. Mary’s over #6 Villanova

                          ��   #14 Yale over #3 LSU

      LOCK:  #12 Murray St. over #5 Marquette


                               #12 Oregon over #5 Wisconsin

                               #12 Liberty over #5 Miss. State

  1. Pick a team from the “First Four” games to win in the first round.

    Our choice: Take        the winner of #11 seeds Temple vs. Belmont to beat #6 Maryland on Thursday.

  2. Always look at the spreads.

    For instance, on Thursday there are five teams favored by more than 10 points — FSU, Michigan State, Kentucky, Michigan and Purdue (likely #1 seed Gonzaga as well). On Friday there are six teams – Texas Tech, Tennessee, Virginia, Houston, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech (and likely #1 seed Duke). Choose all of them to advance to the second round. [However, see Tip #1 regarding FSU vs Vermont]

  3. Put Duke in your Final Four.

    – Just write it in now. Where they go after that is up to you.

  4. Take a Flyer on a #2 Team Losing in the First or Second Round

    — Our choice: Tennessee. They got smoked by Auburn in the SEC tournament. If they don’t lose to #15 Colgate, then expect them to get beat by #7 Cincinnati in the second round.

  5.  5 Teams we LOVE:

    #7 Nevada, #13 UC-Irvine, #3 Texas Tech, #3 Houston, #4 Virginia Tech

  6. 5 Teams we…Don’t Like:

    #11 Ohio State, #4 Kansas State, #5 Marquette, #3 LSU and #5 Wisconsin.

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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]