10 Tips from TWIW to Win Your NCAA March Madness Pool

 by Patrick SargentMarch 18, 2021

The 2021 NCAA March Madness Tournament will be narrowed down to 64 teams by Friday morning. 

Here at ThisWeekinWorcester.com, we are here to help you win some "easy money" over the next few weeks with 10 tips to get you through the first few rounds.

You have until 12 PM on Friday, March 19 to submit your brackets. Get going!

Here are 10 Tips to Help You Beat Your Friends and Co-Workers in Your NCAA Bracket Pools:

 

  1. There are two teams from New England in the tournament:

(#7) UConn and (#16) Hartford.  - Hartford won’t beat #1 seed Baylor. Move on from them. If you want a team from New England to win, the only option is UConn. You can be confident with a first-round win over (#10) Maryland, but don’t count on them going any further than that.

 

      2. Gonzaga is a juggernaut on offense:

The #1 team in the country also scores the most. The Bulldogs are the favorite going into the tournament and average 92.1 points per game. Put them in your Final Four now, and then decide who they will beat before heading to the finals.

 

     3. Picking the #8 vs #9 Games:

Each year, these games seem to be the toughest of the bunch to pick and this year is no different. In fact, this year might be the most difficult in a long time.

Here’s who we have [with absolutely no data to back up our picks]:

  • (#8) Oklahoma over (#9) Missouri
  • (#8) LSU over (#9) St. Bonaventure
  • (#9) Wisconsin over (#8) North Carolina
  • (#9) Georgia Tech over (#8) Loyola-Chicago

 

         4. The First Game and Last Game on Day One [Friday]:

The first game will be close -- so close even the oddsmakers have it as PICK as of Thursday morning. It’s (#10) Virginia Tech vs (#7) Florida. Neither team went on a winning streak to end the season and head-to-head they’re fairly compatible. But we’re taking Virginia Tech because they turn the ball over less than Florida does.

And the last game is (#12) Winthrop vs (#5 Villanova). Although this screams a classic #12 over #5 upset, we’re going with the Villanova Wildcats who are second in NCAA D1 averaging only nine turnovers per game. 

 

       5. Big Upsets on Friday and Saturday:

Big upsets are great for ratings. And, typically, the NCAA tournament doesn’t disappoint. Although we don't necessarily many "major" upsets happening early on. Here’s our picks for first-round upsets:

Friday:

  • #11 Utah State over #6 Texas Tech

Saturday:

  • #12 Georgetown over #5 Colorado
  •  #12 UCSB over #5 Creighton
  •  #13 Ohio over #4 Virginia

 

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

Our choice: Take the winner of #11 seeds UCLA and Michigan State to beat #6 BYU on Saturday.

 

      7. Always look at the spreads:

For example, as of Thursday morning, on Friday there are five teams favored to win by more than 10 points -- Illinois, Baylor, Ohio State, Houston and West Virginia. On Saturday,  there are four teams - Florida State, Kansas, Alabama, Iowa [and likely two more with #1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan].

Pick them all to advance to the second round.

 

    8. Take a Flyer on a #3 Team Losing in the First or Second Round:

We think the #3 seeds are ripe for an early exit -- so take your pick: Texas, Arkansas, Kansas or West Virginia.

 

     9. 5 Teams we LOVE:

  • #4 Florida State
  • #9 Wisconsin
  • #4 Purdue
  • #6 San Diego State
  • #11 Michigan State

 

      10 .5 Teams we...Don’t Like:

  • #5 Colorado
  • #6 BYU
  • #5 Creighton
  • #7 Clemson
  • #4 Virginia
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