For those of you that know me well, you already know I run an NCAA office pool every year for the Men’s Basketball tournament. For those of you that don’t…head over to http://www.cutdownthenets.com and fill one out! It’s $5 an entry, and you could win over $500 this year if I get the 200+ entries that I am anticipating.

Anyways, the purpose of this post was not actually to promote my little website. It was to talk about the math behind the tournament. It really intrigues me. Here’s some interesting tidbits for your bracket:

- At least one #12 seed has beaten a #5 seed in each of the last 5 years. Make sure you’ve got one.
- At least one #1 seed has been in the Final Four since the beginning of this tournament.
- All four #1 seeds have NEVER been in the Final Four together. Ever.
- In all but one year, there has been a #3 seed or lower in the Final Four.
- Finally, this is a good check once you’ve completed the whole thing: Add up the seeds of your Final Four. If the sum is higher than 15, or less than 7, you should probably start over. You’re either promoting anarchy, or picking all favorites.

Also in my tournament, we decided to use Round scoring for the tournament. This gives you one point for a first round victory, two for a second round win, etc. This isn’t my favorite, but it will do. I’ll explain my favorite later. Anyways, the first round can result in 32 points. The second round is also worth 32 points. Sweet sixteen round will net you 24 points. Elite Eight will only grab ya 16. A correct championship game will get you 10 points, and the winner will get you 6. That makes for 120 total points.

My favorite scoring system is Round x Seed. This system encourages the picking of underdogs more than others. This is because for each correct pick, you get the team’s seed multiplied by the round the win came in. For instance, if you pick a #12 seed correctly, you would get 12 points in the first round, and 24 if you had them winning in round 2. However, if you pick a #5 seed, you only get 5 points, and 10 in the next. Clearly picking correct underdogs is to your advantage.

Anyways, I’m just excited for the tournament to start. Good luck on your brackets!

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