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2016 NCAAB March Madness Bracket Predictions

2016 March Madness BettingSELECTION Sunday was last night and it turned into quite the mess. First off, why did CBS turn the show into a two-hour marathon? Secondly, the bracket was leaked during the show on social media. Despite the mess, who really cares? It’s time for the real madness, as 68 teams compete for the NCAAB National Championship.

Many experts and fans are expecting this year’s tournament to be crazier than in years past. Why is that? Well, there aren’t any completely dominant teams. Here’s an interesting statistic to back that up. The AP Poll started in 1948 and this year featured more AP top 10 teams losing than any other year in history.

Handicapping the match-ups is the best way to ensure your bracket isn’t toast before the week is over, but a lot of us don’t have time to research dozens of games. Often fans will build brackets utilizing statistics and trends from previous tournaments. We’re now going to spend some time analyzing the most important trends.

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2016 March Madness bracket trends and statistics

Let’s start with the #1 seeds.

Guess how many #1 seeds have lost in the first round? None!

Throughout history, the #1 seeds have lost in the second round 13% of the time. One #1 seed has missed the Sweet 16 the last three years. Since introducing the 64-team bracket 35 years ago, the four #1 seeds have all made it to the Final Four just once. Only 42% of #1 seeds make it to the Final Four.

So, selecting the four #1 seeds to advance to the Final Four isn’t a good idea. However, a #1 seed has won the tournament in seven of the last nine years, so targeting one or two #1 seeds to make a deep run is ideal. Based on how the bracket turned out, I like #1 Kansas in the South and #1 UNC in the East to make a deep run.

What about those pesky #5 vs. #12 match-ups in the first round? #5 seeds have lost in the opening round 36% of the time and at least one #12 seed has advanced to the second round in 24 of the last 27 years. However, none advanced last year, which hurt a lot of brackets. #12 Yale vs. #5 Baylor stands out to me this year.

In the second round, be weary of the #2 seeds. #2 seeds have lost 37% of the time in the second round against the winner of the #7 vs. #10 match-up. Only 21% of #2 seeds make the Final Four and none made it last year. It’s a better idea to target a higher seed to advance to the Final Four in recent tournaments.

In the past decade, a total of seven teams (Seeded #7 or higher) have advanced to the Final Four, including the #7 Spartans last year, plus #7 UConn and #8 Kentucky in 2014. Bracket contests are won by predicting the champion and by having at least one contrarian selection make it to the Final Four or championship game.

Seeding trends are great, but there are more important trends to consider. What about coaching? 14 of the last 16 NCAAB National Champions have had a coach with prior Final Four coaching experience. How about talent? Well, 34 of the last 36 champions have had at least one McDonald’s high school All-American player.

Here’s the important trend to consider when selecting the winner of your bracket. 12 of the past 13 champions were ranked within the top 20 in offensive and defensive efficiency ratings at KenPom. UConn (2014) was the only team to break this trend. MSU, UNC, Kansas, Virginia, Villanova and Oklahoma fit the trend this year.

2016 March Madness bracket picks

2016 March Madness Bracket Picks

If you read my previous March Madness article, you’ll know I picked Iowa State (40/1) and Texas (50/1) to win the big dance. If you look at my bracket, you’ll also notice I don’t have either making the Final Four. I still like both long shots to be tough to eliminate, but I also have to be realistic when filling in my bracket.

My Final Four includes #1 Kansas, #1 UNC, #2 MSU and #4 Duke. The average total when adding up the seeds in the Final Four is 11 throughout history. My total is only 8 this year, but I can live with that. #7 Wisconsin is one of the teams I’ve had trouble with. The Badgers could surprise many, like MSU in 2015 or UConn in 2014.

I’ll be providing single game predictions throughout the tournament, so make sure you bookmark us at MSB and come back daily for our free March Madness picks. The first couple rounds are always the best money makers, as underdogs often do well. The public has trouble betting underdogs, so we always get great value ATS.

2016 March Madness Schedule

You’ll be able to watch every March Madness game on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV.

Below you’ll find all of the important dates for this year’s tournament.

2016 March Madness Schedule

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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