According to a 2015 article in the Washington Post there are more than 9 quintillion (the number 9 followed by 18 zeros) different March Madness bracket combinations. According to the same article to fill that number of brackets by hand and by filling in a bracket per second it would take the average person 292 billion years to finish all the possible variations.

Most of us don’t have 292 billion years, unless you’re an elf lord or some kind of mythical troll. Even if you were an elf lord there wouldn’t be physically enough time to go through all those possibilities before March Madness, 2017.

But you don’t have to be an elf lord and you don’t have to go through all those 9 quintillion possibilities either. You can start researching, preparing and building your bracket now so that when the time comes your friends might just think you have stopped time to gain the 292 billion years it is supposed to take to make such a perfect bracket.

Here are the top 4 tips to help you prepare for this year’s March Madness bracket:

  1. Utilize logic
    • It is easy and tempting to vote for the school that you had your best years at. But when you look at your team’s seeding, its history and its new team line up it may be best that you take off your college cap and use this time to grab a computer and start researching other teams before penciling in anything. In other words, don’t let loyalty and passion cloud your judgment.
  1. Watch out for the Cinderella’s
    • Early within the tournament or even now, it’s smart to pick upsets and maybe even slide one or two into your Sweet 16. But later on make conservative decisions based on consistent talent and skill rather that luck. According to the NCAA only one No.12 seed has made it to the Elite 8 within the last 32 years.
  1. At the same time, don’t give too much power to the No.1’s
    • When the time comes don’t fill you entire Final Four bracket with No.1 seed teams. Instead start watching now and look out for the underdogs. If NCAA tournament bracket is 100% anything, its 100% unpredictable.
  1. Look to the Experts
    • Already, with 3 months left to prepare, men and women are posting articles, stats, opinions, and algorithms to secure the perfect bracket. These experts have made perfecting the March Madness bracket their life purpose. Look at what they are expecting from this year’s match-ups and see if any of their predictions resonate with you.

Remember that maintaining a perfect bracket after only 2 days is nearly impossible. Actually, the longest verified bracket that has stayed perfect was in 2015. But, even it busted after only 34 games.

Creating the perfect NCAA tournament bracket is incredibly challenging and stumps even the best sports predictors. So the best advice would be to get started now, give it your best shot, enjoy it, have a nice cold beer to go along with your studying and hopefully make your friends jaws hang open with shock at how accurate you are.

Best of luck!

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If you are looking for an interactive bracket to play with during this year NCAA’s March Madness check out our interactive bracketing platforms.