Here's how to boost your NCAA office pool odds

So you are filling out your NCAA bracket, and you'd really like the win the office pool this year.

Then you may be interested in some tips from the pros so you don't waste your money making your selections.

The website SavingsAdvice.com analyzed past winners, and says many people blow their bracket by voting with their heart, not their head. It says this is not a time to vote for the little guy.

Teams that Rarely Win

That 15th or 16th seed you have fallen in love with? SavingsAdvice.com says a 16th seed has never beaten a number one seed.

Ever.

And it says 15th ranked seeds rarely win, so unless it is your alma mater, you will have better odds not choosing a 15th or 16th to win.

If you like to bet on upsets, your best bet is going with a 13th seed or higher.

Which Teams Make the Final Four

To improve your odds of choosing the Final Four teams, the report says your odds are best choosing teams from big conferences.

Big conference schools typically win at tourney time, due to their tougher schedule and experience playing the national spotlight.

Also, a #1 seeded team wins it all 52% of the time, so that's your best odds for choosing the ultimate national champion.

Look for teams with a recent win streak.  How they did the last few weeks of the season is a much better predictor than how they did the first month.

And when in doubt, consider the team which has the coach with the most tournament experience, who has been to the Final Four before.  If his name starts with the letter K, he probably has plenty of experience.

Beware Cinderellas

Have a place in your heart for that little school that could? 

Like Gonzaga, who defines Cinderella story?  (Actually, they've been in the tournament so many times now, it is hard to call them a Cinderella).

The analysts warns that  the last Cinderella team to win the championship was Jerry Tarkanian's UNLV in 1990, a quarter century ago.


So while it is fun to root for a Cinderella that makes an upset or two, the odds say they won't go all the way. We're talking to you, Stony Brook.

Winners are almost always big schools from big conferences with a recent winning streak.

Does it Help?

Of course, all this will probably be wrong, and if you follow the above advice you will probably still lose your pool.

The office winner is almost always Edith from accounting, who chose her teams based on their mascots.

So good luck, and as always, don't waste your money.

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