Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tips For College Basketball Fans On How To Pick A Perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Every March, “basketball bracket fever” sweeps the U.S. This year, the stakes are higher than ever for people who compete in NCAA tournament bracket contests. PickManager.com, an online site that features a variety of interactive sports games, is offering a grand prize of $100 million (fully insured) to anyone who selects a perfect bracket of all the winning teams in the 2009 men's NCAA tournament. The contest allows participants to submit one free NCAA tournament bracket entry and up to four different brackets (by joining PickManager.com) with a chance to win the $100 million and other weekly prizes.

“People are calling this everything from a free lottery ticket to the $100 million economic stimulus package," said Terry Dell, president of PickManager.com. The company is working with over 300 media partners, including more than 100 colleges and universities, to promote the largest prize ever for an NCAA tournament bracket contest. The contest is also free to any school that wants to run an online NCAA tournament bracket game.

“We’re calling this the Game of the Century™, because nothing even close to this amount has ever been offered in NCAA tournament history,” Dell said. “This is 100 times larger than average prizes in the past. There are even prizes for people who don’t pick a perfect bracket.”

To help contestants better understand the strategy behind making NCAA tournament bracket selections, PickManager.com has prepared historical information in conjunction with Accuscore, a leader in sports forecasting. The two companies have partnered to analyze the 2009 matchups when they are announced on March 15, 2009 and generate the ultimate NCAA tournament “cheat sheet.”

“Picking a perfect NCAA tournament bracket is all about math and matchups,” Dell said. “History tends to repeat itself, so we also have compiled important historical information and used proprietary algorithms to determine the assessed risk of historical perfect brackets since 1985."

Historical Math

According to Dell, one of the best things to consider when completing an NCAA tournament bracket is the historical advancement of seeds. The chart below details the round by round wins for each seed.

Historical Advancement (by Round)

Seed 1st Rd 2nd Rd 3rd Rd 4th Rd 5th Rd 6th Rd

1 96/96 84/96 69/84 42/69 23/42 14/23

2 92/96 60/92 44/60 21/44 10/21 4/10

3 81/96 48/81 23/48 12/23 8/12 3/8

4 76/96 41/76 14/41 9/14 2/9 1/2

5 66/96 35/66 5/35 4/5 2/4 0/2

6 66/96 35/66 12/35 3/12 2/3 1/2

7 62/96 19/62 6/19 0/6 0/0 0/0

8 44/96 9/44 6/9 3/6 1/3 1/1

9 52/96 3/52 1/3 0/1 0/0 0/0

10 34/96 17/34 7/17 0/7 0/0 0/0

11 30/96 11/30 4/11 2/4 0/2 0/0

12 30/96 16/30 1/16 0/1 0/0 0/0

13 20/96 4/20 0/4 0/0 0/0 0/0

14 15/96 2/15 0/2 0/0 0/0 0/0

15 4/96 0/4 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0

16 0/96 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0

Some of the more interesting and important facts to note are:

* A #1 seed has NEVER lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. So do not pick a number 16 seed as an upset no matter how much you like the team.
* #2 seeds have only lost four times in the first round
* #9 seeds have a higher winning percentage that the #8 seeds in the first round.
* The first round winning percentage is identical for #11 seeds and #12 seeds. Don’t focus only on the 7 vs. 12 matchup that is commonly referred to by “bracketologists.”
* #9 seed performance falls dramatically in the second round with the lowest winning percentage of any seed that makes it to that round (5.8%).
* A strong number #8 is as good as a strong #6 seed for advancing deep in the NCAA tournament, while a #7 seed has never won in the 4th round
* #3, #4, and #5 seeds that get to the 4th round typically perform well in the 4th round.
* Two #11 seeds have made it to the final weekend of the tournament, while no #7, #9 or #10 seed has ever made it.
* #1 seeds matter and boast greater than 50% winning percentages in every round.

In the 2008 NCAA tournament, the staff at PickManager.com released Davidson, a #10 seed, as the bracket buster for 2008, Dell said. Davidson became the seventh #10 seed in the NCAA tournament to make it to the round of eight teams before falling. “Last year, if a bracket had been entered according to the historical performance of seeds with only the one change being Davidson, that bracket would have most likely won any office pool—and some other minor variations could have made it perfect,” he added.

Basic Strategy for Multiple Brackets

To maximize the fun and profits in the NCAA tournament in March, Dell advised that people should enter pools and contests that allow multiple bracket entries. “Multiple brackets allow participants to use a variety of strategies to strive for a perfect bracket and be competitive in the contest if the perfect bracket does not hit,” he explained.

PickManager.com is offering the largest prize in college basketball history by allowing each contestant to enter up to four different brackets to win $100 Million. In addition, the highest score of the contest that is not a perfect bracket will win a complete sports den package that includes theater seating from La-Z-Boy, flat screen TV and surround sound system.

For more details about the $100 million Game of the CenturyTM contest, visit http://www.pickmanager.com.

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