MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Fifty million people are expected to participate in office pools for the NCAA Division One Basketball Tournament. For those who do fill out a bracket, that piece of paper with selections on it becomes sacred; eventually either a blessing, or too many times, a curse.
So before you break out your pencil, and a fresh eraser for all the changes you'll undoubtedly end up making, here are some tips from experts.
First, and quite possibly most important, don't psych yourself out. If you check too many online sites, you'll start to second-guess yourself and your bracket will become a mess.
Do pick about two upsets in the first round. Your best bet is between a 12 seed and five seed. On average, each year, two twelve seeds win in the first round.
While it's alright to pick lower-ranked teams in the early rounds, stick with the highest seeds once you get to the Elite Eight.
Last year was the only year a 15-seed made it past two rounds. And don't rely on the final four to be all number 1 seeds - that rarely happens. Remember you simply cannot prepare for everything, like injuries. Many people say it simply comes down to plain luck in the end.
So, go with your gut. Pick teams who have been in the tournament before and teams with seasoned coaches to go the furthest. Lastly, take calculated risks because that's how you'll win.
Several brackets to join online are here: