Tips for Winning Your Tournament Pool: Tip 2 – Upsets

The NCAA tournament is notoriously unpredictable, yet most people fill out their brackets as if they’re buying insurance, careful about every little detail.

That might not fit your personality. You might be the adventurous type who likes hang-gliding, blind dates and eating sushi from a can. In that case, take some chances.

Keep in mind that no No. 16 seed has beaten a No. 1. Here are the closest calls.

Fairleigh Dickinson lost to Michigan in 1985 (4 points, 59–55)
Princeton lost to Georgetown in 1989 (1 point, 50–49)
East Tennessee State lost to Oklahoma in 1989 (1 point, 72–71)
Murray State lost to Michigan State in 1990 (4 points, 75–71 in OT)
Western Carolina lost to Purdue in 1996 (2 points, 73–71)

Only four No. 15 seeds have ever defeated No. 2 seeds (though Robert Morris almost did it last year):
Richmond over Syracuse 73–69 in 1991
Santa Clara over Arizona 64–61 in 1993
Coppin State over South Carolina 78–65 in 1997
Hampton over Iowa State 58–57 in 2001

Everyone wants to be the person to predict the first-ever upset of a No. 1 seed, but it’s not worth it. And don’t waste your time with the No. 15 either. You’re risking any chance of winning your pool because that No. 1 or No. 2 that you picked to lose can easily win a few or more rounds, and you’ll be the only one not receiving points for those wins.

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