The calendar has flipped to 2023, which means it’s almost time to fill out your brackets.
March Madness is one of the highlights on the betting calendar, but office pools — or bracket challenges — typically rule the roost.
We here at The Game Day love sports betting, but we also love office-style competitions, which means we want you to get in on the fun of our bracket pool. Here’s some more information about that.
March Madness Printable Bracket
What is March Madness?
March Madness is the largest and wildest playoff tournament in North American sports.
The season started with 352 Division 1 men’s basketball teams across 32 conferences, and that will be whittled down to a 68-team, single-elimination tournament. Only one will reign above all and cut down the nets as the 2023 national champion.
Kansas is the defending champion after completing a historic rally to knock off upstart North Carolina in the title game in New Orleans. The Jayhawks won their final 11 games to claim the school’s sixth national championship in men’s basketball.
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The 2023 tournament will open with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio then split into four, 16-team regional brackets. The first and second rounds will be held at 16 neutral sites then will pare down to 16 teams at four regional sites before this year’s Final Four at NRG Stadium in Houston.
But the tournament only tips off after 32 teams receive their automatic bids by winning their conference tournament then the other 36 at-large teams receive the call from the selection committee that they’ve been invited for the Big Dance.
Selection Sunday is March 12 this year, and the First Four will start the tournament March 14.
How Does a March Madness Bracket Work?
March Madness bracket-style pools typically revolve around who has the most points at the end, since almost no one ever ends up with a perfect bracket.
- Use our NCAA Tournament winner odds to fill out your bracket with confidence.
Traditionally, each round is weighted and the correct number of points doubles after each round. Typically, it starts with one point given for every correctly picked first-round game, two for second-round games, four for the regional semifinals, eight for the regional finals, 16 for each Final Four game and 32 points if your pre-tournament national champion cuts down the nets.
How to Fill Out a March Madness Bracket
Filling out a March Madness bracket is as easy as you want it to be. You can load up your bracket with upsets or pick chalk — meaning all the favorites. Research is generally a good idea, but it doesn’t always help.
Here are the steps to filling out your bracket:
- Print out your bracket
- Choose which team you believe will win each game
- Watch and root for your teams to win.
Keep up with tipoff times and more with our March Madness schedule.
March Madness Bracket Fun Facts
Winning a bracket pool isn’t as easy as loading up your picks with better-seeded teams. There will invariably be upsets, and there’s a good chance yours will get busted by some underdog in the first weekend — little-known St. Peter’s University from the MAAC stole the show and spoiled many a bracket by upsetting three better seeds while advancing to the Elite Eight in 2022.
Here are some facts and tips to consider before filling out your bracket:
- The odds of filling out a perfect bracket — correctly picking the winner of all 63 tournament games — is 1 and 9.2 quintillion or 30 billion times, which is less likely than hitting a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot.
- Despite the fact a No. 1 seed has won the championship in 12 of the past 15 tournaments dating back to 2007, all four top seeds have reached the Final Four only once (2005) since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
- The overall top seed, aka the team ranked first in the polls at the start of the tournament, has only won the championship five times since 1992.
- A No. 16 seed has only ever defeated a No. 1 once (UMBC over Virginia in 2018)
- Only 10 No. 15 seeds have defeated No. 2 teams, and the most recent happened when St. Peter’s stunned Kentucky in the overtime for the first of its three tournament wins in 2022
- Always pick at least one 12-seed to beat a No. 5. At least one No. 12 seed has won a game in 32 of 37 tournaments since 1985, including two in 2022 (Richmond and New Mexico State)
- Upsets don’t stop after the first round. Since 1985, 83 double-digit seeds have won at least two games in the tournament, including four (Iowa State, Miami, Michigan, and Saint Peter’s) in 2022. Miami (a No. 10 seed) and St. Peter’s (No. 15) each won three games in the 2022 tournament.
- Choose a top seed to get picked off. A No. 1 seed has lost in the tournament’s first weekend (either first or second round) in nine of the past 12 tournaments, including 2022 defending champion Baylor, which fell in overtime to No. 8 seed North Carolina, which advanced all the way to the national-championship game.
- Wait until the First Four ends to fill out your bracket. A First Four winner has won at least one first-round game in every tournament except 2019, since the First Four expanded to four teams in 2011, and two teams, UCLA in 2021 and Virginia Commonwealth in 2011, have gone from the First Four to the Final Four.
Are There Any Online Sportsbooks With Bracket Pools?
Bracket challenges are widely available on media sites like ESPN, Yahoo, CBS and others, and online sportsbooks have gotten in on the fun too. FanDuel and DraftKings typically let users participate in office-pool style bracket challenges, with cash prizes for users who reach a certain points threshold.