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Hot tips for choosing your March Madness brackets

This article is Sponsored by CenturyLink.

If you’re a basketball fan, March Madness may feel like a month-long holiday. It’s a contagion spreading through schools, offices and even the White House (here is President Obama’s 2015 bracket where he picked Kentucky to win.)

The American Gaming Association estimates more than 70 million tournament brackets are filled out each season. If you’ve got the fever, one cure for March Madness is to catch all the games on CenturyLink’s Prism TV with multiview and watch-and-record options.

If you are trying to win the office pool, here are suggestions from experts about how to increase your odds.

Recent wins matter

When filling out your bracket, choose teams that are hot late in the season. In a Christian Science Monitor article, bracketology expert and Davidson College professor Tim Chartier, explained recency should be overweighted.

“We had a student who did that in 2009, and he beat 97 percent of the more than 4 million brackets submitted to ESPN. In 2010, we had a student who beat 99 percent of 5 million brackets. And last year we had a cheerleader, and she beat 96 percent of the 8 million brackets.”

Pick a 12 seed centurylink-sports-bracket

The tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Since then, a 12-seeded team has beaten a fifth-seeded team 44 times. That averages more than once a year over the past 30 years. The matchups are typically between the most accomplished smaller Division I clubs and often a vulnerable higher seed.

Bet with the experts

The sports books in Las Vegas are successful because they play the odds and they do their research. One little trick is to review the picks of casinos and gambling sites when filling out your bracket.

Stick with the big boys

Everyone likes Cinderella stories, but Stott suggests choosing teams from bigger, better conferences usually pays off.

“Instead of worrying about seeds and, point spreads and who everyone else in your office pool is picking, history says it’s probably best to stick with teams from the bigger and stronger conferences to try to make it all the way to the Elite Eight, Final Four and championship game,” he notes.

The ‘I’s’ have it

Reid Cherner, who writes for USA Today sports, explains since 1989, the national title has been won by a coach with an “I” in his last name 18 times. The last time a coach won the title without having an “I” in his first or last name was Lute Olson with Arizona in 1997. OK, it’s not scientific, but it is interesting.

Pick perennial winners

Some people are more comfortable choosing teams that typically do well at the big dance, and there is logic in that approach. North Carolina has made the most Sweet 16s (26), followed by Duke (24), Kentucky (23), Kansas (20), Louisville (20), Syracuse (18), Villanova (10) and Florida (9).

Don’t bother with little guys

No. 16 seeds are 0-120 all time, and No. 15 seeds are 7-113, according to

“Don’t bother picking a No. 15 seed to advance unless you’re feeling really lucky and your scoring system rewards upsets exponentially.”

Since 1979, no team seeded higher than eighth has won the title.

Regardless of what techniques you use to fill out your bracket, the best way to watch March Madness is with CenturyLink Prism TV with multiview and watch-and-record options. You can catch all the games leading up to the tournament and you won’t miss any of the action once the bracket madness begins.

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