Bracket madness on eightWest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) It’s that time of the year again. Selection Sunday is over, which means the NCAA tournament is right around the corner.

Every year, eightWest photojournalist Amanda Harper and Maranda Where You Live producer Heather Hontz come up with some great tips to help make filling out our brackets a little easier:

Emotions do not belong in your bracket. You can’t pick a team just because you love them. And don’t pick against a team just because you hate their coach or players.

When it comes to the tournament, advance the number one and two seeds through the first round because in basketball, 1 > 16 and 2 > 15.

Pick a 12 seed to beat a 5 seed. In 23 of the last 25 years, a 12 seed has beaten a 5.

Advance no more than two number one seeds through to the Final Four. In 23 of the last 29 years, no more than two number ones have advanced to the Final Four and only one time in tournament history have all four number ones made it to the Final Four.

Pick schools named after states or cities. Do not pick schools named after people, unless they’re Duke.

In 26 of the last 29 years, only a one, two, or three seed has won the national championship. So don’t think you’ll be the first pick a 14 seed to win it all and get it right. It’s as simple as one, two, three.

Your Final Four should add up to nine. Over the past ten years, the average sum of the seeds of the teams in the Final Four has equaled nine.

There are more than nine quintillion possible ways to fill out your bracket so just have fun with it!

Now it’s time to put Amanda and Heather’s tips into action! If you’d like to take on Rachael and Terri in this year’s eightWest Bracket Challenge, just email us at

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