Don’t Make These Mistakes When Filling Out Your NCAA Tournament Brackets

Avoid these key mistakes when making an NCAA tournament bracket this season, and you could be cashing in big.
Avoid these key mistakes when making an NCAA tournament bracket this season, and you could be cashing in big. / Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness has finally arrived!

With fans back in the stands, along with buzzer beaters, upsets galore, and a wide open field, this year's men's and women's NCAA basketball field makes for two incredibly compelling tournaments over the next several weeks.

When the brackets get announced on Sunday, March 13 (6 p.m. ET for the men's, 8 p.m. ET for the women's), many will get the urge to get theirs filled out and entered right away. But you may want to use a bit of caution before hitting "submit."

One place to find great information before completing a bracket is by checking out the latest odds over at WynnBET Sportsbook. You'll also find several great promotions and bonuses throughout the course of March Madness.

Here are a few key mistakes fans make when filling out a bracket.

Top Mistakes to Avoid when Filling Out a March Madness Bracket

  • Taking Cinderella Too Far in the Bracket
  • Getting Too Cute in the Final Four, Championship Game
  • Avoiding East Coast Bias
  • Set it And Forget It

Taking Cinderella Too Far in the Bracket

Even the horse-drawn carriage turned into a pumpkin at some point, right?

Many fans follow the storyline of a Cinderella team and have them going way super deep into the tournament. But 12-seeds or higher (12-16) have never won a game in the Elite 8 or further, and 13-16 seeds have never won in the Sweet 16. In the women's tournament, with the exception of one No. 9 seed, seeds 8-16 have never won a game in the Elite Eight.

If you want to take a potential glass slipper squad, consider a No. 11 seed in the men's tournament field. 11-seeds actually have more wins in the Elite Eight than No. 6, 7, 9 and 10 seeds, and are tied with No. 8 seeds for a total of five wins all time since the bracket expanded in 1985.

Getting Too Cute in the Final Four, Championship Game

While it's never fun to only have a Final Four with one seeds, more often than not, your tournament bracket will be happy that you had them there.

In the men's tournament, No. 1 seeds are 36-23 in the Final Four and 23-13 in the title game. On the women's side, 1-seeds are 34-27 in the FInal Four; 21-13 in the championship.

Most traditional brackets reward 2x the amount of points per correct pick as each round goes on. Even if you think a No. 1 seed is ripe to be this year's version of Virginia vs. UMBC, it's only happened one time in both men's and women's tournament history. Even if one of your top seeds go down in the Sweet 16, chances are your other 1's are likely to be there later in the tournament.

Avoiding East Coast Bias

For many of us, including yours truly who live out in the midwest, the dreaded "East Coast" bias can fatigue us throughout the year.

Via, there has never been a Final Four without at least one team from the eastern time zone of the United States. In fact, the only two teams in the last 22 years to win the National Championship game not in the eastern time zone were the 2008 Kansas Jayhawks, as well as the 2021 Baylor Bears.

For those counting along, that's zero west coast or mountain time zone teams. Could this be the year Gonzaga (Spokane, Washington) finally breaks through not just for their program, but for all of the west coast as well?

Set it And Forget It

Betting the NCAA Tournament vs. filling out a bracket are both great experiences for fans in March, but unlike finding the right number in bets, March Madness brackets don't need to be submitted until Thursday morning before the first games tip-off.

Follow the latest betting lines at WynnBET Sportsbook to see where many of the professionals may have placed their bets. A good indicator is looking at some of the 5-12 to 8-9 matchups to see if the point spread has moved in favor of the lower numbered seed. If the 12-seed starts off as a five-point underdog, and the line keeps moving in their favor throughout the week, that may be a sharp play for a first round upset.

Follow BetSided's March Madness hub throughout the entirety of the NCAA men's and women's tournaments for full betting previews and picks for every game, updated betting odds futures for the Final Four and national championship, insights, trends, videos, podcasts and more!

Follow all of Ben Heisler's betting plays in real-time HERE.