Make Better Decisions, In March


At 4th Strand, we focus on providing clients with consulting services that enable better and smarter decisions.  Whether our work leads to recommendations in product quality and marketing or helps make smarter purchasing decisions, we strive to provide the best solutions and give YOU the data needed to make tough decisions.

And now is when you ask where we were while you frantically filled out your March Madness Bracket last week.  While we didn’t want to attempt predicting the 1 in 9.2 quintillion odds of a perfect bracket, here are 10 tips/facts that you should have followed in picking your bracket. 

  • A No. 16 has never beaten a No. 1.
    • While you may have wanted to predict the ultimate upset, No.16 seeds are now a combined 0-120 against No. 1 seeds.  It may eventually happen, but is not worth risking your bracket.
  • At least one No. 13 has upset a No. 4 every year since 2008
    • 2014 broke the streak of 13 seed upsets as all No. 4 seeds advanced to the Round of 32.  14 seed Mercer’s upset over Duke was the largest upset in this year’s Round of 64.
  • At least one No. 12 has upset a No. 5 in each of the past 6 years.  In 5 of the last 8 years, two No. 12 seeds have pulled off the feat.
    • This year was filled with even more upsets as 3 No. 12 teams pulled off the upset.  It was almost a sweep as the fourth, NC State, fell in overtime.
  • At least one No. 11 has upset a No. 6 in each of the past 9 tournaments
    • 2014 was no different with 2 teams, Dayton and Tennessee, knocking off 6 seeds
  • In 10 of the past 13 years, two No.1s and two No. 2s have failed to reach the Sweet 16
    • While only Wichita State fell as a No. 1, both Villanova and Kansas lost in the Round of 32 as 2 seeds.
  • Not imagining upsets? All top seeds rarely reach the Final Four.  Only once, 2008, have all No. 1 teams reached the Final Four.
    • Wichita State’s loss keeps 2008 as the only all top seed Final Four
  • Since 1985, 22 of the 29 champions (over 75%) have been No. 1 or No. 2 Seeds
    • History clearly favors 1 and 2 seeds for 2014. And hopefully you chose a No. 1 seed as 11 of last 15 champions have been top seeded teams
  • Did you choose an upset into the Final Four?  The following seeds have never reached the final four: 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16
    • 10 seed Stanford remains the only hope of these seeds to reach the Final Four
  • The magic color is Blue. Besides 2013 Champion, Louisville, the 9 previous champions had some shade of blue on their jerseys
    • With half of the 16 remaining teams having Blue in their jersey, this trend may continue.
  • Upsets are tough to predict.  Most brackets lose more points on missed upsets then they gain on correctly picked upsets
    • Over 83% of 2014 brackets would have scored better so far if all higher seeded teams were selected


Hopefully our tips will help you enjoy the rest of March Madness more, and prepare you to win $1 billion in 2015.


Do you have any tips that you use to pick your bracket?  Who do you have winning it all? Let us know!


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One Response to Make Better Decisions, In March

  1. Tara says:

    Why didn’t you post this before we filled out our brackets?!?

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