2022 NCAA Tournament: The Perfect Bracket for Small Pools (March Madness)

Mar 16, 2022 - 11:04 AM

Welcome to my bracket advice series, where I will be writing an article covering the perfect bracket for small pools, medium pools, and large pools. To start, here is my advice for filling out a small pool. To clarify, I see a small pool as any pool with fewer than 100 people. Here are my three main tips for small pool bracket filling with an example bracket in the end. Feel free to copy-paste if you want.

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Don’t Overthink It

One of the problems I face when filling out a tournament bracket is aggressively overthinking every single matchup. When entering a pool with such few entrants, you don’t have to worry about leverage or contrarian picks because there aren’t that many brackets you have to be better than to outlast others. You might have the motivation to be different, but there are so many ways for a bracket to be filled out that you naturally will have a unique bracket than others.

Chalk is your Friend

It’s never fun to go all chalk, but at the end of the day, chalk wins brackets. Sure, there may be some early upsets but at the end of it all, most tournament brackets are set up where each game in the first-round matchups matters the least. Besides some outliers, most tournaments will have the better seeds making it deep. Predicting which teams will be the surprise Sweet 16 or Elite 8 is incredibly difficult, so playing it safe and covering your bases is what I would recommend.  

Easy Pickings for Your Champion

Again, this may not be all that exciting, but Gonzaga is an easy go-to as your national champion. While this team may not be as good as they were last year, they still may be more ahead of the field than last year’s squad was. Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren make up the most dangerous one-two punch in the nation. Combine that with some playmaking guards who make it incredibly difficult to plan against. Bart Torvik gives Gonzaga a 27.6% chance to win it all – the second-highest percentage team is 9.2. The Bulldogs are your easy choice to win it all here in March. 

The Perfect Bracket for Small Pools

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