This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
This week's Barometer will serve as a pint-sized preview of the NCAA Tournament field. I will highlight my strategies and theories on picking a successful bracket. Then we will delve into the more intriguing matchups, upsets and storylines in each region. It's called March Madness for a reason, but this year's tourney in particular should be a wild ride. First, let's look at the NCAA Tournament Gospel, reprised and edited from a season ago.
1. Do not pick all four No. 1 seeds in the Final Four. First of all, where's the fun in that? Second, the only year since seeding began in 1979 that four No. 1 seeds made the Final Four was 2008. In fact, three No. 1 seeds have made it just three times in the same year in the modern era. Last year, just one No. 1 seed made the Final Four. Two years ago, not a single top-ranked squad was among the last four teams standing. I have a sneaking suspicion this year may be the same.
2. If you don't like a high-seeded squad, pick it to go out as soon as reasonably possible. So, if you don't believe in, say, Duke, pick the Blue Devils to lose once they get past the No. 15 seed. You'll be the only one who picks that game correctly, and even if it's an incorrect selection, you wouldn't have had the Blue Devils going that far anyway.
3. There are no bragging rights for picking a No.