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The 5 Mistakes Everyone Makes Picking Their NCAA Tournament Brackets

March Madness has begun. 

College Spun NCAA tournament bracket.

Time is quickly running out to finalize your brackets and turn them in before Thursday's 12:15 p.m. E.T. start, but don't rush through it - there are a handful of mistakes that everybody makes while filling out their brackets.

It takes time to finesse your way through the field of 64 teams.

Each year there are surprising upsets, top seeds that fall, and each year brackets crumble like the infrastructure of a once-great civilization. In fact, only once have all four No. 1 seeds advanced to the Final Four, when Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and UNC did it in 2008.

It's basically statistically impossible to fill out a perfect bracket, but avoiding a handful of mistakes may give you the best possible chance to put together something special. 

Here are the five mistakes everyone makes picking their NCAA Tournament brackets.

No. 5 ??? >>>

5. Don't Simply Ignore The Play-In Teams

Each year a team fights its way through the First Four only to follow that up with a win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and there's no reason to believe that same thing isn't possible this time around. 

It's easy to look at the seeding and let that make up your mind for you, but put a little more thought into it than that. Look at what a team has done to get here - who they've beat, how they've won. Is that particular team hot? All of these things should come ahead of simply ignoring a play-in team while filling out your bracket.

">March 16, 2016

Look at a team like Wichita State, for instance, which beat Vanderbilt, 70-50, Tuesday night to earn the right to play Arizona in the first round. After losing five of their first 10 games of the season, the Shockers have gone on to win 20 of their last 23, fighting to earn that No. 11 seed in the tourney.A team like this believes in itself after all of that, and that can go a long way.

No. 4 ??? >>>

4. Don't Get Stuck With Four 1-Seeds In Your Final Four

As mentioned before, only once have all four No. 1 seeds advanced to the Final Four. Yes, these teams earned their seeding for being some of the best in the country, but it's hard to win so many games in a row without having a bad day or slipping up. It is possible to see the top-four seeds in the Final Four, but the odds are against it. 

">March 15, 2016

Aside from slipping up or having a bad day, the opposing team can also get hot and catch the higher seed on its heels. While a No. 16 seed has never beat a No. 1 seed, the second round and the Sweet 16 are a completely different story, with tougher teams lurking in the shadows. 

Don't just follow seeding when filling out your bracket, and don't get stuck with four No. 1 seeds in your Final Four. 

No. 3 ??? >>>

3. Don't Avoid Picking An Upset Or Two, Or Three..

Don't be afraid to take some chances while filling out your bracket this year. Upsets are absolutely going to happen, it's just a matter of time. It's a crapshoot as much as anything, so take a shot in the dark. That's why your friend's significant other, who never watches college basketball, won last year's bracket challenge, leaving you questioning everything you know about your favorite sport. 

Go for it. What's the worst that can happen? 

">March 16, 2016

This much is true: if you don't pick any upsets, that's just another reason you won't have a perfect bracket.

No. 2 ??? >>>

2. Don't Fill Out Your Bracket Based On Head Coaches

It's easy to assume that certain teams have the advantage because of their head coach, and in most cases that wouldn't be wrong. But the tournament is a different monster. 

">March 14, 2016

A coach can put his team in the right position, but the players have to be the ones to win the game. If choosing between a team with a legendary coach and another without one, don't make your decision based solely on that head coach. Put a little more thought in it than that.

No. 1 ??? >>>

1. Don't Put Too Much Stock In What The Experts Say

The perfect NCAA Tournament bracket is kind of like Big Foot - people may claim they've seen one, but there's no documented evidence of its existence. And while college basketball experts may appear to have all the answers, they're still in the search for this elusive perfection just like everybody else. 

">March 16, 2016

Yes, many of them know the game of college basketball as well as anybody, but the tournament takes on a science of its own making it nearly impossible to conquer. 

If there's one thing you should avoid when filling out your bracket this year it's putting too much stock in what the experts are saying. Do your own research, take your own chances, and maybe you'll be the one to make history.

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