Use This Mathematical Strategy to Fill Out Your 2023 March Madness Bracket
It has helped me (and my friends) win money in bracket pools four years running.
In 2018 I shared the in-depth method I used to fill out my NCAA basketball tournament bracket using optimal mathematical strategy to win or at least place highly in a March Madness pool. The results:
- 2018: I correctly picked Villanova as the tournament winner and ranked in the 94th percentile among the 17.3 million brackets in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge pool, roughly equivalent to 2nd place in a typical 20-person friends and family bracket pool.
- 2019: The same method correctly picked Virginia to win the tournament, placing in the 97th percentile among 17.2 million ESPN brackets, roughly equivalent to 1st place in a 20-person friends and family bracket pool.
- 2020: The tournament was canceled 😭 (I simulated it anyways).
- 2021: Although I didn’t pick the winner that year, my 2021 bracket still fared quite well, placing in the 87th percentile of all EPSN brackets, roughly equivalent to 3rd place in a 20-person friends and family bracket pool. I personally placed first in 3-entry, $300 prize-winning pool using one of the alternate brackets I had recommended (Baylor winning it all over Gonzaga).
- 2022: Another year where an alternate bracket won me money; I used my recommended bracket but switched out Gonzaga for Kansas in a pool that was heavily weighted toward Gonzaga fans, and it paid off when Kansas cut down the nets. My Gonzaga bracket still did well though, placing in the 85th percentile of all EPSN brackets, roughly equivalent to 4th place in a 20-person friends and family bracket pool.
In this post, I’ve applied the same mathematical methodology to this year’s 2023 March Madness Optimal Bracket — download your own copy to use it verbatim or simply use it as a foundation to fill out your bracket.