With the arrival of spring in Seattle, we see Pike Place Market filling up with fresh flowers, our charming neighborhood streets coming to life and the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament making its return! Each year, March Madness is where dreams are made and hearts are broken as nearly 50 million Americans fill out brackets to compete amongst their friends, family, colleagues and even complete strangers. This exciting and engaging basketball tournament captures the attention of even the most casual of sports fans while 64 teams battle their way to the National Championship.

The true beauty of March Madness is that anyone who fills out a bracket can win – sports forecasters have essentially no advantage over those who have never even watched a college basketball game. When it comes down to it, there are no completely “strategic” ways to fill out a bracket. While many of us have high hopes for our picks, the odds of filling out a perfect bracket are exactly 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or 1 in 9.2 quintillion for those of us who didn’t bother to read those last 18 digits. But with a little (okay, a lot) of luck and some helpful tips found below, you could become the next office champion. Go Zags!

  1. Follow your head, not your heart. We get it – you’re thrilled that your alma mater made their way into the tournament but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re poised to make it to the Final Four. Year after year, many hopeful alumni have their brackets busted with the use of logic. If your team isn’t looking too hot this year, select a team with better chances and cheer on your team next year.
  1. Upsets aren’t always the answer. Yes, upsets absolutely happen in this tournament – that’s why we call it March Madness. In reality, however, there are usually between 6-8 upsets in the first round. While a #16 seed has never beaten a #1 seed, seven #15 seeds have beaten #2 seeds, twenty #14 seeds have beaten #3 seeds, and twenty-five #13 seeds have beaten #4 seeds. Find maybe one or two in each region that you feel strongly about, then go with the higher-ranked team the rest of the way. 
  1. Don’t overthink it. Just like you can over-prepare for a test, you can overthink your March Madness picks. Many pools are not won by college basketball junkies, but rather by easygoing bracketeers with a simplistic method of selecting. Don’t rethink, debate and agonize over every pick you make, just give each game a few seconds of thought and go with what makes the most sense (even if that means getting risky with an upset or two).

At Juniper Capital, we know that regardless of which team you root for or how well your bracket does, March Madness is an enjoyable time for sports enthusiasts and risk-takers alike. We hope you take a well-deserved break to watch a game or two. As top private money lenders, we’re here to answer any questions you might have about Seattle real estate loans or hard money loans in the Pacific Northwest. Please contact us today to learn more!