There are two rules you should keep in mind when filling out your bracket, according to Alagappan. "The first is that there's no formula to filling out the bracket," he says. "They call it 'March Madness' for a reason." The second is a little less obvious: A team's ranking is less important than its style of play. Just because a team is a number one seed doesn't mean they'll run over a lower seed. To pick a winner, compare teams' playing styles. "I'd identify teams that are prolific rebounders and others that are very good at three pointers," Alagappan says. "I might give the advantage in that matchup to the team that shoots the three, simply because they're able to space the floor on what probably are bigger, slower opponents." Then, weigh each squad's record, the difficulty of their schedule, and the average age of their players, which Alagappan says is often an indicator of success. Finally, take a look at how each team has performed in the 10 games leading up to the tournament. Momentum counts.
Harry How / Getty Images
Gear of the Year
The best tools, tech, and toys of 2013.
Plus: Lance Armstrong's Downfall
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.