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Bracket Advice

Eric Prisbell has Virginia Tech as "First Four Out." (AP Photo)

As a multi-time winner of several different varieties of friendly non-monetary NCAA tournament pools, I've been asked loudly volunteered to write up six or so Principles for NCAA Tournament Bracket Success, which will be posted on this Web site and will appear in Monday's WaPo tourney special section. I have a few ideas already in mind, but my deadline is Thursday and I certainly welcome any thoughts on bracket-picking success. At least one of you must have won a March Madness pool at some point, and have some advice to offer to the world.

The principles I'm currently toggling between include: Ignore the 5-12 "upset! upset! upset!" claptrap, start by picking a Final Four, fight the urge to chose UCLA or UNC to win it all, pick one conference to love and one conference to hate, when in doubt always pick against the mid-majors, try to pick your national champion among the teams with the third-to-seventh best Vegas odds of winning it all, and plan on making your move up the standings during the second weekend. That's what's always worked for me, but if I'm missing something let me know.

Now some March housekeeping: in coming days there will be a lot more content on here, and it will come from actual reporters: Virginia/Virginia Tech beat guy Adam Kilgore, Georgetown beat gal Camille Powell and national/Maryland beat grunt Eric Prisbell. Let's start by linking to the first of Prisbell's daily 65-team projections, this one boldly featuring 51 teams. Prisbell has both Virginia Tech and VCU among the last first four out.

Which leads naturally into a brief Atlantic 11 recap. Here's where things stands as the Atlantic 11 attempts to reach last year's mark of seven tournament teams.

Definitely in: George Mason, Georgetown

One win away: Mount. St. Mary's (Wednesday at Sacred Heart), UMBC (Saturday vs. Hartford), American (Friday vs. Colgate)

On the bubble: VCU, Virginia Tech, Maryland

Need to win conference: Richmond, Virginia, six MEAC schools

Season almost definitely over: William & Mary, Old Dominion, Towson, James Madison, Loyola, George Washington, VMI, Liberty, Radford, Navy, Longwood

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 11, 2008; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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