After the New Year’s resolutions have been broken but before the arrival of flip flop season, we find ourselves in the heart of March Madness. A time of year where college athletics are even more unpredictable than the weather. Here at Protiviti, we are locked in a nationwide battle for bragging rights and some seriously good prizes. To aid in the success of our performance, we have brought back our residential expert, Kyle. By day, he may be able to hack through any firewall in the Chicago security lab, but when it’s time for tipoff he is THE go-to guy for bracketology. Listed below are his tips for making your bracket even stronger than his love for the Indiana Hoosiers.


Kyle, IT Senior Consultant, College Basketball SME and Protiviti March Madness Champion
Kyle, IT Senior Consultant, College Basketball SME and Protiviti March Madness Champion
  1. Decide on a strategy and STICK to it
    1. Whether it’s unique or old school statistics, stick to it.
    2. Don’t be the person who picks based on Mascots. If you’re not a basketball fan or have no idea what everyone is talking about, challenge yourself to be more creative.
    3. Remove Bias: Don’t decide on a champion in the beginning, see where your bracket takes you.
  2. NEVER rely on your friends or significant other
    1. Take pride in making your own picks.
    2. Trust Kyle, because in the end it will make beating their bracket that much sweeter.
  3. Hunt for BIG Upsets
    1. Pick at least one No. 12 seed or No. 11 seed to upset in 1st There have only been 4 times in last 30 years where it hasn’t happened.
    2. The No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed (meaning your bracket should have four guaranteed 1st round wins).
    3. Don’t pay attention to seeding for 7 -10 seeded teams, as they are all pretty much on equal playing field.
  4. Don’t live and die by the numbers, TRUST YOUR GUT in dire circumstances
    1. Winning Streaks Matter: Pick the team with the most momentum coming off their conference tournament performance.
    2. Pay attention to location of games played. It is an advantage for a team to play close to their fan base.
    3. Picking a perfect NCAA tournament bracket are a staggering 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (that’s 9.2 quintillion)… but are actually closer to 128 billion if you make common sense 1st round picks (e.g. – all #1 seeds win). In other words: be realistic, don’t overanalyze and accept that your bracket will NOT be perfect.
  5. Choose a CINDERELLA team, but know when the clock strikes midnight
    1. Whether it’s Dayton (2014), Florida Gulf Coast (2013), or Butler (2011) there is always 1 team that defies the rankings to make an exciting run in the tournament, but that team traditionally never wins the championship and falls short eventually.

Thanks for the tips, Kyle, and for being our March Madness champion, no matter the winner!  We wish all of the teams the best of luck this year.

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