The key to winning your 2014 NCAA Tournament office pool might be the bracket itself.
Rather than focusing on the 68 teams competing in 67 games over nearly three weeks from coast to coast, take a step back and look at the actual bracket. Since the field of teams expanded to 64 for the 1985 NCAA Tournament, certain trends and peculiarities have emerged that any ambitious bracketeer should consider. Some of these have ebbed over the years while others are still flowing into 2014.
Whether it is the flawless record that top seeds have in games against No. 16 seeds or the relative trouble that those cursed with a No. 5 by the selection committee have faced in recent openers, here are nine tips that will help you fill out a more informed bracket: