As the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament is inching closer, sophomore Tate Stark recalls how he came from behind after making a league-winning bracket two years ago. Winning his tournament was satisfying because of his unusual strategy and how others doubted him the whole time.
Stark said that he was successful in his March Madness bracket tournament in 2018 and won about $550.
“Specifically that year, I had decided that I wanted to become really involved and watch as many games leading up to the tournament as possible,” Stark said.
He explained that he took many risks that year and chose over 20 upsets, which is when a team that is not expected to win beats a high ranked team. To determine who plays each other, NCAA teams compete in the regular season, then are ranked in terms of their records to set a tournament bracket.“I was so angry about the upsets the year before,” Stark said. “The only reason I got second place that year was because I didn’t choose enough upset games.”
His strategy consisted of choosing these upsets early in order to not get many points deducted later on when these higher seeds lost.
“I didn’t just irrationally pick every single upset there was,” Stark said. “I tried to keep as many reasonable upsets as possible, which worked out greatly in my favor.”
He did not expect to win that year because his strategy went against the statistical odds of the tournament. He also said that winning a large amount of money from his family and friends was even better because he did not expect to win any cash.
“It was definitely a roller coaster of emotions throughout the experience because many teams I chose to win were not expected to win at all that year,” Stark said.