2022 Bracket Picks Writeup

Wednesday Writeup Update

We’ve made it to Wednesday, and our last scheduled writeup update for 2022. First, a couple of important notes:

  • Final Brackets for 2022 are now available.
    As of 3:13pm ET on Wednesday, our final planned release of brackets for pools you set up in the My Brackets section is complete. If you already set up a pool and generated picks for it before this release time, you will see a button to update them to our newest brackets. If your brackets aren’t due until later (tonight, tomorrow morning, etc.), you should update your picks and use today’s brackets.
  • The Monday Writeup follows below.
    This article starts by summarizing the latest data updates we made that went into our Final Brackets released today. We also did a detailed initial writeup on Monday, after our first bracket release. If you haven’t read the Monday writeup yet, you should go read that first because it contains a lot of our analysis about the 2022 bracket in general.
  • What if big news breaks Wednesday evening?
    This is our last planned writeup update, but there always remains the slim possibility of something notable happening between Wednesday night and the start of the First Round on Thursday. We are prepared for such situations. If news that significantly impacts the 2022 bracket breaks today (Wednesday), we may be able to do another “emergency bracket release” very late tonight or tomorrow (Thursday) morning. It would have to be something really big that impacts a top, high-leverage contender, or a team dropping out of the tournament.
  • What if big news breaks overnight or Thursday morning?
    If major news breaks very late tonight or tomorrow morning, doing another bracket release will not be feasible, because it takes hours to re-rerun our bracket simulations and generate updated brackets for the many different types of pools our subscribers have set up. In that case, we will post advice at the top of this writeup regarding how to alter key picks in our brackets, and send out an email alert notifying all subscribers.
  • Wait as long as you can to submit (final) brackets into your pools.
    Remember that it’s always best to wait as close to the submission deadline as possible to submit your final picks into pools, in case late breaking news happens and you can react to it. You potentially could end up getting an extra edge over any opponents that miss late news. Just keep in mind that popular online bracket contest sites often get swarmed with last-minute traffic right before the tournament starts on Thursday, and sometimes so much that they go offline. So the safest route is to submit your bracket(s) somewhat earlier, but be ready to update your picks up to the last minute.

Now back to the writeup update. First, here’s a table of contents, if you want to bounce around or go back and find something later.

Wednesday Updates

Monday’s Initial Writeup

What Has Changed Since The Monday Bracket Release?

As we discussed in yesterday’s update, there are two primary developments that can drive changes to our recommended picks between the Monday and Wednesday bracket releases:

  1. Further adjustments to team predictive ratings that we make, based on new information that comes to light and/or additional analysis that we had more time to do.
  2. Changes in pick popularity trends as more people nationwide fill out brackets, and the public also potentially reacts to any big breaking news about teams.

Below are the changes since Monday that are incorporated into our brackets release today.

Team Ratings Changes

We’ll be brief here, because you can visit the Teams page to see how we are adjusting regular season predictive ratings for all tournament teams this year. On that page you can also link out to deeper notes on each team if you want more context.

Many teams saw very minor shifts in ratings, but here are the largest and/or most impactful ones:

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