Win the March Madness Pool
By Asa Fitch

(MONEY Magazine) – The odds are against your winning the office NCAA tournament pool. But that doesn't mean you can't improve them.

• FIRST TWO ROUNDS: GO WITH THE FLOW Pick higher seeds in every game unless you really think the lower one is better, advises Bryan Clair, a Saint Louis University mathematician who's studied the probabilities. A wrong pick early can be disastrous if the team you choose to lose makes it to the finals. (In most pools, the points you get for a right pick increase as the rounds go on.)

• CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: GO AGAINST THE GRAIN A plurality of your peers will likely choose first- or second-ranked teams to win it all. But Clair's simulations show you stand to gain more by selecting the third, fourth or fifth. They have a decent shot at winning, and if they do, you'll have less competition for the cash.

...Bon Marché Voyage! March is "wave season" for the cruise industry, meaning it's the cheapest time of year to book an adventure on the seas...

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.