February has given way to March. For men's college basketball that means conference tournament champions are being crowned [VIDEO] and the NCAA tournament is quickly approaching [VIDEO]. Whether you're laying thousands down in Las Vegas, or just filling out a bracket in the office pool, here are three serious and two not so serious ways to fill out your bracket.

Take chalk

You would think picking all favorites would ensure a pretty solid bracket. However, when it comes to the NCAA tournament there are bound to be some upsets. It may seem reassuring to place all four No. 1 seeds in the Final Four, but it's not very smart.

It has only happened once, in 2008. It doesn't mean it couldn't happen again. The odds are just against it.

Look for trends

While we won't know who is exactly seeded where until Selection Sunday on March 11, you can still start to think about certain trends that happen almost every year in the tournament. One popular first-round upset to look for is in the five seed versus the 12 seed match up. Since 1985, the fifth-seeded teams have won all their games just four times.

Being a six seed in the tournament is a kiss of death. 11 seeds have actually won 11 out of the last 20 first-round games against the six seeds. It shows that any game featuring a seed from six to 11 in the first round is essentially a toss-up. The higher seeds have done well in the early rounds with no top seed ever losing in the first round and the second seeds only losing eight times in the tournament's history.

So once you have picked that first-round upset the question is, how long do you keep Cinderella dancing? The furthest a 12 seed has gotten is the Elite Eight. Shockingly, there have been four 11 seeds to make the Final Four. Also, keep in mind that the lowest seed to win the tournament was the eight seed in 1985.

Find the hot teams

Pay attention to who is entering the tournament on a hot streak. Conference champions are usually on a roll as they made their way through their conference tournaments. Teams that are winning can play late into March.

This year, one team to watch is the Michigan Wolverines. They are as hot as anyone. The one downside is that they won the Big Ten title a week early, so they will have about 12 days off between games. That could make them ripe for an upset.

Let the mascots battle it out

Who would win in a fight, a Jayhawk or a Tarheel? Would you pick a Duck over a Buckeye? The imaginary battles between mascots could be as epic as the games on the court.

Flip a coin

If all else fails, this is as good of a method as any: Flip a coin. Any way you do it, have fun. That's what it's all about when it comes to March Madness.