I’ve written about March Madness before, and with good reason: It’s fantastic. Each year I makes sure to get back to Cbus, find a good bar with a ton of huge TVs and without a ton of jackasses (good drink specials doesn’t hurt either). I meet up with my college friends (we’re still surprisingly close), sit down at a bar, and just watch the chaos unfold all day long (don’t worry, we tip well).
Now, obviously I love watching the upsets and the excitement, but filling out the bracket is an essential part of the experience.
Currently, this is how our group currently runs our March Madness tournament: Points are awarded each round by the tournament seed of the winner times the round multiplier. The first round multiplier is x1, 2nd is x2, 3rd is x3, etc. We started this back in the days when we were all pretty poor (now we’re still poor, but we have jobs), and so the winner gets to select a season of a television series that each of the losers has to move to the top of their Netflix queue and watch it.
Obviously, the Netflix thing could get ugly (Season 5 of Full House, Season 6 of Dexter, Season 2,3,4, or 5 of Heroes…), but so far no one has abused it. In fact, it’s been a pretty great way to discover new TV shows.
But the method is more important than the prize. When it comes to filling out your bracket, forget the traditional approach where you just count up the number of games you got right–that’s a horrible way to do things. You get no reward for making bold choices, whereas some jackass who decides to go with all four #1 seeds making the Final Four cleans up.
The best way to do it is to multiply the round by the seed and add the total together. So if you have Duke winning it all this year, you would get a total of 15 points for that selection (#1 seed x # round and add them all together). However, if you correctly pick the #13 seed advancing to the second round, you get 26 points. In other words, you’re rewarded for bold picks and successfully predicting chaos, which this is really all about.
This year, we’re trying something a little different. We’ll keep the same format for one bracket, but this time around we’ll be using a second bracket as well.
Now, I completely agree that using more than one bracket is lame. I don’t care if you’re in four different pools–step up and submit the same exact bracket for each one. Believe in yourself!
For our second bracket, we’ll be using chance. Each of us will flip a coin for every game on our bracket. Everyone is allowed to have five vetoes, so if you get a horrible matchup (a 16-seed defeating a 1-seed). The vetoes could be tricky. After all, if you have a 3-seed getting knocked off by a 14-seed in the coin toss, do you really veto it? A 3-seed isn’t worth a ton, but a 14-seed could get a ton of points (especially if they go on a run).
This should definitely determine just who is the luckiest guy in our group. Netflix will be for bragging rights–the coin bracket will be for fun. I can’t wait.