Friday, February 26, 2010

Brackets n'at

One of the great things about this time of year is College Basketball coming down the stretch run towards Selection Sunday. For us, Selection Sunday is usually one of the best half hours of television in the year. And once the brackets come out? Well, there's nothing better than looking over a freshly printed bracket, quickly scribbling down your predictions, then erasing them all and starting over because you realized you had 4 teams from the same conference in the final four.

Last night, we took a brief informal poll of our twitter followers and everyone who responded was really into the idea of us running some kind of bracket tournament. Since both of us are in grad school and therefore have no money, there won't be any prizes (at least from us).

After looking around at what different types of bracket games are available, we settled on two different games to set up groups for. Both are free to enter, and while there are no prizes, you'll get bragging rights, which on the internet is a pretty good prize.

The first game is a bit more challenging, but if you're up for it, it's a lot of fun.

The Selection Sunday Challenge is a game offered on This is a game for before the tournaments start. The point of the game is to correctly predict which teams will make the field of 65. and use the same password system, so if you are a member on one of the sites, you are automatically a member on the other. If you are not, it's free and easy to sign up.

The game gives you a blank 65-team bracket to fill in. All you have to do is drag-and-drop the teams from the list on the left into the place on the bracket (region & seed) where you believe they will be placed by the selection committee. You can make changes to your bracket up until 5 minutes before the Selection Show airs on March 14th.

Here's the scoring system:
1 point for correctly predicting a team makes the tournament.
1 point for correctly predicting the seed that a team gets in the tournament.
1 point for correctly prediction the region that a team is placed in.

Points are cumulative, meaning that each team can earn you up to 3 points. The person with the most points wins. If you put a team in the right region but predict the wrong seed, you still get 2 points. If you predict the right seed but wrong region, you get 2 points. If you have the wrong seed and wrong region, you only get 1 point.

Since you can make your selections up through 5 minutes before the selection show, make sure you keep a close eye on who earns automatic bids to the tournament and make sure to include those teams in your bracket!

Here's how to sign up:

Go HERE (if you are not signed in to your account, it will prompt you to do so) and click the "Join A Group" tab. It will then ask you for a Group Name and Password, which are:

Group Name: thesteelersnat

Password: sixburgh

After that, happy bracketing! For the at-home bracketologists out there, we're going to warn you, this game is dangerous because you can spend hours and hours researching and moving teams around. In other words, it's a lot of fun!

The second game is the typical "Tournament Pick 'em" game. We set it up on Yahoo! because we like their system the best. We made it a public group, so anyone can join. You need a Yahoo! account, which is free and pretty easy to sign up for.

Joining the group is simple. Click here. Then hit the "Join Group" button. If you're not signed in to your Yahoo! account, it will prompt you to do so. If you are, you will be added to the group. Don't forget to check back after Selection Sunday to make your picks!

If anyone has any suggestions for other games for us to organize, just let us know!

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