Brackets are locked! Check the standings here!
tl;dr: go to http://ebwoot.mayhem.cbssports.com/e and use the password ebw to join our bracket contest.
Ah, March: a time of hope, renewal, and madness; a time when 68 teams enter a tournament full of hope, and 67 of those teams see their hope dashed in anguish, renewing their cries of "we'll get it next year". But one team… one team will survive against 6 other opponents (because who are we kidding, there's no way the "round 1" teams go all the way) to remain undefeated in the grandest tournament of collegiate athletics (*cough* we're glaring at you, college football). Survive and Advance, Win or Go Home. Sharing in this spectacle are millions of fans and non-fans who try to guess the outcome of all 67 games (or 63 in this league). This year the task of guessing appears to be harder than ever, as week after week during the season the team experts declared to be the best in the nation lost to teams they really shouldn't have, often more than once. The term "parity" has been bandied about frequently and means that this year more than any other no game is a gimme. Which games will be the upsets? Will this be the year a 16 seed upsets a 1 seed? On the other hand, knowing things will (should) be crazy this year, will more people pick crazy upsets that turn out to be correct? Or will the committee have somehow pierced the fog and every seeding works out correctly? In theory, anything is possible, but if the theories always panned out no one would play the games.
You're getting long-winded jqubed. How do we play?
Oh, right. For the sixth year in a row, we're playing on CBS's game. Go to http://ebwoot.mayhem.cbssports.com/e to join our group. You'll need to register or sign-in to your CBS Sports account, then enter the password 'ebw' (do not include the quotation marks) to join our group. If you've played with us in years past you can skip this step; you're still in the system (unless it's been a few years since you played with us and I deleted you from the group so it would stop cluttering things up). If you're registering with us for the first time, I STRONGLY recommend you create an account using your Woot username and an email address which won't personally identify you, because I see everyone's email address (I promise to do nothing nefarious) and everyone can see the username you use. If you already have an account on CBS using your real name I'd still suggest creating another account so you don't reveal to us that you're really Clark Kent.
Once you've joined click the link to Add a Bracket. The process is very simple: just click the team you think will win each game and the next round is automatically set up for you. Do that for all 63 games and you're ready to go! If you want to involve a little logic, click the "i" next to each game for a head-to-head comparison of each team. If you want to be involved but want to do the absolute minimum of work there's even a button where the computer will fill out your bracket for you. You can also fill out 2 brackets, so you can have one fantasy bracket where your alma mater goes off and beats everyone, and one where you live in reality and recognize that your alma mater actually has a losing record and is only in the tournament because they won their conference tournament, securing the automatic bid (I'm looking at you, Liberty).
Ok jqubed, you've made something simple sound complicated, but I'm still going to try. When's the due date?
Get your brackets filled out before noon eastern time on Thursday, March 21. Once the games start, the brackets lock and you can't change your picks, so choose carefully!
So at work they do something like this but charge $5 to play and the winner gets everyone else's money. Do I have to pay to play? Will I win anything if I come in first?
No and no. This costs you nothing (other than whatever you spend to be online anyway) and you also get nothing for winning (other than our respect and admiration (lol, yeah, right!)). Well, technically, you may be eligible for some prizes from CBS if your bracket not only beats us but everyone else on the entire CBS website. I don't think anyone's ever come close to doing that in our group, though. If you're interested in those kind of prizes, you should probably sign up with as many different tournaments as you can, like on ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, or the NCAA themselves.
I don't really like or follow basketball, so I shouldn't do this, right?
Wrong! You especially should do this! No one's verifiably picked a correct bracket before and many so-called experts don't do any better than people who aren't even sure how basketball is played. You'll feel a little more involved in the tournament and connected with people around you who do care, and if you do better than people who care you can taunt them and feel smug, because that's a healthy way to live life.
So go, start picking your teams and then watch as your bracket busts. Just hope your bracket busts less badly than everyone else's and let the trash talk begin below!