WORST-EVER BRACKET COMPETITION

I am one of the millions who find March Madness to be the most wonderful time of the year. I have been filling out brackets for more then 3/4ths of my life. But sometimes filling out a bracket (or 10) is not enough; you need to find a new, compelling way to follow the single-elimination college basketball tournament.

Enter the Worst Bracket Competition. This is something I’ve been doing for friends for many years, but now you, Internet stranger, can join the fun.

Simply put, the goal is to score as few points as possible. BUT (there’s always a but), merely allowing everyone to float 16th seeds to the Final Four is no fun; it would mean the competition would hinge on getting the 8–9 matches right (or, in this case, wrong)- just like the real one. So I devised a pretty solid rules system that requires a good deal of thought.

Basically, your final four must contain the following:

ONE 1 seed — in other words, the 1 seed you expect to get upset early.

ONE 2–5 seed — the high-ish seed that you think is bound to fall

ONE 6–10 seed — perhaps someone you expect to meet the eventual champion in the second round, or perhaps flame out in an upset

ONE 11–15 seed — the team you know has no shot to make it out of the first round alive.

There are also restrictions on how many double digit seeds you can have in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. It will take some work and maneuvering, but that’s all part of the fun!

FIRST ROUND

8 v 9 no restriction
7 v 10 no restriction
6 v 11 no restriction
5 v 12 no restriction
4 v 13 only two upsets (e.g. only two 13 seeds can win)
3 v 14 only two upsets
2 v 15 only two upsets
1 v 16 only one upset

LATER ROUNDS

The 16th seed cannot make it past the Sweet Sixteen.
You can only have eight double-digit seeds in the Sweet Sixteen.
You can only have 3 double-digit seeds in the Elite Eight

FINAL FOUR

Final four must include the following: 1 #1 seed, 1 seed #2 — #5, 1 seed
#6-#9, and 1 seed #10-#15.

FINALS

Finals can be whoever you want from the final four, and make sure your tie-breaker is outrageously off the mark.

Want to play? Sign up here. I’ll announce the winner in an update after the competition.