Final Four

March Madness – Beyond the Brackets

 

With the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starting this week, people all across the country are filling out their brackets, picking upsets, and trying to predict the Final Four.

Filling out brackets has become a rite of spring.  Pools are formed in offices, schools, in families, and online amongst complete strangers.

But a traditional bracket pool isn’t for everyone.  Some like to show off their hoops knowledge, and some are looking for a way to stay engaged after the tournament’s first weekend.  Others may be bored with brackets and are looking different challenges.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have some fun and exciting competition* against your friends, relatives, and co-workers without having to antagonize over which 7 – 10 upset to pick.

*This is where I should insert a friendly (yet legally binding) disclaimer about how the suggestions in this post are solely for entertainment purposes, and are not condoned or endorsed as a form of gambling (unless, of course, your employer, state, or country allows such things). 

Any reference to “entries”, “pay-out”, “win” or the like obviously refers to non-monetary items of limited value, which will not draw the attention of state and federal agents. 

In other words, if your participation in one of the following pools gets you arrested, fired, divorced, beaten up, sued, or bankrupted, that is your problem, not mine.  Thank you.

For each alternative, I’ll list the effort required by the lifeguard (i.e. the person running the pool) as well as for those who will be diving in.  From easiest to most complex:

Just Say No to Playoffs

I have written a lot of things, expressed a lot of opinions, and have touched upon some controversial topics.

But nothing that I have ever written is as controversial (or as likely to have my sanity questioned) than the following sentence:

I think a college football playoff is an absolutely horrible idea that would irreparably damage the game.

That puts me in a serious minority among college football fans (I saw a 2007 Gallup poll that said 85% favored a playoff of some fashion). But I don’t care. You all are wrong. And I am right. Let me prove it to you…

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