Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bracket Showdown: Just the FAQs, Ma'am

As the NCAA college basketball championship gets underway, The Feats of Strength will be hosting a showdown between dozens of brackets from college basketball experts, analysts, celebrities and more. Winner gets an aluminum pole -- very high strength-to-weight ratio*.

"No decorations. I find tinsel distracting."

Today, I explain the rules of the contest. What better way to do that than the ol' Frequently Asked Questions gimmick? Well, except that no one's reading this blog, let alone asking questions, so let's call it the "Fruitlessly Anticipated Questions" section.

Q: How will the brackets be scored?
A: Scoring will be done by the standard ESPN/Yahoo method:
Round Points
Rd of 64 1
Rd of 32 2
Sweet 16 4
Elite 8 8
Final 4 16
Champ 32

So a perfect bracket would be worth 192 points (32*1+16*2+8*4+4*8+2*16+1*32). No bonus points for upsets, because that involves more work, and no tiebreakers, because there's not really anything at stake. You can see the results on this Google Docs spreadsheet.

Q: Some of the sites (especially the computer projections) update their picks after every game. Which version of these brackets will you use?
A: For consistency's sake (and because I already copied them down), I will be using the projections as of Monday night. This means they do not include Tuesday's games or -- more importantly -- the suspension of Syracuse's fantastically-named Fab Melo.

Q: Why didn't you include Prognosticator X's bracket?
A: The main reason I didn't include certain brackets was because it was behind a paywall. That means (off the top of my head) the experts at ESPN's Insider, the Accuscore projections, and the Team Rankings projections. I have no objection to people charging money for their expertise -- if you can get $50 for your picks, by all means, go for it. But for now, this operation is far too bush league to justify a budget. Besides, I don't want to be accused of illegally disseminating someone else's hard work.

Q: I don't want you to include my bracket -- take it down!
A: I don't really anticipate anyone getting upset by their bracket's inclusion -- they volunteered the information, after all, and made it freely available. There are no ads on this site, and I'm not making any money off this little scheme. But, if you own one of the brackets posted here, and you'd prefer not to be included, message me on Twitter and I'll take care of it.

Q: Where's your bracket?
A: I don't have anywhere near the expertise (or ego) required to think my opinion about these games is worth reading, but if you're that interested, here you go.

Games start tomorrow around noon ET. Come back for a quick rundown of the analytical brackets: Who are the consensus picks? Whose picks are the weirdest? And who has the best shot at winning the showdown?

*-No one's actually getting an aluminum pole. Calm down.

1 comment:

  1. So - I don't get it. ...You're keeping the pole for yourself?