Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Madness…This kind of fun isn’t just for the boys…


It should come as no surprise to you that I, Naty Severson, married a man who loves sports even more than I do.  While I will watch any sport – even professional golf – he has the gift of watching one sport for seemingly infinite amounts of time.  At some points during the calendar year even I, a total sports junkie, need a little help entering into the world of continuous sport watching and obsessive sports conversation. That brings us to the topic of this post…March Madness. 

Let me catch some of you up to speed. March Madness is the NCAA (college) basketball tournament in which 65 teams get a chance to compete in a tournament for the national title in men’s basketball.  The tournament has 63 games played over the course of the next 3 weeks.  The madness will be on TV nearly non-stop from Thursday-Sunday. 

MORE FUN FACTS:
·      Nearly 3.5 billion dollars will be gambled on this tournament
·      American workers will spend 8.4 million hours combined watching these games
·      40 million people will fill out brackets for the tournament

Given these staggering facts, you can imagine that a lot of time will be spent talking about these games.  I find that if I take the time to participate in a contest (called a ‘pool’) by guessing who will win each game (called filling out ‘brackets’), I am able to happily bank more time watching with my husband. Ultimately, this also gives me more to talk about with the people around me for the next few weeks! I also pay more attention and enjoy watching games I wouldn’t have cared about at all if it weren’t for picking ‘my’ winners. 

UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEST (and joining the WAH Pool):
·      There are four regions in the Tournament with 16 teams in each
·      The 16 teams in each region are then ranked 1-16 (one being the best) based on how good the tournament directors believe those team are.
·      The tournament has 6 rounds.  In their respective order, they are called: First Round (super creative name), Second Round, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, and Championship
·      Websites like CBS allow groups to set up ‘pools’ for people to have fun guessing the winners of each game…before the entire tournament starts.
·      The Women at Hope have set up a pool for all of you to enter. Once you have a log-in, Click Here 
·      You will have to create an account with CBS.  It takes no time at all and they won’t spam you if you uncheck the box the says “send me more information”
·      The password to enter the pool is: blog
·      Fill a bracket out and play along!

PICKING TIPS:
·      A #1 seed has never lost in the first round of the tournament
·      The higher rated teams really do win more often, but the closer the numbers are to one another the more likely there is to be an upset. 
·      There are ENDLESS amounts of websites that offer ‘helpful’ tips on picking teams.  I would stick with ESPN.com and CBSsportsline.com for the most helpful information
·      My kids fill out brackets each year.  In the past they have filled them out by favorite mascots, school colors, and vacation destinations and have done nearly as well as my husband on many occasions.  So, fill out a bracket using whatever strategy is the most fun!

Alright! Now it is your turn! First, you need to make a log-in name on CBS.com, then fill out a bracket by clicking here.  When you click the link to the bracket you will be prompted for our password, which is: blog.

Make sure you sign up by Wednesday at midnight! The games start on Thursday and the pools will close sometime that day. As the games begin, we will post the results here on the blog! 

3 comments:

  1. This morning I got an email from my brother to make a bracket and join in on a little family fun. Then I opened up my google reader and read this. And now I feel educated and ready to begin my journey into the world of brackets. I'll owe all my winnings to you, Naty. ;)

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  2. Laura, you can do more than one bracket and increase your chances of winning. Don't miss out on this golden opportunity! Make sure you join the WAH pool, too :)

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  3. Here's a link to an article from the Huffington Post. It has some advice that may be relevant to people like me on how to make your bracket.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-treadway/march-madness-advice_b_1338311.html?ref=email_share

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