An upset-filled day of unexpected joys can be ruined, or at least diminished, by busted brackets
. Oh boo hoo, I'm so sad because I picked Georgetown to go to the Elite Eight.
All of these problems can be eliminated if they take my advice and don't fill one out at all
. When one watches the NCAA Tournament with clear eyes and flexible rooting interests, without constantly checking to see if you're about to lose a share of $125 in the office pool, this is a much more rewarding and memorable experience. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Hoopsputin.
I understand that bracket-picking is a very important part of this process, and that March Madness would not be as important as it is without casual fans. If we were playing these games in front of the same number of people who were watching back in December, then there wouldn't be the anticipation, the excitement, the larger-than-life feeling this all has. All I want is market share. If just a few people come to our side, that's all that matters.
And among the millions of filled-out brackets, we have nine entries to our First Annual As-You-Go Bracket contest.
The prize is roundtrip airfare for two to Indianapolis, the capital of Hoops Nation, and double-occupancy lodging at the site's headquarters (the gracefully fading Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport
) for the Mid-Majority Season 7 Symposium in late summer. And that's plenty of entries enough, because it's a whole lot of JPG images to wrangle.
Here are your entries, and they are all amazing and wonderful and creative. Not to mention breathtakingly awesome. Because of that, we'd like to announce a change to the rules: I will not be able to decide, so we will put this to public vote (which will take place when the Epilogue is posted; winner will be announced on Twitter and in the site top bar). Remember that all entrants must provide a picture at the end of every round, until the last mid-major team is eliminated.
They are numbered in order of submission. You can click on the pictures for closeups!01. Joshua LeggetteI first tried this out last year (after reading your post), but just filled out a regular paper bracket as the games moved along. Spurred by the contest, this is how I'm going about it this year. I look forward to moving as many team Ballys along the bracket as possible until all the bracket lines are burned out by above-the-red-line teams...hopefully taking us all well into the second week. Thanks for sharing this really fun way of filling out the bracket with everyone.02. Matthew MillerMy entry, it is the emotional and gut reaction that I have to each team in the tournament, and then as it advances I will record my emotion after watching (or hearing about) each game. By the way, this is a super great idea!03. Douglass GakingDear Bally, This is the year, buddy. The Catamounts can do it!04. Kraig WilliamsHi Bally, Here is my entry for your bracket contest... I respectfully declined all my bracket pool invitations this year. Hope to see you in Indy in the fall, if not sooner!05. Julia PriorHere you! :)06. Benjamin AtchinsonI hope you like my entry in the As-You-Go Contest: Mt. Madness. I am a mathematician by trade and no artist, so I used my usual medium of paper and pencil. The scan turned out a little too light, so I will work on darkening it for the updated version. I hope Bally approves of my making him the centerpiece!07. Michael Dunn and Ian HalpernAttached are two pictures of our bracket design. We made a mobile for each region that hangs over our college apartment TV with an index card containing a team on each side with seed, record, and team name. When the second round comes we will punch holes in the bottom of the above cards and continue to drape the mobile down with new cards until we get to the final four and there is one winner at the bottom.08. Garrett WheelerHere is my official submission for the First Annual As-You-Go bracket contest. As you will soon see, my submission is unlike any other bracket you've ever seen (3D). I title it The 2010 King of The Mountain Bracket. Because it is different, I included a few photos so you can get an idea of what is involved. As the tournament progresses, soldiers will attempt to claim the high ground as the official 2010 king of this hoops mountain. As there is only room for one champion, you'll see the dead pile up round after round on the steep slope to victory. Hoops Nation teams are represented by the blue soldiers, and as you can see, Bally is cheering, "GO BLUE." Green soldiers represent the teams above the Red Line this year.09. Robert CanedoThis bracket was built on my last 3 lunch hours. The ubiquitous flip charts and Post-it notes used in so many bizness meetings provide the canvass and some laser printer label completed the vision. I added a few personal items from my office - I know you'll recognize at least one of the items crowning the brackets... Finally, you'll note, my brackets can not be reduced to an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and nobody will talk about the top of my bracket. Everybody is in a straight line, one level - even for the PIG. For a few days anyway, there is no red line. Everyone is equal. Neutral courts and may the best team win on the way to the top! Here's to "upsets" and a long run until the Season 6 Epilogue!