Yes it's that time kiddos. Pit your bit of prognostication power against that of the Mega Minds of Blue vs Blue. Join our BLUE vs BLUE group at ESPN and make your picks. (if not registered at ESPN site, the Mothership will force you to do that before you can join)
Please keep in mind - only ONE entry per person. You are welcome to fill out more than one, but only the first entry listed will be scored.
The REASON you should join us, is our scoring system is just plain better than anyone else out there. Check it out:
I always thought it was bunk that picking straight chalk should be worth the same as having the cahones to, say, pick VCU into the Final Four last year. So over the years we've worked out a system that is perhaps our greatest contribution to mankind. And it’s the reason our bracket challenge is better than everyone else’s: not every winner is weighted the same. We reward people for correctly picking upsets, or more precisely for picking teams that perform better than their seed would indicate. Here’s how it works:
- Round of 64 winner - 10 Points
- Round of 32 winner - 20 Points
- Sweet Sixteen winner - 40 Points
- Elite Eight winner - 100 Points
- Final Four winner - 200 Points
- Champion - 400 Points
Now the bonus points for each round work as follows: If you correctly pick a lower seeded team advancing beyond what it’s seed number would suggest, then you get bonus points. The bonus points are always half the value for that round multiplied by difference of the seed number from the expected value for that round. Say what?? Everyone lost? Here’s how it works in real life:
Say you pick New Mexico State (13) over the now injured Hoosiers of Indiana (4). The bonus points for correctly choosing a lower seed would be 5pts (half the value for round 1) X 5 (difference of Belmont’s seed from the expected ‘seed value’ of seeds found in the first round: 13-8=5). That would earn you 25 bonus points for a total of 35 for that single game. Our thinking is that correctly picking a 13 over a 4 is the same ‘value’ as getting 3 1/2 games of all chalk correct.
(Note: 8 vs 9 games are excluded from ‘upset’ status. These are always pick em games anyway
Now to make sure people don't just go crazy picking every upset across the board in hopes of hitting the jackpot, there is a one time bonus of 100 points given to the person who picks the most opening round games correct.
Now the Second Round:
Picking any teams seeded 1-4 net no bonus points. They are supposed to be there.
I have now picked the New Mexico State to continue its run to the Sweet Sixteen, an low and behold they do it! I get 20 pts for the win in 2nd round. The bonus points are now 10 (half the points for that round) X 9 (difference between their seed  and the expected ‘seed value’ of teams supposed to be winning second round games  13-4=9). So the Aggies second round win nets me a bundle with 90 bonus points. I know that sounds like a lot – but there should be a reward for correctly identifying teams that are going to out-perform their seeding.
Now the Bonus is 20 (half the 40 pt value of correctly picking Elite 8 teams) X (Actual Seed# minus 2 [since the teams expected to be in the final eight would be all 1 or 2 seeds])
So staying with our example – New Mexico State in the Elite 8 would give you 20 X 11 (13-2) bonus points, for an eye-popping 260 points for that pick. Hold the phone you are saying. That is crazy. Well it might be. We are always open to refining the system. But shouldn’t correctly choosing Belmont into the Elite 8 be worth the same as boringly picking Kentucky to get to the Semi Finals. Which is more likely?? Exactly.
With our scoring, for example, someone who correctly picked VCU to get the the Final Four last year would probably have amassed so many points with that pick that choosing the eventual champ probably wouldn’t matter. And to my mind that is fine. If you had picked that, you deserve to win.
Fourth round and beyond:
Bonus for regional finals and Final Four is set at 50 X (Seed# – 1) So the Aggies to the final four would net you 50 X 12 (13-1) bonus points. Yes that is not a mistake – 600 bonus points. See above VCU example. Correctly picking a #2 to go to the Final Four though – would net you a more reasonable 50 bonus points (50 X (2-1) which is an appropriate reward in my mind.
Thats all we have for now. The best weekend of the sports calendar is nearly upon us WOOHOO!