It's in the air, you can feel it growing. If you live in Lexington, KY like I do, you can't help but feel the craziness of March Madness. Even if you're a loner living hermit up on a hill, when you come down to pick up supplies, someone will undoubtedly get you wrapped up in it. It's time for the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. As the week progresses, millions of brackets will be filled out all across the internet. Most likely a co-worker has come up to you today to share some hidden knowledge of who to pick this year.
Here's a hint - Kentucky looks really good (and I'm saying that as a UNC fan).
Something which has evolved in recent years is bracket challenges appearing online. If you're smart/lucky, you can bring in quite a haul if you want to take the time to fill out brackets. I've done a small bit of research to find some of the better challenges out there - below is what I found, and the prizes you can expect if you win.
Grand Prize: $1,000,000
Coke Zero Bracket Challenge
Grand Prize: Trip for 2 to the 2012 NCAA Mens Final Four
NBCSports Bracket Challenge
Grand Prize: $2,000
Grand Prize: Trip for 4 to 2013 NCAA Final Four
ESPN Tournament Challenge
Grand Prize: $10,000 Best Buy gift card
If you're looking for help in choosing your Final Four and tournament champion, you can find all sorts of information in the links I've provide above. Honestly though, no one has any idea what they're really talking about. Ask any of the experts you find if they had Butler in the final game from the past two years.
Since I can't help myself, here are some key upsets to look out for at various points during the tourney...
- Long Beach St. (12) upsetting New Mexico (5) -- First Round
- Texas (11) upsetting Cincinnati (6) -- First Round
- NC State (11) upsetting San Diego St. (6) -- First Round
- Murray St. (6) upsetting Marquette (3) -- Second Round
- UNLV (6) upsetting Baylor (3) -- Second Round
- Wisconsin (4) or Vanderbilt (5) upsetting Syracuse (1) -- Sweet Sixteen
- Florida St (3) upsetting Ohio St. (2) -- Sweet Sixteen
When all is said and done, your Final Four should look like this - Kentucky, Michigan St., Florida St., and North Carolina
Trust me, I'm an expert.