The Final Four Of Web Bracket Pools

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It’s ratcheting up, that madness, that spring fever, that excitement that sends college basketball fans into an ink-and-paper bracket hysteria, trying to predict the unpredictable and who’s got the moxie to win it– wait – it’s not so ink and paper anymore.

Pausing for melodramatic over-the-top effect.

This insanity is digitized these days, perhaps adding some efficiency to an otherwise productivity-draining pastime (but don’t listen to the whip-crackers, their own brackets are filled with ways to reduce the billions of dollars of productivity lost during lunch, weekends, and sleep – if somebody figures out how to transform dreams into spreadsheets, they’ll make billions).

The websites dominating the bracketeering are names you’ll recognize, which means the underdogs you want to win have a long row to hoe to upset the big dogs.

This year’s Web Final Four is already decided, according to Hitwise’s LeeAnn Prescott (I have to say, by the way, I think it’s nifty how LeeAnn’s moniker is webified like that – you almost expect her last name to be Dotcom).

Your NCAA Web Bracket Pool Final Four

·    ESPN.com Men’s Tournament Challenge bracket pool, leading the pack with 32.78 percent of the fan base spending just over 17 minutes of their workday in hoopdream hysteria.

·    CBS Sportsline.com’s Fantasy Mayhem is on ESPN’s high-topped heels, attracting 32.18 percent of the market for fifteen and half minutes.

·    Yahoo! Sports’ "Tournament Pick’em" gets 30.29 percent of NCAA fans, and the award for the dumbest tournament pool title. Yahoo! Sports fanatics spend about 13 minutes there.

·    Fox’s Fantasy College Bracket Challenge squeaks into the top four with 4.75 percent and an eight-minute average session time.

But the smart office punters are dribbling some mathematical precision to step up their game. A few minutes at Poologic.com, and they can one-up the water-cooler competition with algorithmic surety. Tom Adams estimates his underdog algorithm has secured $250,000 for his site users.

Don’t bring that scientific evolutionary game to USA Today’s Robert Lipsyte’s court, however. Lipsyte takes the over-dramatization, the madness, the convulsive, paroxysmal ecstasy to a whole new level of religiosity (boy that was a whole lotta big words in a row, wasn’t it?).

Just so it’s not overdone (too late, huh?), I’ll leave you with Lipsyte’s Final Four existentialism:

March Madness becomes a way to chart our existence in a manner that seems to give shape to destiny. The clear lines of the bracket override our feelings of personal and political helplessness, the sense that all is out of control.

Sorry for setting off your BS detectors. Just hit reset.

The Final Four Of Web Bracket Pools
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  • Anonymous

    I liked it so much I wrote a column about and compared it to many other systems for winning your NCAA office pool. Great find. Did you know know the AP covered this too (but I think you were first in posting/finding)? I linked to their article as well.


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