For the next 21 days, a single sheet of paper will mean more than just about anything to most of us — it’s March Madness!
An exciting event even for non-fans, March Madness is the only time of year where the Creightons, Gonzagas and Virginia Commonwealths are just as important as the Indianas, Dukes and Syracuses to every college basketball fan.
And the best part of March Madness is without a doubt, filling out a bracket. According to some estimates, billions of dollars are wagered each year on the NCAA Tournament — both legally and illegally (yes, your $5 office pool is technically illegal according to Pennsylvania law). Picking the right upsets, running the right number one seed to the Final Four, and trying your best to not run your favorite team two rounds too long all add up to make filling out a bracket a daunting task.
For the second straight year, SaraBozich.com and Arooga’s have teamed up for the second annual Mid-State March Madness bracket pool. It is free to play and the winner will receive a $50 Arooga’s gift card. Click here to sign-up and fill out your bracket. (If you don’t already have a CBS Sports account, you must create one, but it’s easy and free.) Group password: harrisburg.
Let’s be serious, who couldn’t use $50 to spend on beer and hot wings at Arooga’s?
But to win any bracket pool, it takes a little bit of college basketball and NCAA Tournament knowledge and, more importantly, a lot of luck.
For example, last year for the first time in tournament history, two #15 seeds knocked off #2 seeds in the first round. And while #1 seeds are still undefeated all-time against #16 seeds in the first round, the games are getting a lot tighter in recent years and who’s to say the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers can’t shock the college basketball world and knock off the Kansas Jayhawks this season?
Picking the right upsets is critical to winning any bracket pool so don’t forget that a #12 seed has beaten a #5 seed in the first round in 22 of the past 24 years and a double digit seed has made the Sweet Sixteen in 26 of the past 28 years. But don’t run the Cinderella teams too far — the lowest seed to ever win the National Championship was #8 Villanova in 1985.
Lastly, don’t give up hope on your bracket Thursday night if you lose a few games — everyone does. Most websites offer millions of dollars in “perfect bracket” challenges because there’s never been one on record. According to some statistics, you are 60 billion times more likely to win the Powerball than you are to fill out a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket.
The NCAA Tournament technically starts on Tuesday night with the First Four games, but the SaraBozich.com Mid-State March Madness pool does not begin until Thursday. Make sure to enter and share with your friends!