Introducing The $1,000 March Sadness Bracket Challenge

Mar 16, 2020, 08:44 PM EDT

There’s an old adage in the gambling world that good teams win, but great teams cover.

It’s never truly been put to the test, until now.

We’re simulating a hypothetical 2020 NCAA Tournament, and advancing teams based on who covers the spread, not by who wins the game.

And we figured it would be fun to invite our readers to play and give them some skin in the game.

Enter here for FREE by Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, and you’ll be assigned a random team. If that team goes 6-for-6 and covers every spread, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win the $1,000.

The beauty of this bracket is that point spreads become the great equalizer. Don’t fret if you get Robert Morris. The Colonials could go on a magical run with six losses and six covers and take down the pot.

How Do I Enter?

Click the link, then enter your name and email.

Deadline: Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.

Again, it’s completely FREE to enter.

After the deadline passes, we’ll send you your team via email.

How Are the Spreads and Bracket Made?

Our resident college basketball zealot Stuckey made the bracket based on how he thought things would shake out on Selection Sunday. And we’ll use his power ratings to create point spreads for every game.

You can see the spreads for all 32 of the first-round games here.

We’ll then use Sean Koerner’s ratings and simulator to simulate the games once and get a result. The team that covers the spread will advance.

Using a real example in our Round of 64 bracket: If you have Prairie View A&M +29.5 against Kansas and the Panthers lose by the score of 74-64 in our simulations, Prairie View A&M would advance because it covered the 29.5-point spread.

When Will This Be Decided?

We’ll be simulating the tournament throughout this week. We’ll post results here on our site and on Twitter:

  • Wednesday night: Round of 64
  • Thursday night: Round of 32
  • Friday night: Sweet 16
  • Saturday night: Elite 8
  • Sunday night: Final 4
  • Monday night: Championship Game

Enter here before the deadline passes at Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET for your chance to win $1,000.


March Sadness Contest Rules

  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win. A purchase or payment will not increase your chances of winning.
  • One entry per person. Any attempt by any Entrant to enter a specific Contest more than once by using multiple and/or different accounts, identities, forms, registrations, email addresses, logins, or any other methods will disqualify that Entrant’s entries
  • Entrants must be 18+ and legal U.S. residents to enter
  • Must have an Action Network account to enter. Accounts are free. Visit www.actionnetwork.com or download The Action Network App from the Apple App Store or Google Play to create a free Account.
  • All potential winners are subject to verification by The Action Network, whose decisions are final and binding in all matters related to the contest. An entrant is not a winner of any prize unless and until the entrant’s eligibility has been verified and entrant has been notified that verification is successful.
  • All potential winners will have seven days (7) after being notified of their victory to claim their prize. After seven days, The Action Network reserves the right to award the prize to the runner-up.

See full contest rules here.

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