Without question, March Madness is my favorite sporting event in the world, with the World Cup a close second. Two weeks of college hoops, epic upsets, cinderella stories, double overtimes, Dicky V, and players coming out of the woodwork (Stephen Curry, Dwayne Wade) to etch their place in history. How could you not be a fan?
Of course I fill out plenty of brackets and while that’s enjoyable, a group of buddies and I have been doing things differently for the past 17 years. We had our draft last night, filled with smack talk, side bets and a few cold ales, and here’s how we turn your run of the mill bracket into a no-holds-bar draft:
1. Eight players is the ideal number, though you can make the draft work with any number of players. Last night we pulled it off with 12.
2. Names are drawn out of a hat to select draft order (although this year we used final standings in our football fantasy league to determine draft order, which was not without controversy).
3. The player with the #1 pick took Kentucky last night. So Kentucky is taken off the board and the draft moves on, in snake-draft order. For those unfamiliar with the snake-draft format, it goes 1 through 12, then reverses order 12 through 1, and so on until all teams are off the board.
4. I ended up 12th in the draft order (not happy about that), meaning I had picks 12 and 13. I took Louisville and a flyer on Gonzaga, showing some love for my WCC brethren since I’m a USD alum.
5. At the end of the draft each player has his 5 or 6 teams that are his own, and his only chance at glory!
6. In each round your teams earn cash for victories. We usually set the payouts (dependent upon how much the draft fee was – $50 is standard for us) at $2.50 for a 1st round victory, $5 for 2nd round, $10 for sweet 16, $15 for elite 8, $25 for final four and $40 for the title game. So if Gonzaga wins the whole thing, they alone will net me $97.50!
7. Far and away the best feature of this March Madness draft is the head-to-head matchups that take place. You can only imagine the smack talk that will go down when my #7 seed Gonzaga puts a whooping on my buddy’s #2 seed Ohio State in round 2! Not only will I win cash and still keep a team alive, I get the sweet pleasure of knocking one of his teams out.
8. Some years all your teams are knocked out by the sweet 16 (feel free to come to me for draft advice) and other years you may have 2 teams in the final four!
So scrap the bracket-filling, get 8 of your boys together, roll in the keg and start drafting!
Are you a fan of this format? Do you have your own ideas or adaptations? Let us know what you like and what you do below in the comments!
Evan – Pogoseat Founder