2018 NCAA Tournament Pool - Rules & Regulations


I love college basketball...especially the NCAA basketball tournament. And I wanted to do a tournament contest my own way. So in 2003, this bracket contest started with about 20 people as a simple homemade contest based on brackets submitted by email in Excel and then displayed on the web. Slowly, I added features and improved the experience and the contest grew to 67 entries in 2007 and 2008, but the concept remained the same.

In 2009, the contest moved to bgrahmann.com as a complete web-based application. With an increased entry fee, and a growing number of participants, the 2010 contest reached 97 participants and a total prize pool close to $2000. To play, all you have to do is register for this website, log in, and submit your bracket on-line. Once the tournament starts, the contest is all tracked here with live updated results. Notable features include the ability to run contest scenarios, and a full featured forum board to discuss the tournament and contest.

If you have suggestions or feedback, send me a note or post it on the message board for all to discuss. I aim to make this the best NCAA tournament contest experience possible.


Technically, there are no requirments other than you register and pay the entry fee. Forward on the info to friends but let's try to at least keep it to a "friend of a friend of a friend" level from me since payment upfront is not a requirement yet and I still need to track everybody's entry fee. If you do invite other please help ensuring entry fee is paid in a timely manner. Also, only one bracket per person is allowed.

Entry Fee

Entry fee is $20. Preferred payment methods are in person or electronically via PayPal. For full details, please visit the Pay Entry Fee page. Payment before saving your bracket is not required, but please pay as soon as possible!

In the upper right corner of the Standings Page next to your login name, will be the entry fee status. This will be your confirmation that I've received the payment. Please allow up to 24 hrs for me to mark you paid and change the status message.


Payout depends on how many people play. Overall winner gets 50% of the pot. Below is last year's payouts based on 66 entries along with a rough % of how it's determined. I will post final payouts when the tourney starts.

Leader After 1st 2 rounds:
1st: $200 - (15%)
2nd: $65 - (5%)

Overall Winner:
1st: $660 - (50%)
2nd: $265 - (20%)
3rd: $130 - (10%)

Submitting Picks

  1. You must Register and/or Login before you will be allowed to fill out your bracket. Note your login name is for access to this site and contest. It does not have to be the same as your desired bracket or contest entry name.
    • A valid email address is required to create a new profile. An email with the subject "To begin using bgrahmann.com, please activate your account" will be sent to you after registering with instructions to complete registration. If you do not receive this email, please ensure it did not go to your email spam or junk folder.
    • If you previously registered but can not remember your login info, it can be retrieved on the Login page using the email address used at time of registration. Your password can be changed in the Control Center.
  2. Go to the Enter Picks page from the NCAA Tourney Contest drop-down menu. There you will find additional instructions, but you basically just click the team names and hit the Save button.
  3. We will not be picking the 4 opening round games played on Tuesday and Wednesday. The entry bracket will update after each of these games to reflect the winner. You may update and save your bracket as much as you like before the round of 64 starts. Once the first game on Thursday starts the page will be disabled, so get your picks in on time.

Brackets are due Thursday morning at 11:20 am.

Scoring System

Here is the amount of points scored for each correct winner in each round:

  • 1st Round - 1 pt.
  • 2nd Round - 2 pt.
  • Sweet 16 - 4 pt.
  • Regional Finals - 7 pt.
  • Semifinals - 13 pt.
  • Championship Game - 24 pt.

There will also be bonus points awarded in the first two rounds for upset picks. 1 point bonus in Round 1 for correctly picking any 10-16 seed as the winner. Also, in Round 2, you will receive a 2 point bonus for picking any 8-16 seed correct and a 1 point bonus for a 5-7 seed making it to the Sweet 16.

Tiebreaker will go to whoever has the Champion right, then most teams in the Finals, most in the Final Four, etc.

Tiebreaker for the first 2 rounds is: most correct 2nd round picks; most correct 1st round picks; split money. Note that this is correct picks, not points.

That's all. Let me know if you have questions...Good Luck!

Legal Disclaimer: This bracket contest is designed and created by a sports fan and an amatuer web designer. Should any issues arise, technical or otherwise, all decisions regarding resolution of aforementioned issues will be made by bgrahmann.com and are considered final and non-debatable. The contest is for entertainment purposes only. bgrahmann.com reserves the right to refuse contest entry as it deems necessary.