March Madness Ideas
by Trevor Whenham
The tournament is just around the corner. Finally. It seems like it has taken forever to get here. If you are anything more than a casual sports fan then you will almost certainly agree that the NCAA tournament is as close to a perfect sporting event as anything that happens. The format is perfect and it just drips with passion and excitement every single year. To enjoy the tournament all you really need to do is fill out a bracket or two, find a couch and a TV, maybe grab a beer or two, and enjoy the craziness. If that's not enough for you, though, there are always other things you can do to make the tournament even more fun. Here are some March Madness ideas to ratchet up the excitement even more:
1. Do an ATS bracket. You will obviously have to do this round by round, and you will probably have to do it manually because I haven't seen one online, but this is a way to make picking a bracket even more challenging. Instead of just figuring out who is going to win each game, pick a source to draw the spreads from, and pick a bracket based on which team will cover the spreads. This is especially challenging in the earlier rounds because it takes many of the games that aren't even remotely competitive - the 1 vs. 16 and 2 vs. 15 games -and makes them really challenging because the favorites are burdened with such massive spreads. Thinking this way will be more interesting for hardcore sports bettors, and it will allow you to continue to apply the work that you have been doing during the regular season when you were always betting against the spread.
2. Find alternate ways to fill out your brackets. If you are like most people I know then you will fill out several brackets in advance of the tournament. One way to add extra excitement and interest while filling out brackets is to find different ways to compare the teams. For example, you can pick brackets based on the team's mascots. Or you could do it by comparing the best players on each teams. Or you could force yourself to pick an equal number of upper and lower seeds in each bracket. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
3. Try to see every team. Watching the tournament coverage can seem to be overwhelming in the first couple of days because there are so many games, and they all seem to overlap. One way to turn that chaos into a fun challenge is to keep track of all the teams and attempt to see every single one of them play at least part of a game. It may require an active remote control thumb and some determination, but it can be done, and doing it makes you feel like even more of a hardcore fan.
4. Bet parlays. I normally don't like betting parlays that much, but they can be a great way to increase the excitement of an event like this. Instead of betting a standard parlay, though, it can be more fun to do it yourself. Start in the morning with the first game. Pick the most attractive game and make a bet on it. If and when you win, invest the profits and the original bet in the best of the next games. In this way you'll get to bet four or five games in one day. If you are able to run the table you'll have earned a pretty sweet return on your money. If you lose you'll only be out one unit. If you win a few games in a row, this is a great way to be able to place a much bigger bet than you normally would without having to dip into your bankroll more than you are comfortable with. The opportunities for an adrenaline rush with this approach are high.