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Blind Bracket pick 'em contest opens eyes, offers different look at NCAA Tournament field


Having trouble filling out your bracket?

Maybe this can help. I stumbled upon it the other day via Twitter — where else? — and I've probably tried it four or five different times since discovering it.

In a word, it's awesome. But in greater detail, it's the Wall Street Journal's Blind Bracket exercise. To the best of my understanding, it's an actual bracket pool, with prizes available and the whole bit. I haven't actually entered it yet, but it seems like an interesting way to increase your odds of winning something this March.

Here's how it works:

Just as you do in a normal bracket, you pick each round, game by game, but instead of knowing the identity of the teams you're picking, you're simply given two profiles and asked to pick one. The profiles, which come complete with fake names such as “Boom Boxes” or “The Ice Cube Trays,” include six categories, a brief summary, seed and RPI ranges and vague conference affiliation, such as mid-major or high major.

Values are assigned to each of the six categories — basically, the 1-5 star system, with five being the best — and that's how you determine which team you're picking.

You go through blindly the entire way, picking 32 games in Round 2, 16 games in Round 3, 8 games in Round 4, 4 games in Round 5, 2 games in Round 6 and, of course, the title game.

After it's all over, your picks are recorded and the site spits out the completed bracket.

The first one I did yielded the following results: Final Four – Duke, Gonzaga, Florida and Indiana, with Duke topping Florida in the title game. I'm not crazy about those picks, considering none of them are in my actual bracket picks, but maybe that's a sign that I should reconsider before making it official. As for KU, I picked the Jayhawks to the Elite Eight in my blind bracket and had them losing to Florida. Not bad.

Anyway, if you want to try your luck, here's the link. Enjoy!



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