Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year once again, as the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is about ready to get underway. And, if you so choose, you can make it unlike any March Madness bracket you've ever done before.
We at SB Nation have partnered up with the folks from Real Time Brackets for this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and they've put a whole different spin on the bracket experience that lets you get as involved as you want to be. When you sign up, you can choose to be a "traditional" player, an "intermediate" player, or an "advanced" player. What's the difference? Well, I'm glad you asked. . .here's the explanation from Real Time Brackets.
Selecting Game Type
RTB offers a game level for every type of college basketball fan. The Game Type you select will determine when (and if) you are able to make changes to your bracket once the Tourney has started. If you want to be able to change your picks in real-time during live games, you will need to select the Advanced game.
*Note: You cannot change your Game Type after the Tourney has started, so choose wisely and don't say we didn't warn you!
Advanced: The Advanced Game allows you to make changes to your bracket anytime, including in real-time while live games are in-progress.
Who should play this game? Sure, this game isn't exactly for the faint of heart. But you don't need to be a college basketball junky either. If you want to be able to change your picks during live games, you should play this game. Period.
Example: Thinking you're a college hoops expert, you pick that 13 seed "sleeper" to win its first round matchup against the perennial powerhouse, just to quickly realize that they received the 13 seed for a reason. If you are playing the Advanced Game, you can switch your pick (to the team you should have selected in the first place) while the game is in-progress to pick up some points and cut your losses.
Intermediate: The Intermediate Game allows you to make changes to your bracket anytime, EXCEPT during live games.
Who should play this game? If changing your picks in real-time is too much for you to handle (or maybe your boss just won't let you play), but you still hate it when your bracket busts each year, then the Intermediate Game is for you.
Example: Before the Tourney starts you decide that it is a good idea to pick that team everyone is talking about to advance deep into the Tourney, just to have them fall flat on their face in the first round. Because you signed up for the Intermediate experience, even though you were not able to change your pick during the game, you rub some dirt on it and pick a new team next round to keep your bracket alive.
Traditional: The Traditional Game lets you play the old fashioned way. Make your picks pre-Tourney and sit back in cruise control. Once the Tourney starts, you cannot make changes to your bracket.
Who should play this game? If you fill out a bracket each year just so you don't feel left out at work, this game is probably for you. If you pick your winners based on jersey colors, this game is definitely for you!
Example: No examples here. You are going to end up with a busted bracket because the Tourney is impossible to predict. Fact. But hey, look on the bright side, you couldn't care less!
Yes, if you want to get that deep into things, you can change your picks for the tournament while games are still taking place. When it comes to scoring, there is a master leaderboard (which ranks players of all game types against each other at the same time) as well as a leaderboards that are broken down by each game type. Personally, I think I'm going to be playing the "Intermediate" game, but you can pick whichever one you think you'd enjoy the most.
If you want to sign up for our league, the link is right here. Make sure you get in before the tournament starts on Thursday, because the league will lock at that point. You can find our group at
Hopefully a lot of folks will sign up for what should really be a unique bracket experience. Get in on the madness, folks!