The Inter-Continental March Madness Pool Rules

Making Picks

It all starts on Selection Sunday, which is on March 17, 2024 this year.  At 6pm EST the NCAA Selection Committee announces the 68-team field for the tournament.  Sometime shortly after that, will cease to show the prior year's results.  Instead, it will show those 68 teams on an entry page (60 teams displayed upfront with 4 drop-down boxes containing the other eight teams) which YOU can use to seek (trivial) fame and (moderate) fortune.  All you have to do is try to pick which teams will win in each and every game of the tournament, right on down to the champion.  If you've never done this before you can just use the seeding #s (1 through 16) on the edges of the pages next to each team and you'll have as much chance as anyone.  Lower is better: a 16 seed has only beaten a 1 seed twice in history, but the odds quickly even out as the seeds get closer so that a 7/10 matchup is pretty much a 50/50 proposition. 

Give your entry a unique name in the Pick Name field and provide your real, honest-to-goodness name and email in the other two fields, click Send Your Entry and you're done! When you click Send Your Entry, the web page should either tell you if you forgot something, or show the picks you just made. When you get a confirmation page showing your picks, you may want to print or save, as you won't be able to see them again until the next deadline passes (see below). At the very least, you should definitely check your entries for correctness! If you wind up needing to make a change, use the Back Button on your browser and resubmit the bracket with a new name, then send an email explaining that this is a correction not a new entry. I can not make changes once the games have started.

Also, note that your picks do not have to be logically consistent. By this, I mean that, if you want to, you can pick a team to lose in one round but win in a later round, even though both things can't actually happen. You should use the left arrowblue arrowsright arrow to carry down your winners from each game rather than the pull down boxes if you want logically consistent picks. It's faster and eliminates the risk of entry errors. 


As of 2011, the tournament starts off with eight teams playing in four play-in games - two each on the Tuesday and Wednesday following Selection Sunday. The four winners of these play-in games will then join the main draw of the tournament (i.e. the 68-team field has been whittled down to 64 teams). To accommodate the play-in games, you'll have 3 date options for submitting your picks:  1) by the Tuesday after Selection Sunday at 6pm to submit picks including all four play-in and main draw games; 2) by the Wednesday after Selection Sunday at 6pm to submit picks including Wednesday's play-in and main draw games; and 3) the Thursday after Selection Sunday at 10am to make your choices for the main draw games only.  Shortly after each of these deadlines, well before the games tip, the website will be updated to show all the picks that have been entered up to that point. The entry page will also be updated each time to show the winners of the play-in games or that they are in progress.  Obviously, if you submit your picks after either of the first two deadlines (all are Eastern Standard Time), you can not get the two bonus points for the two games played on those days, but you will have had the opportunity to view the picks of those who did.  Also, if you submit picks while the play-in games are in-progress and choose a play-in winner to beat a team in the main draw, you will automatically get whichever team advanced to the main draw (this will show as "Game1, 2, 3 or 4 Winner", respectively), making it essentially the same as if you had waited until the play-in games were over and known the winners.

Winning, waiting, hoping...

Once the play-in games are in progress,  will show a page allowing you to either make further picks or see those that were made before the most recent deadline, so that everyone can know all the picks made for a given game well before it starts.  This page is always available at and it also has links to the rules and the past years for which I have records.  Once the last deadline has passed, the main page simply shows the huge grid detailing all the picks of everyone in the pool.  The key of what number corresponds to each team is at the bottom, and mousing over a number should show you the team name.  It's a bit hard to read, but if anyone has a better way of showing thousands of game choices together on a single page, I'd love to hear about it.  As game results come in, columns on this grid will turn green or red indicating right and wrong picks.  You get 1 point for every First Four game you get right, 2 for each correct first round game, 4 for each correct second round (Sweet 16) game, 8 for each Elite 8 pick, 16 for accurate Final Four selections, 32 for each finalist, and 64 points for identifying the team that wins it all.  Quite simply, whoever has the most points at the end wins.  So, you don't have to pick the tournament winner to win the pool, but it helps.  Also, traditionally, if you got fewer points than anyone else EVER had in the history of the pool, you would win a free entry next year.  The low before 2011 was 12 points by Trish in 2009, but this record was set prior to the expanded tournament. The lowest point total was 39 by Paul H in 2012, which is what you now have to score below for the free entry.

By clicking on the column headers, you can sort the results by pick name (the default), points, and potential (the # of points you've got plus those that it's still possible for you to still get).  You can also click on a pick name to see that set of picks in bracket form, just like you saw your own when you entered them. Again, you should have checked your picks for correctness at that point.  Once games have started, I can't make any changes!

Kittens (they're delicious!)

It costs 10 kittens per entry to play and you can play as many entries as you like. They all go back out as prizes at the end; just like the players, I'm doing this for education and love of the game.  The preferred method is to give them to me in person, possibly via the person who referred you to the pool. 

You can also use Venmo to Matthew-Fischesser

If that's not easy use postal mail, and send them to:

Matt Fischesser
116 Pinehurst Ave. #H22
New York, NY 10033

At worst, you can Paypal 'em to mahatma000[at]gmail but include an extra dollar to cover the transfer fee, or make sure it is done as a "Personal Transfer", "gift", or whatever PP is calling it this year! Also, please don't mention basketball, March Madness, etc. in a Paypal transaction as that apparently violates the Terms of Use.

No matter how you go about it, please send them in as early as possible, so that prizes can go out.  Everything that comes in goes back out in prizes.  1st place gets 65%, 2nd gets 25% and 3rd is 10%.  If there is a tie, the players split the sum of the places that they would occupy consecutively.  For instance, if there is a clear winner, but a two-way tie for second, then those two players split second & third place combined.  As a further example, if three or more players tie for first, they split the entire pot evenly amongst them.

Enjoy the games, and thanks to everyone for playing!