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Our March Book Madness Brackets are Here!

bkmadness_bracket_lg

Our brackets are ready so it’s time to sign up for our March Madness reading challenge! Many thanks to all the early participants who nominated books and to those who voted on the books. Over 70 people voted on all 64 books and, based on those votes, we tabulated rankings for each category. Keep reading to see how the nominated books were ranked and to see a copy of our official challenge bracket.

We have quite a few international readers so a quick explanation is due… March Madness is a college basketball tournament that runs from March 17 – April 4, in which 64 teams compete in single elimination games until only one team remains. Teams are initially ranked and then divided into four divisions. Teams in each division battle it out until there is one team left in each division — the Final Four.

We’ve created a book version with your help. In our challenge we are pairing 64 nominated books with particular basketball teams and we did this by using your ratings on our survey to rank books.  Basketball team rankings are not available yet but we want to give you enough time to pick (and we suspect that only a very small number of you will be using basketball knowledge to make your own brackets). Here is our book bracket (ignore the dates):

bracket

The numbers next to each book title correspond to that book’s rank. These books will each be matched up to a NCAA basketball team and that team’s success in the tournament will determine how many points the book earns. When the basketball team rankings are revealed you’ll be able to see that the team ranked number one in the midwest will be matched to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and the number one team in the South will be matched to Between the World and Me.

The point of this challenge is to earn the most points possible and beat other participants. You earn points by first predicting which books (or basketball teams) will advance and then rack up the points by reading as many high scoring books as possible. There are two steps to this challenge and you must complete them in the following order:

Step 1: Fill out your bracket. You need to pick the winners of each round starting on the outer edges and moving inward to the center until you end up with only one book — the champion. Books will be matched with teams and the outcome of the basketball game will determine which book moves forward. Some basketball knowledge may help you do a better job of predicting the outcome of games BUT you may not want to read a book that is matched with a basketball team you think will win.

When filling out your brackets, you can fill them out immediately and ignore the basketball teams or you can wait until the basketball team rankings are released (March 13th) then use basketball knowledge to pick your winners of each match.

Request a bracket and I will email you the larger PDF that you can print out and write in your predicted book winners. When you have filled out your bracket, send it back to me (jenlane3 [at] yahoo [dot]com).

Brackets must be submitted to me (Jen) prior to March 17 (the start of the basketball tournament).

Step 2: Reading. Once you have submitted your predictions, you may start reading books that you picked in your bracket. You will have until the end of June to finish reading. See our challenge page for details on points and scoring. You can start reading before the basketball tournament starts, but you may want to wait until you see the outcome of some games first. We will post those results with updated brackets on our challenge page as the tournament progresses.

Use whatever strategy you like for picking which books to read. If you predict all match ups correctly (which is extremely unlikely) then you would have a maximum of 32 available books to chose from for your reading. However, depending on your predictions, you could end up winning the tournament by reading only 2-3 books total (if you happen to correctly pick the overall champion). You will only get points for reading books that advance in the tournament. For example, if you pick A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and it loses in round one, you can still read it, but you won’t get more than 1/2 point for reading it (because we make an exception and give 1/2 points only in round 1). In contrast, if you pick A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and its corresponding basketball team wins the tournament then you may want to prioritize reading that book first, followed by the book/team pairing that is the runner up, and so on.

You must submit a brief (3 sentence) review on the challenge page to prove that you have completed a book. I will keep tallies of scores as books are complete but I will not be letting competitors see other participants’ brackets.

Prizes: We will be awarding three prizes this challenge: 1) One prize for the person who nominated the book that ends up winning the competition (e.g., the book that was paired with the winning basketball team); 2) a prize for the person who predicts the most number of correct match ups; and 3) grand prize for the person who earns the highest score.

Questions: This challenge may be confusing especially for those who aren’t familiar with the basketball tournament so ask as many questions as you need. We recommend you start by reading the challenge page instructions: here. It may sound confusing but once we start playing, it should be easy to follow.

So request your bracket now and I’ll email you a copy of the larger PDF so you can start planning.

32 Comments Post a comment
  1. JAH #

    This sounds so cool! I might want to participate…

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
    • It should be a lot of fun! I’ll be joining but just not competing for the prizes. I hope you join us. If you want me to email you the PDF bracket just send me an email to jenlane3@yahoo.com

      Like

      March 1, 2016
  2. Ok, I think I follow… regardless, it should be fun! Email me a bracket please! You should have my email addy already, but let me know if you need me to resend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
    • It sounds more confusing than it will actually be (I think). I will send them out tonight -pretty sure I have your email address

      Like

      March 1, 2016
  3. Before I decide if I even have time for this, how do you handle books that a participant has already read? I don’t reread and definitely wouldn’t participate if I had to.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
    • Great question: the answer is probably buried in the challenge page so I’m glad you asked it here. That is the one exception to having to read the book listed. If you have already read the book, We will allow you to read another book by the same author. If have read all the books by that author we will have to deal with that on case by case basis. I think brackets will be interesting because people will be picking books based on all kinds of reasons including whether they have already read the book, basketball team preference, and personal preference. There are some books on there that I think may advance but I don’t want to read them so I will be rooting for upsets.

      Like

      March 1, 2016
    • I will say… I am playing too (but not for prizes) and I will be making some of my picks based exclusively on whether I want to read the book. There are a few debuts on the list so in those matchups you will either need to reread (if you have already read it) the book or pick the other book to win. However, it’s about points and people won’t be able to read every single book. There should be enough options to let you read only the books you really want to read and you should prioritize those over the books you don’t like even if the win a few matches.

      Plus there is one prize going for the most number of correct predictions (no reading required) so you should fill out a bracket even if you don’t think you will have time to read any books.

      Like

      March 1, 2016
      • mootastic1 #

        I am still not positive about having enough time, but I am willing to try. I will send you an email.

        Liked by 1 person

        March 1, 2016
      • No pressure. Fill it out just to see whether you get the predictions right but without feeling pressured to read anything.

        Like

        March 1, 2016
  4. I’m totally in.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
  5. Tessa #

    I won’t be participating due to some “real life” issues … but this should be fun to watch. Kudos to Jen for setting this up… I’m impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
    • I hope everything is okay. Sorry you won’t be joining us but it should be fun to watch

      Like

      March 1, 2016
  6. I want to participate, please send me the brackets!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
  7. Karin #

    Yes, I’d love a Bracket!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
    • Will send along to you tonight. Do I have your email address? If not, can you send it to me as a private message on goodreads then I will send you the bracket

      Like

      March 1, 2016
  8. I have NO idea what is going on, but I’ll give it a whirl! At the very least I might get through some of my TBR, right? And now I will read the challenge page to see if my non-sport brain can make sense of it. I might be back with questions…

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
    • Ha ha! I will send you the bracket so you can see what to do. Sounds more complicated than it will be to play.

      Like

      March 1, 2016
      • I’ve had a read through the steps and I think they make sense. I have no clue about basketball or how teams rank against each other, so I think my bracket is going to be built on whether I want to read a book and how much I trust statistics to be more reliable than chance!

        Questions so far:
        1. If I choose a book because I think it stands a good chance of going the distance, but don’t want to read it, that means I forfeit points for each stage it gets to but it still counts towards the correct match ups tally and potentially to the correct winner?
        2. I could, if I wanted to, just pick books for my bracket that I own and want to read, and completely ignore the rankings?

        Liked by 1 person

        March 1, 2016
      • Yes to both questions. My guess is most people will be picking and reading books that are appealing to them rather than worrying about the basketball games. I plan to pick based on preferences for specific books and just hope for the best. Of course, I’m not competing for prizes

        Liked by 1 person

        March 1, 2016
  9. Tanya #

    I’d like a bracket please!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
  10. Tracy S #

    Count me in! This sounds a lot less stressful than my basketball brackets will be!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 1, 2016
  11. Dave Tuttle #

    Great idea! Even the ranking of the books was interesting. Please send me a bracket.
    Thanks for doing this. Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    March 2, 2016
  12. I’ll give it a try, I suppose! Do you still have my email address, Jen?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 4, 2016
  13. JoLene R #

    I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with the list of books — I will definitely pick, but I’m not sure how many I can read. Lots are on my want-to-read list, but things just got super busy as work.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 6, 2016
    • I think that if people pick carefully, the winner can avoid having to read too much and possibly win with only a few books read. I am glad you like the list. We have some good readers so you all did the hard work in generating the list!

      Like

      March 6, 2016

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