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Brackets are now Live for March Book Madness Challenge

Our Bookish March Madness Challenge is a reading challenge where we pair books with basketball teams then participants can earn points for both predictions and reading books that correspond with their winning predictions. You can read full instructions and join here.

Teams were announced today and so now you can see which books go with each team. The fate of the book is determined by how well their basketball team does in the NCAA tournament.

You can now access the brackets. Here is the link to the CBS pool where you will submit your own bracket. Here’s what you need to do…

Step 1: Join our CBS pool. to join our league. You need to do this to participate because part of your score will be tracked here.

Step 2: Look at the brackets. I’ve created an excel sheet you can view that has 3 sheets. Sheet 1 has the book bracket, sheet 2 is the basketball bracket. The two sheets are identical in terms of their layout. So the book in the top left corner is partnered with the basketball team in the top left corner. You could potentially print them out and lay one on top of the other in order to see how they are matched. Sheet 3 has the books and partnered teams linked. The Brackets are here.

Step 3: Fill out your bracket. When you submit your bracket to the CBS group you will need to do so using only basketball teams (the books won’t be on the CBS website). We recommend that you print out one basketball bracket and then write in the books next to each team name. Then fill it out with both partners in each position. Then you can go to CBS site and fill out your bracket online with your cheatsheet in front of you.

Step 4: Submit your bracket to CBS site before March 15. Brackets will lock as soon as games start so if you forget to submit it, you will be locked out of the challenge.

Step 5: Read. From March 15 – May 15, you will be reading the books you selected in your bracket. You can only get points for reading books that you have picked to advance at least one game. See challenge page for full instructions.

Step 6: Score your reading. Your score will be determined by prediction score (tracked by CBS automatically) + your reading score (tracked by you). You can find a link to the score card on our challenge page.

Any questions? It can be confusing so make sure you ask lots of questions! 

If you have never filled out a bracket: The way the brackets work is that all schedules and games are already determined. You work your way from the outside in to the center of the sheet predicting the outcome of each game until you end up with one winner.


So if you look at the bracket, the top left corner has The Hate you Give (Virginia) vs. My Not So Perfect Life (UMB) linked together. This means that they will be playing each other in round 1. You need to select the winner of that game and you’ll write that in on the line closer to the center for round 2. Then move down to the next pair in round one. In our bracket it would be American War (Creighton) vs. Warcross (Kansas St). Pick who you think would win that game and write that winner in on the line on round two. Proceed down the left side until you’ve completed all the predictions. Then go to the outer right side and do the same thing.

Once you’ve gone through all of the first round you will move to the next games underneath “second round.”  So in our example above, I picked Virginia to beat UMBC and Creighton to beat Kansas State. So I should have in my bracket for round two: Virginia (THUG) vs. Creighton (American War). I then pick the team I think will win that game and move down the right side then left side until I have match ups listed for round three.

Keep going until you have only one winner left.

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