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With the brackets set from Selection Sunday, the NCAA men's basketball tournament will officially kick off with the four play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and the second round to begin on Thursday.
For those interested in filling out a bracket for a chance at a prize from the DDD and bragging rights for a year in beating the DDD pros, a copy must be brought to the Democrat offices on 2nd street no later than Wednesday afternoon. There will be a drop box located near the entrance for all brackets to be turned in but they must have a name on them and be clearly marked or else they will not be eligible for prizes.
An official bracket will be printed out a few times this week including in today's paper that can be used for the contest. Brackets printed off from websites or other means will be eligible as long as the "play-in games" are present on the bracket (these games are officially the first round and will count towards the final score). Emailed brackets must go to firstname.lastname@example.org labeled "NCAA bracket" and must also have your name somewhere in the email.
Brackets will be accepted through Wednesday but those turned in after 5 p.m. on Tuesday will be specially marked due to lateness. This will not affect the scoring of the bracket but in the case of a tie at the end of the contest, a bracket turned in before Tuesday afternoon will be favored.
Scoring for the tournament will include one point for each play-in game in the first round (total of four), then up to 32 points for round two with each game counting as one point. In round three, another possible 32 points can be earned for each of 16 games. In the Sweet 16 round, three points each will be rewarded for each correctly guessed winner for a total of 24 possible points on eight games. Four points will be awarded for each correct guess in the Elite Eight for a possible 16 points, then five points for each Final Four teams selected correctly. Ten points will be rewarded for correctly guessing the national championship team. A perfect bracket will be a total of 128 points.
Prizes will be announced in Thursday's "Chillin' with Dylan" column as well as several updates on leaders. Good luck!