Fill out a bracket, get free cards... soon you'll be profiting off The Internet!
For the seventh straight year, I am holding a NCAA bracket contest. Invites have been sent out via an automated ESPN form to every patient person who participated last season while we determined we can no longer trust Yahoo. (I still use Yahoo for the bowl game contest because the stakes are lower and they don't demand your blood samples for it, I guess?) If you're new, curious or just didn't get an invite for some reason, this is just another reminder that the contest is open to all Cards on Cards readers, passers-by and lookie-loos. Read further on for instructions.
One thing I should clarify up front if you don't follow college basketball (and as anyone who might be familiar with my own bracket-picking history should know, I really don't)... the field hasn't been selected yet. Conference tournament games are still happening. Everything will be set by this Sunday evening, at which time I will send out some more reminders. You'll have a few days to make your picks at that point.
One of the requirements is having an ESPN account. ESPN should not ask you for any creepy information as part of the conditions for signing up. If they do, please tell me immediately and I'll consider other options. If you absolutely, positively refuse to sign up for one of those things, go ahead and send me your bracket before the deadline in some sort of legible form and I'll send you a prize if you manage to pick a lot of winners.ESPN's default scoring rules apply. Play-in games do not count because they are still incredibly stupid. Should you choose one of the play-in winners to advance in the real part of the tournament, not only do you do so at your own peril but you also have the advantage of showing success no matter which play-in team makes it in. Please, please, PLEASE make sure you fill out the entire bracket, including the tie-breaking final score of the final game. (There are actually 8 total tiebreakers in ESPN's official rules.) I hate to disqualify people for not filling everything out, but it always seems to happen.What's the incentive here? Other than bragging rights, the first prize winner will receive a 2015 Topps Heritage or Gypsy Queen baseball blaster (your choice!) Three runners-up (runner-ups?) will receive prize packs for their MLB or NBA team of their choice including no less than one certified autograph or memorabilia card (or both?!). Worst place will receive something truly terrible. You will be scared to check your mailbox for weeks.Anyone who hasn't received an ESPN invite should click here and click on the "Get Started" button (password = marchradness). The deadline is the morning prior to the first real (non play-in) tournament game on Thursday, March 19th, though I would suggest getting your bracket done by the night before just to be safe. Leave a comment here or send me an email if the invite link doesn't work or if you are otherwise having trouble joining up so I can send you a direct invitation.