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The Eighth Annual TOC Pick 16 NCAA Tournament Contest

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Tired of the usual bracket contests? Neither are we, but if you want to try something different, we've got that too.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

NOTE: The deadline for entry is tip-off of the First Four on Tuesday, because those games count.

As is tradition since the Spartans Weblog days, we're holding a different sort of picks contest. Here's how it works:

  1. Each team earns points for every win, based on their seed and the round:
    First Four: Half of the team's main-bracket seed (a 16-seed play-in winner gets 8 points, an 11 seed gets 5.5, etc.). Further wins after the first four earn full value as normal.
    After the First Four: Points equal to the team's seed for each win.
    Final Four bonuses: 1 point for reaching the Final Four, 3 for reaching the title game, and 5 for the winning the championship. These bonuses are cumulative (a 1 seed who wins the title earns 6*1 + 1 + 3 + 5 = 15 points total).
  2. As the name of the contest implies, you pick 16 teams out of the 68 in the tournament. Your score is the total number of points earned by those 16 teams. Post a comment to this thread with your list of teams and, as a tiebreaker, the number of possessions per team in the championship game. (Statsheet's count of possessions will be considered official if a tiebreaker is needed.)
  3. There are no restrictions on which 16 teams you may select. In past seasons, the "perfect" set of picks (the 16 highest-scoring teams) has included as many as 6 teams from a single region.
  4. You may change your entry until the start of the First Four. To make the bookkeeping easier, please do so by replying to your original entry. (You don't need to repeat the whole thing if you're just swapping out one or two teams, as long as it's obvious what the change is - "replace Team X with Team Y" is fine.)
  5. Be careful about ambiguous abbreviations; in previous years, there have been some "SDSU" entries that could have meant San Diego State or South Dakota State. (This year South Dakota State lost in the conference final, so that particular example won't be an issue.)
  6. If something is wrong with your entry, here's how we'll handle it:
    No tiebreaker: Your tiebreaker will be 0 possessions (which will almost surely lose, unless the final is Wisconsin-Virginia).
    Not enough teams: If you have a previous entry with 16 teams, the short entry will be ignored. Otherwise, all teams will count, but you will be at a disadvantage with fewer teams.
    Too many teams: Again, if you have a previous entry with 16 teams, the incorrect entry will be ignored. Otherwise, the lowest-scoring 16 from your list will count.
  7. Tiebreaking rules:
    - Tied entries will be ranked by closest to the correct number of possessions in the final.
    - If still tied, entries are ranked by the highest-scoring team selected, then the second-highest, etc.
    - If still tied, entries are ranked by the total number of games won by all selected teams.
    - If still tied, random selection will determine the ranking.

Score updates will be posted periodically. Pick your 16.