Playing is a breeze. Follow this step by step sign-up process and you'll be tipping off in no time. See "Step 3" for help on filling out your bracket in preparation for the big event.
Step 1 - ENTERING THE GAME
A valid ESPN username and password will be used as an identifier to login and to keep track of your entry's score and standing. If you've had an ESPN account in the past but forgot it, here's how to find your account information. After you have logged in, click on the CREATE ENTRY button on the frontpage to create your entry.
Step 2 - NAMING YOUR ENTRY (OPTIONAL)
Before filling out your bracket give your entry some character and assign it a name. After you've clicked the "Create Entry" button, you will be forwarded to a screen that will ask you to name your entry. Once you have named your entry, you may choose to change your Email Reminders setting and then click on the "Submit Entry Settings" button. You will have the opportunity to change your entry name at any point during the game by clicking the "Edit Entry Settings" link on your entry page.
Step 3 - MAKE YOUR SELECTIONS
(Bracket available Sunday March 14, 2021)
Before the release of the official tournament bracket on Sunday, March 14, 2021, you will only be able to view your Entry page with the Countdown clock counting down to the release of the bracket. One hour following the announcement of the tournament match-ups you will have the opportunity to select who you think will win each of the 63 tournament games. Entrants may change their selections as often as they like prior to the scheduled tip-off time of the first game in the first round of the tournament (currently scheduled for Friday, March 19, 2021) after which all selections must be finalized.
You will be be able fill out your bracket in its entirety from a single page. Click the team name to advance the team to the next round. Once the bracket is complete, and you have submitted your tiebreaker score for the Championship match, the Submit button will change color (RED button) and you may submit your picks.
Notes: You will have the option to edit your bracket(s) at any time after they have been initially submitted, before the lock time. You cannot delete an entry/bracket once it has been created. An e-mail reminder will be sent to all entrants who had joined the game before the brackets were released and those who have not submitted their selections.
Step 4 - INVITE YOUR FRIENDS
Invite Your Friends to play in a group with you or just to enjoy the fun of filling out a bracket (who doesn't love filling out a bracket?). You may invite your friends to play all the way up until tip-off on Friday, March 19, 2020. If your group is not "locked" you may invite friends to join your group at any time. If it is locked, they have until Thursday to join.
Step 5 - CREATE OR JOIN A GROUP (OPTIONAL)
You have the option to group yourself with friends, co-workers, or completely random fans by joining or creating a group. Within each group, your entry will be automatically ranked. Most of the groups are public and can be joined at anytime. If you want to play with a specific group of people you know, you may create a private group and make it only accessible to those whom you have given the group password (use the "Invite Friends" page to invite them to the Private Group and it will include the password in the invitation). The creator of a group sets the group's name, motto and password. You can move your entry from one group to the next as long as it is before the first game of the tournament or if the group is not a Locked group. All of this is easily found in the Group Directory.
Step 6 - ACCUMULATING POINTS
Now you are ready to take on the tournament. The object of the game is simple: Correctly pick the winner of the most matches in the 63 games following the "First Four" round of the tournament. A correct selection in the second round counts as 10 points, and in the third round the point value is doubled. (See the table below for more details about the scoring breakdown).
|ROUND||TEAMS||GAMES||POINTS (each)||POINTS (total)|
|Sweet Sixteen (regional semifinals)||16||8||40||320|
|Elite Eight (regional finals)||8||4||80||320|
|Final Four (semifinals)||4||2||160||320|
|National Championship (finals)||2||1||320||320|