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YAHOO! helps you pick a winner: the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge

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College basketball fans can rejoice because March Madness is finally upon us. Cinderella stories and nonstop games for three weeks will keep even the most hardcore fans satiated. When the NCAA Tournament arrives, so too do the bracketology experts. This year, the stakes have been raised. Not only can you compete with your friends for bragging rights, you can also compete for a billion dollars of Warren Buffet’s money. When you submit your bracket, you might want to hold off on giving your boss your two weeks notice. If you know a little something about college basketball you might bump your odds of winning the bracket challenge up to one about in 128 billion, according to a recent Washington Post article. To say the least, it’s not exactly a sure thing. What if you’re like me and don’t know anything about college basketball? Fortunately, the user experience of Quicken Loans’ Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge can help you choose your teams and develop your bracket.

Yahoo Bracket Challenge

The bracket’s interface is a slam dunk. You can click on an icon for more information about each specific matchup. Selecting the icon pulls up relevant statistics such as each team’s conference rank, points scored and allowed per game, and their record versus top 25 teams. The matchup window also shows an exciting picture of the players in action so you can get a sense of the top players’ athleticism. As you pick each winner, the site automatically advances to the next matchup and pulls up the stats for the new set of teams. I couldn’t ask for much more in terms of functionality. The simple decision making format may help a random person get rich quickly. However, I realized I needed a competitive edge beyond the matchup statistics provided by the interface. My billion dollar secret lies not with the player matchups, rather, it’s all about hypothetical battles between each teams’ mascot.

I learned of this bracket busting technique from my fiancée. Her strategy is simple. If the team’s mascots met in the wild, who would win in a fight? If you think I’m lying, take a look at my Final Four, it’s made up of three bears (who we know are dangerous because of their regular appearance in Stephen Colbert’s Threatdown) and a Spartan. There were other notable matchups along the way. The hardest choice I had to make was between San Diego State’s Aztecs and New Mexico State’s cowboy Pistol Pete. In this matchup, cowboys and Indians, two playground rivals tip-off. Ultimately, I think Montezuma will have his revenge and San Diego State will prevail.

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