In the United States, March is the month known for college basketball's "March Madness," where 64 (ok, 68) teams play in a single elimination tournament bracket. The teams are seeded in four 16-team brackets with the tournament ending sometime in April. I know, that doesn't make sense to me either, but it's a crazy three weeks for American sports fans; there's really nothing like it on our side of the Atlantic (maybe the US Open Cup... but the level of interest just doesn't compare).
The closest comparison then is the much-loved FA Cup, where "Anything Can Happen," and where Shrewsbury (Wichita State?) can play Manchester United (Duke?) in a winner-moves-on format. It's that kind of magic for basketball fans all over the country, and for many, it's the most exciting time of the sports calendar.
So here, in this post, we try to build on that excitement with the 2016 Leeds United March Madness (LUMM) bracket. Compiled by the staff here at Through It All Together and with some help from several LUSC groups on Facebook, we have four 16-entry brackets of competition for 64 total entries. The brackets are as follows:
16 Current Leeds United Players
16 Leeds United Managers
16 Leeds United Greats
and 16 Leeds United Icons
Some details... we have polls for each of the 32 matchups, and the voting will run through Sunday night. Vote for your favorite in each matchup, and the loser is eliminated from the competition. Then, on Monday morning we'll post the 32 winners and the polls for the 16 following matchups. On next Thursday morning, we'll post those 16 winners (the Sweet 16), and run 8 polls through Sunday night. On the next Monday morning, we'll post the 8 winners (the Elite Eight) and run 4 polls through Wednesday night. Then finally, we'll have our LUMM Final Four, winners for each of the four categories (Favorite Player, Favorite Manager, Favorite Great, and Favorite Icon), and a chance to crown the ultimate Leeds United March Madness winner for 2016.
Got all that?? Haha. Good. Basically, we have polls, you vote for your favorites, winners move on to the next round. Here's a look at the entire inaugural Leeds United March Madness bracket...
(Thanks to Vertex42 for the amazing customizable spreadsheet there. Click the photo above to enlarge it.)
And here are your polls. Make sure you vote in all 32 in this, the opening weekend of the first LUMM tournament. If you disagree with the seedings or feel like we should've included someone we didn't, tell us about it in the comments! And remember, everyone always disagrees with the seedings; it's part of the #tradition.
Share the link with your friends, and be sure to come back next week to see who is moving on to the Second Round. Good luck to your favorites, and sorry, no betting this year. Maybe we'll get SkyBet in on it in 2017.
THE PLAYERS BRACKET
THE MANAGER BRACKET
THE GREATS BRACKET
THE ICONS BRACKET
Thanks for voting everyone. I can't tell you how long it took me to throw this together. Hope you enjoyed the options we came up with. If not (and even more so if you did), tell us about it in the comments, and let us know who you think will win this year's bracket.
Check back on Monday for the first round results!