Stop running your March Madness pool in a spreadsheet

Do less data entry.
Watch more basketball.

"I don't know anyone who doesn't absolutely love this pool."
- Bill Simmons, Grantland

How to play

The goal is to pick winning teams throughout March Madness. You need teams to win outright, not against the spread.

First, you can only pick a team once. Period.

You must get your picks in before the first game starts, even if you're not making a pick in the first game.

On the first Thursday of the tournament you must pick 2 winners. If both your teams win, you advance to Friday. If one or both your picks lose, you must pick 4 winners on Friday to advance to Saturday.

If you picked 2 winners on Thursday then you only need to pick 2 winners on Friday to advance to Saturday.

If your picks win on Friday, whether it's 2 picks or 4 picks, you advance to Saturday and you only need to pick 1 winner.

If any of your picks lose on Friday you must pick 5 winners in the Saturday games to advance to Sunday.

If your Saturday picks win, you only need to pick 1 winner on Sunday. If any of your Saturday picks lose, you have one final chance. You must make 6 picks on Sunday to advance to the second week. 

Again, you can only pick a team once.

If your Sunday picks win, you only have to pick 1 winner per day for the rest of the tournament.

If you lose, you're eliminated.

The person that makes it the furthest in the tournament wins the pool.

Our Origin Story

Why we created The Upset?

This knockout comes from a 2012 Grantland post from the Sports Guy himself, Bill Simmons. Cousin Sal calls it the “best office pool ever.”

For a decade we played this format using a Google Sheet. It was tedious, confusing, and prone to mistakes. But it was so much fun we did it anyway.

Two years ago we started building The Upset to solve this specific problem for our own pool. In that process, we learned that there’s a lot of other people that love this format and want an easier way to play.

We don't charge for the software and we don't take a cut of the prize pools. We just want to help make this format popular and potentially grow our own pool in the process. If you try it out and enjoy it, please spread the word and invite your friends next year.

Why we use LeagueSafe?

This is not a gambling platform. This is a fantasy sports management platform. We made the conscious choice to avoid managing prize pools because it was a legal gray area and would've limited the states that could play. We want The Upset to be accessible to everyone.

We use LeagueSafe to manage our pool's money and we encourage everyone that plays to do the same (or a similar platform), especially if you're playing with strangers.

There may come a time where we decide to accept payments and manage the prize pools natively, but for now we've decided to focus on making the best web and mobile products we can to help this knockout pool format grow.

If you have any questions or comments, email us at One of us will get back to you.