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How to Run a March Madness Tournament Bracket

March Madness is right around the corner, so it’s time to set up your March Madness tournament bracket. Whether you’re setting a bracket up for an office pool or with close friends, you can follow this guide.

This March Madness Bracket Guide will cover all the steps you need to set up and run the best NCAA March Madness pool for the tournament.


1. Send the Invite

You want to make sure everyone that wants to participate receives some type of invite so that they can plan and prepare. Send out an email the evening of Selection Sunday once competing NCAA teams and first round games are announced. This will give enough time for people to brainstorm and fill out their brackets ahead of the First Four.`

In the email, make sure to include what a March Madness bracket looks like. There are 68 teams competing, so this can get confusing quickly. 

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2. Print the Brackets

If you have participants that you are watching the games with, print them a bracket! It's a lot easier to write out all of the teams instead of trying to fill them in on the computer (use pencil for easy erasing!). If you have remote participants, encourage them to print out at home and have them take a picture of it and send it to you. Make sure that you have ALL brackets documented or collected, and set the deadline for the day before the tournament begins.


3. Decide on a Prize

If you want to encourage people to participate in your NCAA March Madness pool, you will need a prize to offer for the person who has the most points. The best way to do this is to decide on an amount, and require an entry fee. You can use the pool money for a jackpot prize, or put it towards a gift that everyone will want. 

You can put the money towards an awesome gift like a Cutter and Buck gift card, so they can treat themselves to a polo, jacket, pullover, and more with their favorite NCAA team’s logo embroidered from our College Fan Shop.


4. Scoring for a NCAA March Madness Bracket

Since it's nearly impossible to predict a perfect bracket, the best way to decide on a winner is to set a certain amount of points for each round. You want to notify all participants of this scoring system, so they know what to expect. 

We recommend this simple, scoring system for your March Madness pool:

  • 1 point for correct predictions in the first round
  • 2 in the second round
  • 4 in the third (Sweet 16)
  • 8 in the fourth (Elite Eight)
  • 16 in the fifth (Final Four)
  • 32 in the sixth and final round (Championship)

At the end of the tournament, add all the points together and the person who has the highest points, wins! If there are any ties, you can split the prize or come up with a way for a tie breaker. 

Whether you get together for the Sweet 16 with participants in your bracket or watch the Final Four with friends and family, rep your favorite school with Cutter and Buck college apparel. Shop men’s polos, women’s pullovers, and more to cheer on your team to the Final Four in Houston, Texas.


For Him: Kentucky Wildcats Cutter & Buck Forge Heathered Stretch Mens Polo

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This iconic Cutter and Buck Forge Heathered Men’s Polo is engineered with stretch for exceptional versatility and comfort, designed to be your favorite super soft, short sleeve men's Kentucky Wildcats polo shirt for all March Madness events. Whether you’re watching at your favorite sports bar or with friends, our men’s polos are the perfect fit for every occasion.


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For Her: North Carolina Tar Heels Cutter & Buck Traverse Stretch Quarter Zip Womens Pullover

North Carolina Tar Heels Cutter & Buck Traverse Stretch Quarter Zip Womens Pullover

Wear this Traverse Women’s Quarter Zip pullover to your NCAA March Madness Final Four watch party that is engineered to be the best and most comfortable women's quarter zip pullover.



  • 90% polyester, 10% spandex double knit jersey
  • Moisture-wicking
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To find your team’s apparel in more iconic Cutter and Buck styles, visit our College Fan Shop for the best March Madness gear.