My iPhone 5c can't keep track of the correct time after 12+ months of operation (right now it says 8:33 pm, so why would I want an Apple Watch? Nevertheless I'm entering this:
Welcome to The New York Times’s N.C.A.A. bracket. You can fill it out just like any other bracket — but it’s not like any other bracket.
It’s a more interactive bracket than most. It will award points based on the same economic principles behind the stock market, the real estate market and most of the American economy: the principles of supply and demand. The more unusual that your picks are, the more points you’ll receive (so long as those picks are correct). ...Here’s how it works. Imagine that 20 percent of bracket entrants pick the No. 12 seed in one region to beat the No. 5 seed. If you pick the No. 12 seed and it wins, you get 5 points (or 1 divided by 20 percent). If you correctly pick the No. 5 seed, you get 1.25 points (or 1 divided by 80 percent). With each pick, in other words, you’re judging not only which team is most likely to win, but also which is being underestimated by your fellow entrants.
Real-life markets work in this same basic way. You’ll do much better investing in a little-known company that succeeds than in Apple or Walmart. It’s also how sports markets, like those in Las Vegas, work. Underdogs bring higher returns — unless, of course, the underdog loses.
The game also harks back to a classic concept — The Beauty Contest — invented by John Maynard Keynes. In a fictional newspaper contest, readers had to choose the most beautiful face from a gallery of faces. But “most beautiful” wasn’t determined by objective standards; it was determined by the crowd. So to win the game, you didn’t want to choose the face you found most attractive. You wanted to choose the one you thought others would find most attractive. We’ve flipped that notion on its head: Here, you want to choose the teams that other people wrongly find unattractive.
Between now and Thursday, when the Round of 64 begins, you will be able to check back and see the relative popularity of every pick and, by extension, the market prices. You can change your picks as often as you want until an hour before the first tipoff of the Round of 64 on Thursday. The winner of the bracket contest will receive an Apple Watch, as well as praise and attention from us here at The Times. We’ll be covering the games over the next few weeks at The Upshot.
An accompanying post has more details about the scoring system ...
Since UK is so heavily favored, the winner of this bracket will be someone who correctly picks the game that UK loses (if UK loses). I still can't bring myself to pick UK to lose, as can't 41% of entrants so far.