Do you include the Play-In Games in the March Madness Bracket Pool?
The First Four
You will notice on your March Madness Bracket four games that are not a part of the main bracket. These games are referred to as the "First Four", also known as the "Play-In" games. The winners of these four games move on to compete in the Round of 64.
To use or not to use
Our opinion is the First Four games should just be ignored when calculating points in your bracket pool. There seems to be an overwhelming agreeance with this from the major online bracket contest holders. We have filled out brackets with CBS, ESPN, NCAA.com, FOX Sports, and Yahoo and none of these sites use the play-in games.
Why aren't they used?
The main reason we recommend not using the play-in games is because the games begin on Tuesday, less than 2 days after the brackets are released. This allows very little time for the person running the pool to distribute the brackets, and very little time for the participants to fill in their picks. By excluding the first four games, the participants are given an extra 2 days to complete their brackets.