Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 March Madness Bracket Files Are Here!

Looking for 2014 brackets? Check here.

Here we go, everyone!

Despite being in the middle of a bit of traveling, I've managed to get you the much anticipated March Madness pool manager spreadsheet (and associated individual picks spreadsheet). Thank goodness Hampton Inn is a comfortable place to work, right?

The system works the same as last year. There are two files: The first is the "master" spreadsheet, used by the pool organizer to track the results of everyone's picks vs. who actually wins, etc. This is where you determine how many points a correct pick in each of the rounds is worth, as well. Also, the pool manager can make his or her picks in this file, too. The second file is the simplified "individual picks" spreadsheet used by the participants in the pool to make their picks and send the file to the pool organizer to pull their picks into the master.

Once again, the individual picks spreadsheet is free, but the more complex "master" spreadsheet is not. It is ONLY $2.00, though. The files are both locked down and protected. In the case of the master spreadsheet, it requires a "key code" to unlock the magic.

Unlike years past, though, I won't make you email me the "lock code" the file presents to you when you first open it and then email you back a "key code" to unlock it. Instead, I've automated the process.

What you will do is the following:
  1. Download the "master" file by clicking on the link above.
  2. Open the file. Make sure you've got macros enabled. If you didn't have macros enabled when you first opened the file, enable them, then close and reopen the file, making sure to enable macros. If the file doesn't display a "Lock Code" when you open it, something didn't work right. Try again.
  3. Copy the "lock code" the file presents you.
  4. Paste that code (be sure to delete any trailing spaces added when you paste it -- it normally adds an extra trailing space for some reason) into the "Lock Code" field below.
  5. Click the "Buy Now" button below to pay the $2.00 for the file via PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay this way. Any major credit card will work just fine.
  6. At the end of the transaction, you'll be redirected to a confirmation page with my pretty little face on it. It will display (among other things) the "key code" you'll need to activate the file.
  7. Copy and paste that code into the spreadsheet into the proper place, click submit, accept my terms and conditions, and you're off and running!
Again, if you don't paste in your Lock Code and complete your transaction, you won't receive a "Key Code" that will actually work to unlock your file. Do not forget this part! You may have to pay another $2.00 if you mess it up.

(Actual submission form has been removed, so people don't accidentally send me $2 for LAST YEAR's bracket files.)

Best of luck, everyone!


Friday, March 09, 2012

2012 March Madness Bracket is coming...

We're under two days until Selection Sunday! You know what that means, right? That's right. It's almost time for another version of the March Madness Bracket pool manager spreadsheet (and associated participant version).

I've got something new to show you all this year. OOOOooooooo..., right? Well, actually the pool master spreadsheet and associated participant picks sheet both will look and feel and work pretty much like they did last year. The big difference this is that you won't have to email me the "Lock Code" you get when you first open the (locked down and protected) "master" file. Instead, I'll give you a place to enter that code so that it is submitted when you pay the $2.00 via PayPal. Then, when the payment is processed, you'll be taken to a page that automatically generates the associated "Key Code" you'll need to put in the spreadsheet to make it work.

How about that? No more waiting on me. Instant gratification! (And, I don't have to struggle to keep up with emailing people codes.) You didn't know I was also a budding web developer did you? In all seriousness, I have a good friend, Craig, to thank for being patient enough to "teach" me a bit of .php. Thanks, Craiggers!

As soon as all of the picks are announced on Sunday, I'll get the files posted.

Talk to you all again in 48 hours or so.