Sunday, March 17, 2013

2013 March Madness Pool Spreadsheets

Looking for 2014 brackets? Check here.

Here we go, everyone! The much anticipated March Madness pool manager spreadsheet (and associated individual picks spreadsheet) is out! Here's a cute little article to get you some quick facts while you're filling out your brackets.

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 automatically 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.

Like I first did last year, 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 -- 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 avatar 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.

(Removed payment button so folks don't get confused now that 2013 is over.)

Best of luck, everyone!



Anonymous said...

Anyway to unlock the free excel spreadsheet?? I just want to enter a field for users to enter name, so I know who owns each sheet.

Excel_Geek said...

Short answer: no. I don't wish to share that much.

Longer answer: I think you're missing the point of the Master spreadsheet. Simply rename the files you get back from your participants with their name, then enter them in the Summary of the Master sheet and automatically update their sheets and pull their current scores into the Master.

Anonymous said...

Is this spreadsheet Excel for Mac friendly?

Excel_Geek said...

I don't believe the Master spreadsheet will work for Mac, given the reliance on macros. The participant sheet should be fine (and it's free).

Anonymous said...

When adding file names to the master spreadsheet, does it matter if the files are in .xls or .xlsx format?

Excel_Geek said...

I would always have them in the .xls format that you downloaded them in. That means you shouldn't probably do a save as and change the picks files into .xlsx, too.

Anonymous said...

the code I copied and pasted in after payment says invalid

Excel_Geek said...

Why don't you email me, then? I'm guessing it's invalid because you didn't submit a Lock Code (the one you get when opening the Excel file -- that you were supposed to do before submitting payment).

Anonymous said...

I wanted to tell you how awesome your spreadsheet is. This is the second year I've used it and I'm in awe of your vba knowledge. Wish I knew 1% of what you did.

And by the way, it works perfectly on my Mac. I just had to save it as .xlsm which is a macro enabled worksheet.

Excel_Geek said...


And there you go. It seems as though the Master _may_ work on a Mac.

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