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Family Traditions: March Madness

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Trey Burke won Big Ten Player of the Year honors over Victor Oladipo. (USATSI)
Image via cbssports.com
We love sports around here, but even if you don’t, March Madness is a great time of year. We have a few traditions that keep it especially exciting:

Extended Family. In our extended family everyone over the age of 9, with an email, gets to participate in our March Madness pool. We create our own family group through CBSSPorts.com and we all submit our brackets before the start of the tournament. CBSSports keeps track of everything and has its own calculated scoring system.
Jolly trash talk ensues over email as the standings are reported after each round. The fun thing about March Madness is that it’s rarely the most avid sports fan who wins (proof: I am often in the top 3). My dad always ponies up cash for the first, second and third place winner, but you could do it differently. We live far from family but always feel especially close during the month of March as parents, siblings and nephews bond over some friendly competition. 
Nuclear family. My first 3 boys are all old enough to make their own brackets. We print them out and tape them to the fridge and cross out our losers and circle our winners. You get one point for any first round winner, two points for any second round winner, etc. It’s not especially technical, but it keeps us all involved and excited as we watch games together or check out the highlights. The winner of the bracket gets to choose the family activity the weekend after the final game and the whole family has to happily oblige. Depending on who wins, we might be stuck cleaning the garage or spending the evening at Chuck E. Cheese or indulging in a steak dinner. I might choose pedicures for all if I win this year. Wish me luck 🙂
Selection Sunday is this week, so watch a few games (or read a few articles) and get ready for the madness!

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