On March 13th, the sports world will focus their eyes on the NCAA for March Madness Selection Sunday, scheduled to be broadcast on CBS that evening at 5:30 PM ET. Shortly afterwards, fans of the sport will begin filling out their brackets hoping for bragging rights against friends, family and co-workers.
With the increased popularity of daily fantasy sports, many fans will also be playing March Madness daily fantasy sports contests — some for the first time.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect when the first tip-off takes places on March 17th.
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What Sites have Daily Fantasy Sports Contests?
Despite the popularity of March Madness, college basketball DFS is still more of a niche game. If you want to play March Madness daily fantasy sports contests, you are going to need to play at either DraftKings and FanDuel These are the only sites offering college football DFS contests.
Despite the fact that March Madness doesn’t begin until mid-March, players can already get ready for some of the contests today.
What do the March Madness Contests Look Like?
Daily fantasy sports contests require that two or more games are part of the slate, so that means no March Madness DFS contests for the Championship on April 4th. But there will be plenty of opportunities to participate before then, likely with a large selection of slates that span over a couple days, during a single day or even within the day.
This year the NCAA March Madness rounds will be as follows:
First Round: March 17th-March 18th
Second Round: March 19-20
Sweet 16: March 24-25
Elite 8: March 26-27
Final Four: April 2nd
Both sites will likely offer their March Madness contests for all types: tournaments, leagues, head to head, 50/50s and multipliers. Because there have been no teams selected to participate in the tournament yet, there are no active regular contests to join. Players should start to see these contests posted after Selection Sunday on March 13th.
What is Scoring Like for Daily Fantasy Sports?
Scoring and rules for March Madness DFS is the same used for regular daily fantasy college basketball contests.
At DraftKings, players are given a $50,000 salary to draft an 8 player roster with the roster consisting of the following positions: 3 guards, 3 forwards and 2 utility positions.
Scoring used at DraftKings is as follows, with FanDuel being fairly close:
Point = 1 Point
Made 3pt. shot = 0.5 Points
Rebound = 1.25 Points
Assist = 1.5 Points
Steal = 2 Points
Block = 2 Points
Turnover = -0.5 Points
Double-Double = 1.5 Points
Triple-Double = 3 Points
Promotions Around March Madness
DraftKing’s Mania Bracket Challenge – DraftKing’s featured promotion at the moment is the $250,000 Mania Bracket Challenge, a head-up tournament that qualifies 64 players, who then eek it out over six rounds spanning as many days. Players must qualify to participate until March 13th (there are no direct buy-ins) via satellites starting as little as $0.25.
A total of 64 players will meet to play the first round, which is on March 17th (the first day of games). The schedule will be as follows:
March 17th- Round of 64, Day 1
March 18th: Round of 64, Day 2
March 19th: Round of 32, Day 1
March 20th: Round of 32, Day 2
March 24th: Round of 16, Day 1
March 25th: Round of 16, Day 2
All players who qualify will receive at least $1250. First place will receive $50,000.
FanDuel’s Survive the Madness – FanDuel is already qualifying players for this promotion, which is guaranteeing $300,000. Starting on March 17th, players can enter directly with $100 or qualify through a satellite for $2-$25. There are six rounds to Survive the Madness, and the goal is to make to the final round:
Round 1 on March 17th: Top 2000 advance to Round 2
Round 2 on March 18th: Top 1000 advance to Round 3
Round 3 on March 19th: Top 600 advance to Round 4
Round 4 on March 20th: Top 300 advance to Round 5. All players who made it to Round 4 are guaranteed at least $200.
Round 5 on March 24-25th: Top 50 advance to Round 6. All players who made it to Round 4 are guaranteed at least $250.
Round 6 on March 26th-27th: $50,000 will be awarded to this year’s champ, with other prizes of $600-$30,000 awarded to the top 50.