Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness 2011 Best Downloadable Excel Bracket


David Tyler
(with Tom Szarek) is the creator of what I consider to be the best March Madness Mircosoft Excel bracket on the internet, which you can download for free. He recently put a new version of the Excel basketball bracket and pool manager file on his website. (http://whenthewhistleblows.wordpress.com/brackets/). Be sure to download the spreadsheets from David's site as they are constantly being updated. 
 
David says, "I overhauled both this year - the bracket is pretty good, but the pool manager file isn't as strong as it's been in years past. I couldn't put the time in the pool manager file that I wanted. I'm excited to make updates for future years, however.  This version is more scalable than in the past, so it will be fun to build on it going forward."

So what are the differences between this year's bracket versus last year's? 

"The biggest thing was building it to handle the expanded field of teams.  The NCAA tournament is now 68 teams, but I built this to handle up to 128.  The bracket also does a better job displaying whether the user has made all the picks in a round (see the conditionally formatted chart on the bottom) and not yelling at the user for temporarily leaving cells blank as he/she works through the bracket.  We also added TV channels and times, which can be shown/hidden via a non-VBA-based checkbox.

Expanding to 128 teams required a complete overhaul, hence why I didn't have time to do much else in the way of enhancements.  But I took the opportunity to redesign how Picks are stored in the pool manager file. Previously they were storied in a flat-file format, but now it's more like a database model.  This will provide the required flexibility in order to put in custom scoring options next year." 


How are the brackets being constantly updated and why?

"I'm updating those files frequently as I catch bugs (the problem of having your end users as your beta testers). Just fixed a bunch of issues with the pool manager file and uploaded a new version.  People might not even notice them (a stray border getting deleted, a certain combination of steps resulting in a list not being populated, etc), but I wanted to get them fixed."

Sounds very exciting! I can't wait to see future versions as this year's spreadsheets are even better than last year's. I thought it was very smart to build the bracket with the future in mind in case of further expansion (though I hope it doesn't happen). I look forward to completing the bracket! Anybody have a good pool going?

NCAA2011PoolManager.xls download

NCAA2011Bracket.xls download