We love March Madness! We love it so much that we can't restrict it to just a basketball tournament. See, citizens of the internet love to make charts and graphs (which includes tournament brackets), and they love reader participation polls. Some of these tournaments want your vote to select the winner, others are just for grins.
1. Saved by the Bell
Who is the most beloved character in the fictional community of Bayside? The Desonestro Doctrine presents the 2011 Saved By The Bell Tournament. The 64 characters in the running are divided into four regions: The Girls of Zack Morris, PTA, Special Guests, and Bayside Student Body. See the full size bracket here. Voting is going on now for the Girls of Zach Morris first round; check the tournament category for later regions and rounds.
2. Cats vs. Dogs
At Jezebel, this year's tournament pits cats against dogs. Or, more specifically, pits sixteen cats and sixteen dogs, including fictional characters and favorite breeds, against each other. Voting will decide which cat will ultimately battle which dog, with the winner announced on April 5th. See the complete bracket. Current matchups are here, but voting will close at 3PM. With the new Gawker layout, I cannot find categories or tags for the tournament, so you will have to check the site's front page to keep up as the tournament goes along.
3. Mascots and School Colors
Slate has posted two March Madness brackets where you can make your NCAA tournament selections without knowing a thing about basketball. Only the teams' colors and mascots are shown, because that's as much information as some folks use to make their picks. There's no voting involved; just print and fill out your brackets and then see how your predictions match up against your friends and co-workers who actually tried to predict who would win the NCAA tournament games in each round.
4. Beard Madness
Grant Snider presents Beard Madness. The most awesome beards in history and pop culture are set to duke it out for top honors. Only half are shown here; see the rest and order the poster at Incidental Comics. There will be no online voting -the winner is your choice!
5. Musical March Madness
MTV's second annual Musical March Madness tournament is underway in which you can vote among the 64 biggest names in rock. First round voting will go through March 20, so you can cast your ballot now.
6. The Academic Performance Tournament
Like the Slate tournaments, the Academic Performance Tournament features the 68 tournament schools of the NCAA basketball brackets, but the decision as to which advances is based on the basketball teams' academic performance. This bracket, of which only a part is shown here, is already filled out and a winner has been declared.
7. The Sexiest Woman Alive Tournament
Esquire needs no excuse to post pictures of attractive, scantily-dressed women, but still couldn't resist a tournament to determine the Sexiest Woman Alive. Voting in all first-round brackets will close at the end of the day today.
8. Worst Company In America 2011
Consumerist invites your votes for the Worst Company in America. The 32 contenders were selected by reader suggestions. This year, Consumerist notified each of the companies of their participation. The bracket page has links to matchups that are currently open for voting.
9. Romance Novels
Every year, Sarah and Jane select 64 books to bracket up, and then romance novel enthusiasts winnow them down to one ultimate winner at dabwaha. Eight novels from eight categories are seeded just like the NCAA teams. Those categories are: contemporary, science fiction and fantasy, young adult, series, novella/short story, GLBT, crossover, and historical. Romance novels from the different categories are bracketed into each region. First round voting is going on today.
10. The 2011 Douchebag Tournament
As in most tournaments, the 2011 Douchebag Tournament has a bracket of 64 names you know, divided into the regions of entertainment, politics, sports, and "wild card", which means everything else. The current competition in which you can vote pits Mel Gibson against Charlie Sheen. What a choice! Keep up with current open matchups here so you can vote in each round.
11. The Beer Bracket
The blog A Beer in Hand is Worth Two in the Fridge has posted their 2011 Beer Bracket. Only a portion of the bracket is shown here. There's no online voting for this one; the purposes are:
a. To find new beers to seek out and to try b. To fill out an office poll (just pretend the colleges are the brews, pick your favorites) c. To find a new team to follow (find your beer, find your team)
12. Muppet Madness
The Muppet Madness tournament returns this year, in which you can vote to select the best Muppet ever. Last year's tournament was divided into regions representing three TV series and a miscellaneous category. This year, Muppets are divided by what they are. The four regions are animal, creatures, humanoids, and "variants". Cast your vote now in the first round.
Some other long-running annual tournaments are taking place as well. Check out Fug Madness at Go Fug Yourself, The Morning News Tournament of Books from Powells Books, and Hulu's Best in Show. Sadly, Name of the Year, which I had been following for several years, does not appear to be offering a tournament online this year.