Everyone is getting into the spirit of the NCAA March Madness tournament- even people who don’t care at all about basketball. That’s because it’s not just basketball. There’s a tournament and a bracket for every subject under the sun this month, and you can participate in one that reflects your interests. Here are eleven of those online tournaments going on now.
1. The Most ’90s Band Ever
What band most epitomizes the aesthetic of the 1990s? Uproxx is holding a tournament to find out, according to your votes. Vote in the first round of The Most ‘90s Band Ever tournament through tomorrow. The regions are Flannel, Dr. Marten, Bling Bling, and Frosted Tips.
Now, to be clear, we are not here to establish the best music of the 90s. So there’s no truly great musicians, like Nirvana* or Biggie or Weezer or Tupac in this tournament. We are also not here to recognize musicians whose careers flourished in the 90s, but continue to be influential today. So there’s no Radiohead or Jay-Z or Foo Fighters or Wu-Tang Clan.
The second round of voting will be posted Thursday at Uproxx Sports.
2. Jargon Madness
In the world of business, and particularly in Silicon Valley startups, the English language suffers from warped, overused, incomprehensible terms that mean little to those who use them, and even less to the rest of us. This is entrepreneurial jargon. Forbes is holding their third annual Jargon Madness tournament to crown the most obnoxious of these fairly new and overused buzzwords. The 32 terms are divided into four divisions: the Venture Capitalist, the Marketer, the Developer, and the Founder. Will “deep dive” triumph over “bandwidth”? Can “the uber for x” eliminate “sunsetting’? Cast your votes for the first round now on the interactive bracket. The winning term will be unveiled April 8.
3. Lent Madness
Lent Madness is a tournament of those comprising the Episcopal Church’s Calendar of Saints, as a Lenten daily devotion. The tournament bracket started off with 32, and is now in the third round of voting. Today’s match is between Juan Diego and Frederick Douglass. You’ll find the schedule of matchups on this calendar, and each matchup post will give a biography of the contestants. The final results will be announced on April 1, and the winner of the Golden Halo will be crowned.
4. Mammal March Madness
For the third straight year, the blog Mammals Suck …Milk presents Mammal March Madness. A total of 65 species are in competition for the title of Best Mammal in the regions of Mighty Mini Mammals, Sexy Beasts, Mythical Mammals, and Critically Endangered (although the Pygmy Jerboa has been eliminated in the wildcard battle). There’s a token non-mammal, too, the desert rain frog. Unlike other online tournaments, this one depends on the animals themselves, instead of your votes.
Some details: Battle outcome is a function of the two species' attributes within the battle environment. Attributes considered in calculating battle outcome include temperament, weaponry, armor, body mass, fight style, and other fun facts that are relevant to the outcome. These are one on one- head to head combat situations- um except for the mythical mammals that have multiple heads. Some random error has been introduced into calculating battle outcome & the amount of that error is scaled to the disparity in rankings between combatants.
As the tournament proceeds, the contenders will become more disparate (a mythical beast against a critically endangered one, for instance) and “home court” will be decided at random for those battles. You can follow the progress of the tournament on Twitter. If you want just the tournament progress, follow @mmm2015letsgo, or if you want all the trash talk too, use the hashtag #2015MMM.
5. Office Throwdown
Fast Company began their March Madness tournament early. The Office Throwdown pits office environments against each other. You can judge them by videos featuring each. The field of eight is already down to the final matchup of Tumblr offices vs. those of Quirky. You can cast your vote until March 20th, and the final winner will be announced next week.
6. Marx Madness
Marx Madness was no doubt inspired by the pun in the name, but the tournament really intends to winnow a field of 64 Marxist thinkers down to one champion -none of which is Karl Marx. That would be unfair. Voting is now open in round two. After the second round, the next are named the Sweet Socialist Sixteen, the Egalitarian Eight, and the Gang of Four. Voting in each round is held Monday through Frriday. See the current bracket here.
Of course, if you are of a certain age, a tournament of philosophers of any kind will put you in mind of the Monty Python sketch called the Philosophers’ World Cup.
7. Christian Movie Madness
The website Christian Cinema.com is staging the Christian Movie Madness tournament to determine the best Christian film of all, according to your votes. The field began with 32 films, as you can see in the bracket. Voting is now open in the second round, which will end March 19. Once you vote in a matchup, the next matchup will be revealed. The champion will be announced on April 2.
8. Parking Madness
For the third consecutive year, Streetsblog USA is presenting their Parking Madness tournament, to find the worst “parking crater” in the U.S. Parking craters are “expanses of urban land where there’s no longer space for people, just a sea of car storage.” The 16 contenders are presented in aerial photos, and the first round matchups are posted one at a time, every weekday. The winning entry will be crowned with the Golden Crater award.
9. Hip Hop March Madness
For the second year running, Karen Civil is holding the Hip Hop March Madness tournament, pitting 32 artists against each other. Last year’s winner was Kendrick Lamar, who is a number one seed this year. The other number one seeds are Drake, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Round one voting is open now, and those who advance to round two will be announced Thursday. Keep up with the tournament progress here.
10. PBS vs. NPR: Public Media Madness
Who is the king or queen of public media? Find out by voting in the Public Media Madness tournament! This tournament has already advanced to round three, and the survivors are Sherlock Holmes, Kevin O'Connor, Audie Cornish, Lakshmi Singh, Cookie Monster, Gwen Ifill, Carl Kasell, and Click & Clack. Although I rarely make predictions for these tournaments, I will bet that Cookie Monster is going all the way. Winners in round three will be revealed on Thursday, and final four voting begins on Friday.
11. March Badassness
Uproxx Sports is also hosting March Badassness tournament. It’s a tournament between 32 characters on the HBO series Game of Thrones. Whether the character still survives in the series has no bearing on their participation, so there should be no spoilers (unless you read the comments). One advantage in this tournament is that you can see the results of each matchup -after you cast your vote. The regions are divided into Royalty, Knights, Lords, and Warriors. For each match, you are supposed to vote for who you’d think would win in a fight between the two. The ultimate winner will be the badassest of them all. Voting in round one is open through Sunday. Round two will be posted at noon on Monday.
But that’s just the beginning. We’ll have more online tournaments that have nothing to do with basketball on Thursday.