FAQ

General

What is March Madness?

"March Madness" is the common term for the Men's NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament, which begins in mid-March each year. The tournament includes 68 teams (a maddeningly large field) from major colleges and universities who play out a single-elimination tournament (that can lead to some maddening upsets of favored teams), which is often graphically represented by a bracket (which can look maddeningly complicated).

Many professional offices conduct March Madness pools, where coworkers fill out predicted brackets to crown a champion, and the participant that produces the most accurate bracket wins the pool (and the winner is almost always someone maddeningly ignorant of college basketball). It helps that the opening round of the tournament begins on a Thursday and Friday during regular office hours, so coworkers can brag about their early picks while still on the job (which can drive some stick-in-the-mud productivity types mad).

Despite the name, it's pretty awesome.

What is BracketBot?

BracketBot is a Slack application that makes running your own NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament office pool much easier. Just add BracketBot to Slack, and you can invite coworkers to your office pool, fill out brackets, and monitor scoring -- all without leaving Slack.

When can I start filling out my bracket?

Once the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Selection Committee reveals the field of 68 teams on March 12, 2017 -- also known as Selection Sunday -- BracketBot will message all invited players that they can start filling out their own brackets. All players will have until noon Eastern time on March 16, 2017 to lock down their picks.

How do I win the pool?

Players will make a total of 63 picks in completing their bracket, each spread out over the six rounds of the tournament. (Like all right-thinking people, we ignore the "First Four" play-in games. If you make your bracket selections before these games are complete, First Four participants will be listed as Team A/Team B winner. Once the First Four is over, the winners of those games will appear in your bracket.) Correct picks in each round become successively more valuable, as described below.

  • First Four - Completely ignored
  • Opening Round - 10 points
  • Round of 32 - 20 points
  • Sweet 16 - 30 points
  • Elite Eight - 50 points
  • Final Four - 80 points
  • Championship - 130 points

At the conclusion of the Championship game on April 3, 2017, the player(s) with highest point total in your pool will be crowned the 2017 pool champion. In the current version of BracketBot, we will support tie for champion and runner-up.

So, is this an official NCAA app?

Uh, no. March Madness is an official NCAA trademark that is shared only with authorized partners of the NCAA. We are not an official partner, and the NCAA does not endorse, support, encourage, acknowledge (or likely even care) that BracketBot exists. We refer to March Madness only in the general sense of the sheer insanity that overtakes college hoop-heads like us when the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament rolls around. We built BracketBot to make enjoying this time of year a little easier.

Installation and Access

What happens when I click the “Add to Slack” button?

You will be asked by Slack to authorize BracketBot to join your Slack team. BracketBot will appear as a new bot user in the left-hand navigation, and will send you a direct message as soon as installation is complete. BracketBot will only be able to post messages and view message activity in channels it is invited to. By adding BracketBot to Slack, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service.

How does BracketBot work?

Once you install BracketBot, any user can add BracketBot to one of your Slack channels, or invite any of your Slack users to the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament pool that BracketBot runs. BracketBot will let you fill out your bracket in Slack, will keep score of each player's picks automatically, and will crown a pool winner at the end of the tournament.

Can anyone on my team use BracketBot?

Sure! Anyone on your team can send a direct message to BracketBot to get started. Just enter /dm @bracketbot help to learn more.

How do I share BracketBot with the rest of my team?

We suggest you invite BracketBot into one of your team’s public channels and let the bot introduce itself to your coworkers. You can do so with the /invite @bracketbot command.

Can I view my brackets outside Slack?

Once the full tournament field is available on Selection Sunday (March 12, 2017), you'll be able to sign into bracketbot.talla.com and review your complete bracket.

Usage Help

What commands does BracketBot recognize?

  • invite - Invite users to your BracketBot pool, as in invite @adam. You can also invite BracketBot to a public channel and let users join from there with /invite @BracketBot
  • schedule - Get a list of key dates for your 2017 BracketBot pool, including bracket deadlines
  • signups - Get a list of all users currently signed up in your BracketBot pool
  • join - Join your team's BracketBot pool
  • leave - Leave your team's BracketBot pool
  • feedback - Send feedback on BracketBot to Talla, as in feedback this app is awesome

Contact BracketBot

If you have a specific question or an issue during setup, please contact us at bracketbot@talla.com.

Security

Is BracketBot secure?

The Talla team behind BracketBot takes your privacy and the security of your data very seriously. We understand that conversation data is highly personal and can contain sensitive information. We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of the data we collect from your Slack team. We use a secure server and store all data in a secure private database. Communication between Talla and Slack is encrypted using SSL.

What is BracketBot's privacy policy?

BracketBot is governed by Talla's Privacy Policy and Term of Use. You can view our privacy policy here: http://talla.com/privacy; and our Terms of Use here: http://talla.com/terms.

What information does BracketBot collect and receive?

BracketBot only accesses content posted to Slack after Bracketbot was installed, and only from channels to which BracketBot has been invited. BracketBot does not access past or archived messages. Messages directly sent to BracketBot will be collected. BracketBot also stores public channel names, as well as all user names, in order to list this data in summary when requested by a Slack user. BracketBot does not collect any personal information about users.

Does BracketBot sell my data?

No. We will not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer your information to outside parties without your explicit permission. Information collected by BracketBot or by Talla will be used to provide better service to our users. For example, the data may be used in one or more of the following ways: (1) to personalize a summary for you, (2) to improve our internal system, (3) to improve our service, (4) to produce aggregate, non-personally identifiable information.