The Best NCAA DFS Contest Online for March Madness 2018

The major daily fantasy sites have stepped away from holding contests based on college sports in recent years under increased regulatory scrutiny and an agreement reached with the NCAA in 2016, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be completely ignoring March Madness 2018.

This year, FanDuel is the place to visit for the best NCAA tournament contest online. It is completely free to enter, easy to play and will be awarding $20,000 in prizes. It’s called the FanDuel Bracket Pick’em and it rewards you for making smart predictions in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament.

Unlike many of the other nearly-worthless “bracket challenges” that are basically impossible to win, this one does not require you to pick the outcome of every single game. All you need to do is pick five teams and earn points as they make their way through the tournament. Score at least 400 points and you’re guaranteed a prize.

Getting started is as simple as logging in to your FanDuel account and waiting for the Bracket Pick’em pop-up notification. If you don’t see it, look for the “promotions” link at the bottom of the website.

Note: The contest gets underway on March 15th and you must have your picks submitted by then to participate!

Visit FanDuel today at:

How the FanDuel Bracket Pick’em Works

If you’re over 18 (21 in Massachusetts) and live anywhere in the United States, you’re welcome to take a crack at the Bracket Pick’em contest. It costs nothing to enter and the rules are simple:

  • Pick 5 NCAA basketball teams
  • Make sure your teams’ seeds add up to greater than 20
  • Earn points as your teams advance through each round of play
  • Earn 400 points to start winning prizes


Scoring is simple. Every time your team wins a game and advances to the next round, you earn points. The later the round, the more points its worth. On top of that, all points are multiplied by your team’s seed. A Round of 64 win is worth 10 points, for example, so that means a 5-seed would win 50 points (10 pts x 5 seed) while a 10-seed would win 100 points (10 pts x 10 seed).

  • Round of 64 win: 10 points x seed
  • Round of 32 win: 25 points x seed
  • Sweet Sixteen win: 50 points x seed
  • Elite Eight win: 100 points x seed
  • Final Four win: 250 points x seed
  • Championship win: 500 points x seed

This video from FanDuel explains the scoring system in simple terms:


Perfect brackets are not necessary to score with the FanDuel bracket challenge. If you score 400 points or more, you’re guaranteed to win something. Here’s what you stand to win:

  • 400+ points: NBA free play entry
  • 2,500+ points: A share of a $20,000 prize pool
  • Top score: $5,000

Why did the major fantasy sites stop hosting NCAA DFS games?

DraftKings and FanDuel reached an agreement with the NCAA back in 2016 to stop hosting contests involving college sports. It was reported at the time that both sites voluntarily agreed to suspend all college contests after talking with the NCAA, member institutions and a number of state legislatures.

At the time this agreement was made, there were no guaranteed DraftKings and FanDuel would be legal in the near future. This occurred before the big flurry of states passing pro-DFS legislation, and it seems likely both fantasy sites wanted to stay on the good sides of lawmakers considering DFS regulation.

Back then, the future of daily fantasy was uncertain. This deal was struck just months after New York AG Eric Schneiderman issued cease-and-desist letters to FanDuel and DraftKings. New York was not the only state giving daily fantasy the stink eye at the time, so neither site needed too much convincing from the NCAA to play nice.