How-to-play NorthStar Bets' Un-Bustable Bracket Challenge
Zach Edey and the Purdue Boilermakers are among the teams expected to go deep in this year's tournament. Photo by Miichael Conroy/AP.

Everyone knows that feeling of having their March Madness bracket busted. The two-seed you took to make it to the Final Four just lost in the first round. And to make matters worse, your Cinderella pick is also heading home.

That's a no-fun bracket. Enter NorthStar Bets' Un-Bustable Bracket Challenge, a contest that lives up to its name and comes with a $5,000 grand prize.

Fill out your bracket before the tournament begins and earn points for each correct pick. At the end of each round, you continue to make new picks, even if your picks from the previous round have been eliminated. The difference with this challenge is that your bracket is never busted.


Correct picks made at the start of the tourney are worth the most, but our un-bustable bracket allows you to continue to score with your make-up picks, too.

A total of 64 points are up for grabs in each round. Correct picks in the Round of 64 are worth two points each, while correct points in the Round of 32 are worth four, and so on.

Let's say before the Round of 64 begins, you pick the Houston Cougars to win this year's tournament and they end up winning. That would be worth a total of 126 points.

But what if the Cougars were to lose in the Elite Eight? In that case, you would have received just 14 total points from them.

Un-Bustable Bracket Challenge Points

Now — with the Cougars eliminated — you'll want to pick another team to win. Let's say you switch to the UCLA Bruins, who have hypothetically advanced to the Final Four.

If UCLA were to end up winning, that would be worth a total of six points (two from the Final Four and four from the Final).


We've got prizes for the top-five point leaders after each round in addition to a grand prize for the tournament-long winner.

  • The Bracket Challenge Grand Prize is a $5,000 cash award to the leading point-getter at the conclusion of the tournament.
  • The top-five point leaders after each round will receive $50 in Free Bets on the NorthStar Bets Platform. Scores are cumulative up to the end of the round. The top-five leaders in points at the end of each round will be determined by their total score, not the round total.
  • In the event of ties for the round prizes or the Grand Prize, the player with the most correct selections of higher seeds will win (No. 16 seed being the highest possible selection).

Un-Bustable Bracket Challenge FAQs

Q: "How do I register for NorthStar Bets' Un-Bustable Bracket Challenge?" 

  • You can register for the bracket by creating a NorthStar Bets account here. There is no fee or charge to become a registered user.

Q: "Where can I find my bracket within the NorthStar Bets sportsbook?"

Q: "What are the deadlines for submitting my picks?" 

  • Users will be able to make picks up until one hour before the first game of each round for the full allotment of points. Once that deadline passes, picks for that specific round will be locked.

Q: "Can I change my picks once the deadline has passed?"

  • Once the deadline has passed, users can still change their selections for the following rounds. For example, once the round of 64 will be locked alterations can still be made to the round of 32 and onward. But remember, switching picks once the round has begun will make them worth fewer points.

Q: "Can I change my pick while a game is in progress?"

  • You cannot change a pick of involving a team that is in the middle of a game.

Q: "Is there a limit to the number of changes I can make to my bracket?"

  • No, there is no limit to the number of changes you can make to your bracket.

Q: "Where can I find the standings?"

  • The standings will be found in NorthStar Bets' Insights section here. We'll also be sending out personalized recaps of your performance after each round to the email associated with your NorthStar Bets account.
NorthStar Bets editorial Insiders have no influence, direct or otherwise, over the setting of odds advertised on our platforms.