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March Madness Marches Into Middle Earth

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For college basketball fans, March Madness is that special time of year around the workplace where everyone throws ten bucks into a pot, devilishly scrawls away at their one-sheet brackets and then secretly tallies up how many suckers who don't know a darn tootin' thing about the NCAA fattened the take. For the rest of us, it's just a weird point in the season wherein the weather can't make up its mind. A middle point, you might say, for earth. Middle Earth? Sure, why not.

With "The Hobbit" squeezing out the box office juice just as handily as its "Lord of the Rings" predecessor trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien fans have no shortage of things to talk about these days, but they take interest in the current events of the outside world every now and then, just because.

Since everyone knows that one does not simply walk into Mordor, Ringers have decided to join the march. Over at TheOneRing.net, they've said to hell with b-ball and thrown together their own little tourney for the season. Last year, trusty Samwise Gamgee won the bracket, so this year they're throwing some competition in with those filthy stinkin' hobbitses, like Oin and Gloin and Glaurung. Don't know those names? Neither do we, but hey, whatever floats your Elvish boat. One update they made this year was to section off the characters into their four origins — The Shire, Mordor, Erebor and Angmar — to mimic the NCAA's regions. Gotta respect their unyielding devotion, ya'll.

Hit TORn for the full bracket and more details.

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