First off, I want to thank all of you (yes, even you IMG) (and yes, even all of your many aliases, IMG) for participating thus far. It’s been a lot of work, but you guys have definitely made it fun.

Before we head into the Sweet 16, I wanted to take a quick break and inform you of how this will work over the next eight games. For the most part, it will be just like the Round of 32, but there are some important differences, so please review the following, and post any thoughts or questions in the comments.

GAMEPLAY:

  • The Sweet 16 games will start on Monday. In general, games will look the same, except that the burner names may be a lot less funny (I may start using more generic names). You will still vote with a +1, and you can still crack wise in the open thread.
  • Because we all know who the remaining sixteen participants are, I will only reveal the identity of the loser of each match at the end of the day. This way, when we are in the eighth and final game of the round, you will still basically have no idea who is playing. Once all eight games have been played, I will reveal who beat who in each match.
  • The only people who are eligible to vote are (1) people who voted during the first round, and (2) other legitimate commenters whom I recognize. I’m sick of getting PMs and emails about this burner or that commenter being a stooge account, and in any event, I’m not excited about people who haven’t been involved to date determining the winner. All decisions as to whether a vote counts will be made by me and me only, and are final.

RULES FOR COMPETITORS:

  • As soon as possible, email (or DM) me with which of the dates during the next two weeks (July 15-19 and July 22-26) you are able to participate. Please give me all of the dates you can do it.
  • Do not under any circumstance mention in a public forum whether you have participated or have yet to participate. If you win, shut up. The only participants who can talk are the ones who have been identified as a loser of a match.

RULES FOR VOTERS:

  • Do not attempt to guess, predict, analyze or otherwise figure out who is participating in any particular match. If you have suspicions, keep them to yourself. (On this point, I should mention that you all were generally really, really bad about guessing who was playing in the first round, so probably best not to even go there.) But if I see someone trying to out a contestant, I reserve the right to revoke voting privileges.

If I think of anything else, I’ll update this post, so check back tomorrow and Monday.

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As good as the Round of 32 was, this game is about to get really serious. I mean, there is at least one Sweet 16 matchup that could have been a final game. Get ready for some serious funny.