Scott Goldman — director of content at Advance Digital and a former sports designer for the Washington Post — writes today via Facebook:

In case you were wondering how you should design an NCAA Tournament section, look no further. This is how you do it.

The section that caught his eye today: The one from the Washington Post. Which always puts out a fabulous tourney section.

Click for a much larger view.

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What you can’t see unless you zoom in: Those aren’t just team logos. those are tiny little infographics. Each shows the number of times a team has been to the Big Dance, the number of times it’s made the Final Four and the number of championships each has won.

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Very slick.

Brian Gross led the design of the section, design director Janet Michaud tells me. Chris Rukan and Des Bieler worked on it as well.

Pages two and three take a fun look back on star players of previous tournaments going back to 1940 and the growth of the tournament field.

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Page four focuses on the East Regional. Page five looks at the Georgetown Hoyas, which face Florida Gulf Coast in their first-round game on Friday.

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Pages six and seven present the entire bracket, as well as one “filled out” by sports columnist Tracee Hamilton

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…who, by the way, reluctantly picks Kansas to win it all.

Page eight is a bit of a preview to the women’s seedings. Page nine jumps back into regional previews.

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Pages 10 and 11 finish up the regional previews.

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And page 12 contains the last few conference tournament stories of the year.

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Average circulation of the Washington Post is 507,615.

NEWS-PRESS

Fort Myers, Fla.

Circulation: 54,761

Michael Babin — the Florida design team leader at Gannett’s Nashville Design Studio — writes:

I wanted to share some pages that the Nashville Design Studio produced for the News-Press as the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team earned its first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Sunday’s paper looked back at how the team got to this point…

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Click, of course, for a much larger view.

Here is Sunday’s sports front, previewing the selection show…

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…and here are two inside pages looking back on the Florida Gulf Coast University season.

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Michael resumes his story:

…while Monday’s paper provided a bit of instant analysis for the team’s matchup against heavily-favored Georgetown.

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Here’s an inside A page with the jump and with more reaction shots from the selection show.

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Michael tells us:

The Nashville Design Studio produced a live 8-page special section in the News-Press for the NCAAs in addition to blown-out coverage in the A-section. With most of the live art going to A1, we payed homage to those fun Sports Illustrated covers that capture all the Madness of March while still playing up the home team making their debut in the Big Dance.

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I became a bit of a Bracketology nerd throughout the past week so that most of the photo-illustration could be quite far along leading up to Sunday night’s Selection Show in order to turn this around on deadline for Monday’s publication.

Here’s the doubletruck of the inside section, focusing on the opening-round game.

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Hey, it’s only Georgetown. Piece of cake, right? Just ask Syracuse.

Michael writes:

Special thanks to designers Chris Bistline, Melissa Koenigsberg, Kayla Golliher and a team of editors, reporters and photographers back in Fort Myers for ramping things up for the weekend.

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

Cincinnati, Ohio

Circulation: 144,165

And among the papers putting the start of March Madness on page one today, this one stood out as one of the more colorful and more interesting.

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That page was designed by David Leonard, I’m told. Click to zoom in and read the little blurbs by Paul Daugherty.

In addition, here’s today’s sports front designed by Dustin Frucci.

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Thanks to Ryan Hildebrandt, creative director of Gannett’s Louisville Design Studio, for sending those pages as well as the next one…

COURIER-JOURNAL

Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

The Louisville studio’s Jeff Patterson went with a horse-racing theme to illustrate this year’s 64-team tournament field.

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Make sure you click on that one and enjoy all the little silks.

Now, no slight on this fine, clever page. But if you’re wondering where you’ve seen an idea like that before: Perhaps it was here.

HERALD-PALLADIUM

St. Joseph, Mich.

Circulation: 14,139

Andy Steinke of the Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, Mich., writes:

I wanted to send along a couple of pages designed by one of co-workers, Crystal Myers, at the Paxton Media Group pagination superstation in St. Joseph, Mich.

The pages are of particular interest to me because I wrote the main “story” and sidebar featured on the page. I work full-time on the copy desk, but earlier this year I talked the features editor into letting me write the occasional ASF story. (I’m a former reporter). This is my second story so far.

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A lot of people get really excited about the Final Four tournament, so I wanted to find a new way to get readers excited about it. I came up with the idea of a crossword puzzle featuring the past champions. I went through a couple of rounds of clues before settling on these ones. I think they’re challenging without being too hard for readers to figure out.

Here’s the jump page, including the solution to the puzzle.

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Did you do something cool for March Madness? Send PDFs and design credits to:

chuckapple [at] cox.net

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