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'Brackets For Good' Charity Challenge Coming To Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's about two more weeks until the NCAA men's basketball tournament tips off.  But another tournament is kicking off, and you can be a part of this one.

Brackets for Good is a challenge that matches charities up head-to-head to see who can raise more money. The last charity standing wins $10,000 extra. It's a national program – and this will be the first time the tournament's played on Twin Cities turf.

The emotion, the excitement of the NCAA tournament, that's what got an Indianapolis millennial and his two buddies inspired.

"We said let's take the same excitement that happens in sports, the same community development that happens in philanthropy, smash them together and create what is now Brackets for Good," Matt McIntyre said.

McIntyre talked with us from Indiana. That's where Brackets for Good is based, he explained the way things work.

"Replace 64 college teams with 64 local non-profits and they're competing to out-fundraise each other through a bracket style competition online," McIntyre said.

For the first time, the tournament is being played in the Twin Cities.

Special Olympics Minnesota is game. Kelly Dorn works with the organization.

"It's fun and friendly competitive giving which at the heart of Special Olympics Minnesota is all about," Dorn said.

Veteran hoop-star Eric Anderson knows what Special Olympics is about.

"It enables me to compete at a higher level. I couldn't compete in high school and I've done Special Olympics for over 20 years," Anderson said.

So his organization is getting creative. They'll be playing hard against teams like MN Adopt, which finds foster kids forever homes and Helping Paws, Inc., which train service dogs.

"Anything with puppies, we're like 'oh now we can't go up against,'" Dorn said jokingly.

Time will tell, the winner is determined April 1.

As for the others, as Erik Anderson said, "No matter what, you're a winner."

The tournament kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday. If you would like to play - a dollar equals a point for the teams you choose. Here is a bracket with more information.

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