Meghan McGivney and her boyfriend Peter Greczner invited a bunch of friends over to their New York City apartment for a serious face-off.
With their brackets filled out weeks ago, the group gathered around the TV in the couple's Brooklyn living room, passed around beers and snacks and settled in for the main event. But these frenemies weren't about to watch a football game and it's still too early for March Madness.
Instead, they were betting on another venerable American institution -- ABC's wildly popular TV series, "The Bachelor."
With a weekly audience of nine million, the show serves as the ultimate competition and women are eliminated each week until only one remains.
McGivney, 27, Greczner, 26, and their friends, Lindsay Casale, 26, Diana Petty, 26, and Jeremy Glover, 27, each filled out a bracket after the first episode of this latest season, choosing the women they thought would make it the furthest in their quest to win the heart of this season's lucky bachelor, Juan Pablo.
Only McGivney and Greczner still have their final pick, Nikki, in the running. The other woman still in the running for Juan Pablo's heart, Claire, has been a surprise to the five betters -- not one of them had her in their final two.
Some of them spent hours analyzing the profiles of all 27 female contestants. All have different theories about who Juan Pablo will choose.
"In my experience, it varies on Bachelor and Bachelorette," Lindsay said. "The Bachelors tend [to go] younger."
"I'm all about plus or minus two with age," Greczner chimed in.
"For me, I think it's, will their lifestyle mesh up with his lifestyle and where we think he's going," McGivney said.
The Brooklyn ritual began three seasons ago when McGivney invited her boyfriend, who is a software engineer, to join a "Bachelor" bracket with her and her friends.
"I had never done one of these things before and I googled for 'bachelor bracket' and I didn't really find anything, so just for the five of us, I decided to make a website for it," Greczner said. "We used it and it was pretty fun. They showed their friends and their friends wanted to join."
Greczner's website, thebachelorbracket.com, started with five users and grew to 1,300 during last season's show. Now, Greczner said he has 18,000 users and counting.
Players around the world can choose to play the standard game, either making their picks after the first episode airs, or choosing week to week. Then there are seven custom games, allowing users to bet on everything from one-on-ones to make-out sessions. No money is exchanged –- just points for correct answers and bragging rights. The user with the most points at the end of the season is declared the winner.