Friday, February 29, 2008


A full 60% of us (39 entrants) chose Louisville as our Wild Card, and without poring over old newsletters we can't ever remember so many of us being of the same mind on this subject.

However, knowing our contestants' history of predictive success in such matters, the Commissioners would like to issue a formal apology to Rick Pitino and his merry band of Cardinals. Can you say "first round upset"?

Here's the breakdown:

Louisville -- 39
Gonzaga -- 8
Clemson -- 3
Southern Cal -- 3
Davidson -- 2
BYU -- 1
Alabama State -- 1
Mississippi State -- 1
West Virginia -- 1
Rider -- 1
Syracuse -- 1
Villanova -- 1
Maryland -- 1

Three entrants chose illegal Wild Cards and, as difficult as it is for us, we feel obligated, being the caretakers of all pool-related regulations, to admonish them. OK, it's not difficult for us at all. I just made that up. So, without further adieu, this year's scofflaws are: Nowlan, who chose Kansas State, #20 on the AP Top 25 provided in the Rules; Shure, who chose #21 Pittsburgh; and, this year's winner of our annual Can't Count award, Settle, who'll have to settle for no Wild Card points after choosing #9 Stanford.

65... no wait, 66

Well, we thought we had 65 entries in this year's Contest, but we actually have 66. Can anyone recommend a good refresher course in advanced counting?

Eight different teams appear as predicted National Champion, with our favorites being UNC and UCLA. Well, at least one Commissioner objects vehemently to any situation where "UNC" and "favorite" are found in the same sentence, but you know what we mean.

Here's the breakdown:

UNC -- 18
UCLA -- 17
Memphis -- 11
Texas -- 6
Tennessee -- 5
Kansas -- 4
Duke -- 3
Stanford -- 2

The entries are in!

We haven't done the official count but looks like 65 intrepid souls have chosen to brave the crucible that is this year's contest. Obviously we don't yet know how many of them have chosen to pay for the privilege.

And if the number 65 looks familiar, it should. Now everyone can adopt one of the tournament teams and nobody will be left out. I want Quinnipiac!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

...speaking of good, wholesome fun

Here's the question of the day: if Oral Roberts comes up against Morehead State in the Play-in game, wouldn't you want to watch?

Contest deadline is FEBRUARY 28

Yes, that's right, the deadline to get your entries in is THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28. Which would be ONE WEEK FROM TODAY.

The Entry Form can be found here. The Rules can be found here.

So get your entry in. Get your friends, neighbors, spouses, and kids to get their entries in. Come on, it's good, wholesome fun.

How to pick conference upsets

Sure, it's great fun to pick Quinnipiac to win the Northeast Conference. I mean, if they win you get to bask in the glow of feeling really smart. Plus, in our contest you get 5 points that nobody else gets. And best of all you get to say "Quinnipiac" -- over and over in a very loud voice to everybody you know. And the thing is, we know there are going to be between six and ten Quinnipiacs every single year.

But before you take that bold and unorthodox step, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk? Because just like Dirty Harry's nemeses, you have the low probability, high risk choice which affords both the most upside and the biggest downside, and you have the smart choice.

Because if Quinnipiac loses and the favorite wins, you just put yourself 5 points behind 117 people. The mighty Quinns have a zero percent chance of being selected at-large.

So here's what you do: instead of being the only person to pick Kennesaw State in the Atlantic Sun, look into being one of five people to pick a team like Vanderbilt in the SEC (and, no, we don't have any inside information on the inner workings of the SEC Tournament; we're not actually suggesting you pick Vanderbilt, it's just an example). Because if they win, you still feel pretty smart and you still get between 2 and 5 points that others won't get and, besides, "Vanderbilt" still rolls off the tongue pretty nicely. But if they lose, you get the same 3 points everyone else gets for Vanderbilt. And while you will lose points to the people who chose the actual SEC champion, it will only be 2 points -- not 5 -- and more importantly it's likely to be a much smaller population than those who chose the Northeast Conference favorite.

So, use the information for what it's worth. The important thing is not whether you win or lose, but whether you forked over the ten bucks. Well, that and having fun, of course.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Pool

Well, i'm predicting an interesting year this year in the pool. There are at least 5 or 6 teams who are champion worthy and MANY teams who are wild card worthy. Unfortunately Duke is one of those teams who can win it all but not if they run into some of the more athletic teams in the league. Seriously, sign up for the pool....makes March Madness so much better

I also recommend the Vegas trip for the first weekend. I've gone the last two years and it's been amazing. Renders your brackets worthless....Absolutely amazing

Friday, February 8, 2008


Now that we have this new forum to discuss pool-related items, and considering how long the contest has been running, I thought it might be fun to post the pool-related moments that stand out in our memories. You know, things that made us double over in laughter, or gnash our teeth in frustration, or break down and name our children "Mash Leach."

I'll start. Ten years ago, right around this time of year, I sent out the annual e-mails reminding everyone that the contest was on again. I got one very snippy reply from an irate individual, essentially asking how dare I muck up the airwaves with tripe like this and demanding in no uncertain terms that I never contact him again. I wrote back, apologizing profusely for any offense and explaining that the only reason he received the e-mail is because he played in the contest in the past.

Well, this person (we'll call him "Matt J") calmed down once he realized that he had, in truth, played the contest once before. He even entered again. His choice of Kentucky as national champion was a little off the beaten track -- actually he was the only person to pick them that year. Which was 1998. Which was a year in which Kentucky won the national championship. Which pretty much won the contest for Matt.

After that, presumably while he was counting his winnings, he said it was OK for me to send him the e-mail the following year. In fact, I believe he's played in every single contest since. And now he's co-commissioner. Isn't that a heart-warming tale?

Your turn. Come on out of the woodwork and tell us your stories. Just drop us a line at and -- assuming your story has something to do with the contest and that it can be published without getting the commissioners arrested -- we'll put it up here on the blog. Some fun, eh?

Thursday, February 7, 2008


After 19 years, the PreNCAA Contest finally hits the blogosphere. So this year instead of Newsletters we have this blog -- and we promise to post on it more than once or twice.

We hope you enjoy this great new feature, and good luck in the contest...