Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tag Team Tallies

We don't yet know how the Final Four will play out, of course, but so far nobody could deny it's been the Year of the Upset. So it's only fitting that in our contest we've had a couple of upsets that put even Ohio U over Georgetown to shame: Males (222.10) have scored better than females (216.75), and lawyers (232.0) have outproduced humans (220.46). Perhaps even more surprising, the average Commissioner (226.0) has fared better than the average pool participant (221.31).

How good a year has it been for Duke in 2010? Well, we all know about Duke's Final Four appearance and arch-rival UNC's ignominious descent into the NIT, but adding insult to insult is the fact that those affiliated with Duke lead all institutions with an average score of 242.0 in the contest, while those claiming ties to UNC are dead last with an average of 185.0. Villanova fans outperformed their team, as their 229.33 average is second to Duke, and ahead of Texas (223.0), Vanderbilt (219.0), and Syracuse (213.5).

Despite the inclusion of contest winner Crotty, non-paying entrants (215.81) have once again shown that, by and large, they didn't pay for a reason, trailing paying entrants (222.80) by a hefty margin.

In the official Tag Team competition, the winner is the Friends of Claude, who average 237.0 despite professing their admiration for a dead cat. In second place is Whiteside and his Detractors, with 228.60, and just behind them are the Donadios, who average 225.0, and Urban Engineers, with 219.38.

In yet another upset of epic proportions, the Leach Gang (217.6) finds itself ahead of someone, in this case both the Ripley Believe it or Nots (214.25), and the Kleiman Klan (211.33).

In the Name Game, it's Ed (248.5) in a tight one over Steve (245.5), and Rick (238.0). In the Gospel Division (albeit including some slightly alternative spellings), we have John (234.67) over Luke (225.5), Mark (211.0), and Matthew (200.67). David (221.4) is better than the average Joe (214.5), as well as the average Bob (213.0), Brett (211.5), George (206.0), and Andrew (206.0).

This year's top pool-selecting occupation is the medical field (245.0), followed by business executive and accountant (both at 241.33), IT consultant (238.75), and practicing attorney (231.5). Retired people (219.75) should probably stay that way, and students (218.88) still have a lot to learn. And the only good thing we can say about engineers (217.10) this year is that they're better than those working in the media (212.33).

Children (213.29) have once again proved the age-old adage that they should be seen, but not seen gambling.

It's no coincidence that two of this year's Final Four are from the Midwest, as that region leads all others with a 237.75 average. South Jersey (226.5) leads the Philadelphia PA suburbs (224.55), Western PA (219.4), Philadelphia proper (218.6), and North Jersey (205.0). The deep South (222.63) is a lot better than the Washington/Baltimore Beltway (197.0).

If you want to pick a State to pick pools from, this year we'd recommend Illinois (248.5) and if you can't make it there then Indiana (237.0), Florida (237.0), and Louisiana (236.0) aren't too shabby. Georgia (225.0), Pennsylvania (223.4), and New Jersey (222.2) are slightly above average, while Tennessee (219.0), Michigan (217.0), New York (215.0), and Texas (210.0) are not. And if you're from Virginia (203.0), Maryland (197.0), or Washington DC (183.0), you might as well stick to politics.

This commissioner is off to Indianapolis. Enjoy the Final Four.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rivals 2010

We like it that the contest means different things for different people. R Wanger's aspiration to win the contest, for example, seems to annually take a backseat to his desire to mercilessly crush his own daughter (K Ripley), son-in-law (P Ripley), and even his one-year-old grandchild (A Ripley)! Without commenting on the psychological health of such goals, this year R Wanger's wish came true as he came in with 244 points, more than 27 points ahead of any of his kinfolk. P Ripley has been heard to lament, "I can't lose to my wife and father-in-law every year, can I???" And we'd like to offer some assurance... but we can't. For the fifth straight year both R Wanger (244) and K Ripley (216) finished significantly ahead of P Ripley (191), with the kicker this year being one-year-old A Ripley (206) also thrashed his old man.

A step up in inter-familial intensity may be seen from Whiteside, who promised to "annihilate" sister-in-law Booth, and delivered, outscoring his relation-by-marriage, 231 to 169. Butscher (230) rashly declared that Whiteside and Booth "have no chance," and he was half right, ending up a mere point behind Whiteside. It's not all felicity for Whiteside, however, as he wasn't even close to co-workers McKillip (266) and Canning (247).

E Leach, the "granddaddy of all the Leaches," has shown that venerability has its compensations, as his 231 points are superior to every other Leach. Second grader Madison Leach (227) stated she is no longer counting on her father, P Leach (217) for tips, and we believe her, as she left her daddy in the dust by ten points. Madison's sister, S Leach also claims she's "smarter than my daddy," but she couldn't back it up with only 186 points. Alien creature Mash Leach (227) fell squarely in the middle of the Leach clan, which we suppose makes sense in a warped sort of way.

In a couple of sibling rivalries, D Kornfeld (219) edged R Kornfeld (217) and Bill Acchione (247) easily handled Bud Acchione (206), while L McAtee (235) smoothly skated by her brother M McAtee (229).

Millan (227) boldly declaimed that Karlsruher (219) was "going down" -- and he was right.

Upstart L Schlegel (241) didn't have enough juice to get past his dad, R Schlegel (258), and commissioner M Josephs (197) probably ought to watch some "Father Knows Best" re-runs himself, as he fell to D Josephs (228) by 31 points. On the other hand, Adams (251) didn't have any trouble dispatching her paternal relative, Coach Doc (229). Mike Paston (232) put the hurt on Matt Maston (185). J Donadio (263) left no doubt who was head of his household, besting both spouse ME Donadio (202), and offspring L Donadio (210). In Kleimanland, it was B Kleiman (215) finishing ahead of both M Kleiman (211), and E Kleiman (208).

M Peloso, who we fear may have to turn in her Duke-loving credentials after refusing to pick the Blue Devils into the Final Four, still managed to sneak by her husband B Peloso, 218 to 215. G Wright (227), in her first time entering the contest, took out her hubby B Wright (215) with points to spare.

Baum somehow managed to lose to himself, 191 to 214.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The real winners

As we said yesterday, we'd like to lead a big round of applause for Crotty, who solved the intellectual puzzle and won the contest, while not being interested in trivial things such as money.

Most of you, however, are probably more interested in our prizewinners, who are listed below. Note that NOBODY chose Michigan State, Butler, or West Virginia to win it, and only six (6) people took Duke (Biebel, Crotty, Harlan, R Schlegel, R Simon, Tester) as champion. So...

Crotty** 317
Biebel 305 (wins first prize)
R Schlegel 298 (wins second prize)
Harlan 292 (wins third prize)

Crotty** 277
McKillip 266 (wins first prize)
Biebel 265 (wins second prize)
J Donadio 263 (wins third prize)

** -- (gets nothing and likes it)

Congratulations to all the prizewinners.

At least one commissioner is heading to Indianapolis on Friday, but we'll make our best efforts to provide a Rivals update, Tag Team tallies, and All Name teams (and maybe Mascot Trivia -- we'll see) before we leave.

If possible we'll also provide updates on the scene in Indy, which should be wild with Butler playing in the Final Four about seven miles from their campus.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Duke and Michigan State will join Butler and West Virginia in Indianapolis, but that didn't stop 49 of our 75 contestants (65.3%) from predicting exactly zero (0) Final Four teams correctly. We had 22 entrants who got one (1) right, and four players (Crotty, D Kedson, Madison Leach, Tester) whose success rate (two (2) accurate selections -- 50%) couldn't pass a fifth grade science test but who look like Einstein compared to the average pool-picker (funny hair and all).

Updated standings may be found at the ubiquitous link on the right side of the page. We'll have more comments tomorrow, but for now we'd like to congratulate Crotty for winning the pool while not paying the entry fee. No matter what happens in Indianapolis next weekend, Crotty will have the most points and someone else will win first prize. Mr. Crotty, at least three entry-fee paying contestants salute you.

We'll break down who and how many tomorrow.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Kingpins keep dropping

Only three teams that were still alive going into the Final Eight games had received more than eight Final Four votes from our group of prognosticators. So naturally, two of them lost today (Kentucky (55), Kansas State(18)).

West Virginia (chosen by 8: Crotty, D Kedson, Madison Leach, M McAtee, Merril, R Perry, Smith, Tester) and Butler (picked by nobody, or at least nobody who chose to enter our contest) are in the Final Four, while two of tomorrow's four teams (Duke (20), Michigan State (2: Templeton, Yolles), Baylor (a very large goose egg), and Tennessee (also the big oh)) will join them.

What's the over/under on the number of "Butler Did It" headlines tomorrow morning? Whatever it is, we're taking the over.

And for those who don't already know, Butler is from Indianapolis, the site of this year's Final Four. So not only did none of our contestants pick them, but now they're the home team!

Smith, the man who tattled on Bill Acchione and Durkin, has slithered into first place, with 258 points. Non-paying entrant Crotty (who even if he wins will get nothing and like it) is right behind with 257, while McKillip (246), Biebel (245), Wanger (244), J Donadio (243), and Nowakowski (241) are clumped up behind the leaders.

This has been one amazing, crazy, unbelievable tournament. Tune in tomorrow for more.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The Final Eight is set, with Duke (chosen by 56 to make the Eight), Michigan State (picked by 18), Tennessee (taken by Freidhof only), and Baylor (liked by absolutely nobody) joining yesterday's advancees.

In perhaps the worst performance in the history of the pool, here's what our contestants thought of the possiblity of the actual Elite Eight moving on to the Final Four:

Kentucky (55 votes for Final Four)
Duke (20)
Kansas State (18)
West Virginia (8)
Michigan State (2 -- Templeton, Yolles)
Butler (nada)
Tennessee (zip)
Baylor (zilch)

Only 26 of us got as many as half of the Final Eight correct, led by Biebel, who was the only entrant who managed more than half (5 of 8), plus 25 who were right on four. There were 29 contestants who got three right, 15 who got only two, and five hapless individuals who managed a measly one apiece (Richardson, Pike, Booth, DaLauro, and Packman).

McKillip has surged into the lead with 246 points, followed closely by Biebel (245), R Wanger (244), and J Donadio (243). Another 18 entrants are within one Final Four pick (20 points) of the leader.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blue Orange

Butler really did it this time, taking out Syracuse and leaving us with only one of our top four votegetters for the Final Four (Kentucky in; Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova out). E Leach and Mahalko scored with Butler into the Final Eight, bringing themselves all the way up to 11th (tied) and 46th place. Nobody has Butler in the Final Four.

Baum and DaLauro just missed with Xavier (along with 12 entrants who had Xavier as their wildcard), as the X-men succumbed in a double OT thriller to Kansas State.

Wanger is our current leader, with 234 points, followed closely by J Donadio (233) and Nowakowski (231). Booth (169) has slid into the cellar, not too far behind Richardson and Matt Paston (175 each).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Four Score

Two of our entrants' favored four didn't make it to the Sweet Sixteen (Kansas and Villanova), while nine of us chose a Final Four team that lost on the first day (Booth, who took Texas, and Butscher, Fitch, S Leach, Missy Peloso, A Ripley, Rybaltowski, Sakowski, and Templeton, who chose Georgetown).

Trying to cash in on unorthodox picks are Templeton and Yolles, who believed in Michigan State, Karlsruher, M Kleiman, D Kornfeld, R Kornfeld, Missy Peloso, Richardson, and B Wright, who dared to choose Purdue, and Crotty, D Kedson, Madison Leach, M McAtee, Merril, R Perry, Smith, and Tester, who went with West Virginia.

We have 39 contestants who still have three of their Final Four alive; 33 who have two left; and three who are hanging their hopes on a single team (Matt Paston and Fitch, who have just Syracuse left; and former Duke-lover Missy Peloso, with only Purdue).

All selected teams:

Kansas (73)
Syracuse (61)
Kentucky (55)
Villanova (30)
Duke (20)
Kansas State (18)
Ohio State (15)
Georgetown (8)
West Virginia (8)
Purdue (7)
Michigan State (2 -- Templeton, Yolles)
Gonzaga (Freidhof)
Texas (Booth)
Wake Forest (Matt Paston)

The full Final Four breakdown, showing every contestants' choices, may be found here.

Eight is Enough

Well, three of our top eight votegetters for the Elite Eight are no longer playing (Kansas, Villanova, Georgetown), while nobody bothered to cast a single vote for any of Northern Iowa, Cornell, Washington, Baylor, or St. Mary's.

There were 52 Final Eight selections that didn't make it out of the first round (including Georgetown (30), Vanderbilt (8), Texas (7), Richmond (Templeton, B Wright), Louisville (Pike), Temple (J Broder), and Oklahoma State (Packman). Special kudos to DaLauro and L McAtee, who both chose a team for their Final Eight (UConn) who ended up playing in the NIT.

There are 19 contestants who still have six of their Final Eight; 29 who have five alive; and 21 with four Elite Eight teams remaining. Five entrants (Pike, Packman, Matt Paston, R Perry, and B Wright) have only three left, with a big shout out to B Wright, who has two of his three remaining Final Eight teams playing each other in their Sweet Sixteen game (Duke and Purdue, but at least he's guaranteed to have one team of his Final Eight, right?). Booth goes one better, with a meager two (2) Final Eight teams left to root for.

Looking to sneak in with an advantage are Baum and DaLauro, who are the only entrants to like Xavier into the Final Eight; E Leach and Mahalko, who think Butler will do it; and Freidhof, who craftily chose Tennessee.

All selected teams:

Kansas (75)
Kentucky (71)
Syracuse (71)
Villanova (64)
Duke (56)
Kansas State (54)
Ohio State (37)
Georgetown (30)
West Virginia (25)
Purdue (23)
Michigan State (18)
Gonzaga (10)
New Mexico (10)
Pittsburgh (10)
Vanderbilt (8)
BYU (7)
Texas (7)
Wisconsin (6)
Xavier (2 -- Baum, DaLauro)
UConn (2 -- L McAtee, DaLauro)
Butler (2 -- E Leach, Mahalko)
Texas A&M (2 -- Fitch, Pike)
Wake Forest (2 -- Matt Paston, Mike Paston)
Richmond (2 -- Templeton, B Wright)
Louisville (Pike)
Missouri (Packman)
Old Dominion (B Wright)
Temple (J Broder)
Tennessee (Freidhof)
Oklahoma State (Packman)

The full Final Eight breakdown, showing every contestants' choices, may be found here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Our bad

We spoke about wildcard scofflaws in an earlier post, and we've given several kudos to Bill Acchione and Durkin for their astute selection of Baylor as their wildcard. Well, thanks to undercover detective Smith, some new information has come to our attention.

Well, actually it's old information, and it originally came from us. Right from our own rules and entry form, both of which contained a link to the AP Top 25 upon which wildcard selections were required to be made, which most clearly showed Baylor to be the #22 ranked team at the time.

What's the lesson here? Well, as the old adage goes, you can fool some of the commissioners all the time, and all of the commissioners some of the time, but eventually someone's going to tattle. We've updated the standings (link on the right) to take those ill-gotten wildcard gains away from Bill Acchione and Durkin, and dispatched a team of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to their homes.

This brings the total of illegal wildcard choices up to seven (7), the most since 2002.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not so fast

Thanks to Xavier, R Wanger's stay at the top was short-lived. Now it's McKillip, whose selection of Xavier as his wildcard has put him in first place (for now), with 206 points.

There were 21 people who got more than 1 point for their wildcard, having chosen Xavier (12), No Iowa (7), or Cornell (2 -- Brindisi, Cohan).

Booth is still in second-to-last place.

G'night all.

Who's got Kansas?

Sorry to be absent for the last couple days. I was closeted in a big room with lots of beer and TVs.

Well, we warned the good people of Lawrence, Kansas of their impending doom (as augured by negative omen of Kansas' being a clear favorite of our entrants), and they ignored us to their peril. Our contestants are now a solid 5 for 21 in predicting champion. The Jayhawks were chosen by 28 of us as national champs, 73 of us as a Final Four team, and 75 of us as a Final Eight team. Oops.

Villanova's demise was perhaps less obvious to longtime contest observers, but we would be remiss if we didn't mention that nine of us have the Wildcats as champs (Bill Acchione, Brindisi, J Broder, DeMaso, D Kornfeld, Mash Leach, M Paston, Sakowski, and L Schlegel); 30 of us liked Villanova into the Final Four, and 64 took Villanova into the Final Eight.

The No. Iowa surprise was good news to the seven entrants who had the pesky Panthers as their wild card (Bud Acchione, Booth, E Leach, L McAtee, M Paston, B Peloso, and R Wanger). R Wanger has parlayed his savvy selection into a (possibly temporary) run into first place, where he now stands with 204 points. Booth's choice of No. Iowa has allowed her to scramble into second-to-last place, two points ahead of Madison Leach.

The only other Saturday wild card winners were Bill Acchione and Durkin, who chose Baylor. [EDIT: they only thought they were winners, but now they've been caught red handed.] There are 39 contestants who have a wild card playing today (Sunday, 3/21), having chosen Maryland (17), Xavier (12), Missouri (3), Cornell (2), Georgia Tech (2), and California (1).

Full standings are at the link on the right. Full Elite Eight and Final Four information will be available sometime this week. And of course we'll be looking into Rival performances and the annual Tag Team competitions in the next few days.

More games, starting now...

Monday, March 15, 2010

The economy and your wildcard

Word on the street is the Sociology department of a major midwestern university is conducting an in-depth study on the correlation between worldwide economic conditions and wildcard selection in pre-NCAA tournament pools. And while we hesitate to steal their thunder on the eve of their submission to a prominent sociological journal, we feel obligated to post our own findings here:

In early 2008, prior to the unexpected collapse of Bear Stearns, we had three (3) contestants choose illegal wildcards and four (4) who chose wildcards that failed to make the NCAA tournament field. These numbers were fairly representative of the totals for the previous five years (where we had an average of 4.4 illegal wildcards chosen and 4.2 wildcards that didn't make the field).

In 2009, with many of us tightening our belts, it became apparent that more and more of those belts were worn around their owners' heads. Again we had three (3) illegal wildcards, but the number of entrants who picked wildcards that didn't get into the bracket rose to seven (7).

This year, with two years of recession staring us in the face, the wildcard numbers have reached alarming proportions. Five (5) [EDIT: Seven (7)] contestants chose illegal wildcards (as reported previously, those five [EDIT: seven] were Richardson, L Donadio, R Kornfeld, D Kornfeld, and Hubbard [EDIT: add Bill Acchione and Durkin to this slithery collection of individual lawbreakers]), and a mind-boggling thirteen (13) of us wasted our pick on teams who probably didn't even bother to watch yesterday's numerous selection specials. In fact, our fourth and sixth most popular wildcards didn't get invited to play, as Canning, Huffnagle, Mash Leach, Pike, P Ripley, and Rybaltowski chose UConn and Karlsruher, Millan, Sakowski, and Warner took Virginia Tech. Similarly unfortunate were DaLauro (Arizona State), R Perry (Mississippi State), and Freidhof (William & Mary).

The last time it was this bad? You guessed it -- during our last economic recession in 2002, when we had a whopping eleven (11) illegal wildcards and fourteen (14) wildcard teams who watched the tournament on TV. And now that we've beaten the sociologists to the punch we've got at least a decent shot at the Nobel, right?

Some of this year's contestants apparently aren't feeling nearly as much of a pinch. Our most popular wildcard, Maryland (17 votes), is a #4 seed; and Durkin and Bill Acchione are riding high on the hog (or possibly the bear) with their selection of #3 seed Baylor. [EDIT: riding high no longer; the bear market has finally caught up to these two "businessmen."]

Top votegetters:

Maryland (17)
Xavier (12)
Northern Iowa (7)
UTEP (6)
UConn (6)
Virginia Tech (4)


Missouri (3 -- Brenner, Harlan, Madison Leach)
Cornell (2 -- Brindisi, Cohan)
Georgia Tech (2 -- D Kedson, Tester)
Siena (2 -- Broder, Packman)
Arizona State (1 -- DaLauro)
Florida (1 -- M McAtee)
Mississippi State (1 -- R Perry)
Clemson (1 -- Merril)
California (1 -- L Schlegel)
Louisville (1 -- Fitch)
William & Mary (1 -- Freidhof)

The next champeeeen?

As a public service, we routinely make our data available to champagne salespeople so they know who our entrants' favorite is to win it all. It allows them to save time and concentrate on everybody else. The team that has had the most votes for champion in our contest has actually been the champion only five times in our twenty years of existence (a whopping 25% success rate), so the following may give some people in Lawrence, KS, the willies:

Kansas -- 28
Syracuse -- 19
Kentucky -- 12
Villanova -- 9
Duke -- 6
Kansas State -- 1

All #1 or #2 seeds, and nothing too crazy (unless you count P Leach's selection of Kansas State to win it all). Which essentially confirms our earlier suspicions that we're in for one wacky tournament.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The bracket is set

Well, the bracket is set and our hearts are all aflutter. We'll have more later and/or tomorrow, but for now we'll just say we have a three way tie for first place (with 200 points), meaning Adams, McKillip, and Whiteside will split the $100 prize (assuming they all paid, which we haven't checked yet).

Six entrants were within one lousy at-large selection of the leaders: Missy Peloso (198), R Wanger (198), J Donadio (197), R Schlegel (197), Smith (197), and G Wright (197).

Bringing up the rear is Whiteside's whipping girl Booth, with 153 points, followed closely by Madison Leach (156).

Official standing may once again be accessed via the Standings link on the right.


Mississippi State was, like, a tenth of a second away from winning the SEC. Now the talking heads say they won't even get a bid. It's "heartbreak city," as Dickie V might say, for the players, the coaches, and the university. But what about Baum, Cohan, D Kedson, and R Perry? I mean, they're out five points!

Anyway, Ohio State and Minnesota are still playing, but so far today's winners have been the favorites: Duke (64); Kentucky (58); and Temple (36).

Broder and McKillip are currently tied for first with 102 points, with six teams tied and right behind at 99.

Full standings, blah, blah, blah, on the right.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's South Dakota!

South Dakota beat Houston Baptist tonight to win the inaugural Great West conference championship, in a game that had absolutely no bearing on the NCAA Tournament. Just thought we'd pass that along.

In games that actually matter:

Kansas won the Big 12, as 69 of us said they would;

Vermont secured the automatic bid from the America East conference, much to the delight of 27 of us;

UC-Santa Barbara, picked by 48, won the Big West;

Ohio, predicted by nobody having anything to do with the contest, took the MAC;

Houston, also considered only by people who didn't enter a pool (and probably not very many of them) won the day in Conference USA;

Sam Houston (chosen by 65) beat Stephen F. Austin in the battle of 19th Century Texans also known as the Southland conference;

Morgan State (predicted by 73) took no prisoners in the MEAC;

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (taken by Booth, Brindisi, Canning, DaLauro, ME Donadio, Harlan, D Kedson, E Leach, Missy Peloso, Sakowski, R Wanger, and Merril) played their best hand to win the SWAC;

West Virginia (liked by Canning, Crotty, D Kedson, Templeton, and Tester) emerged victorious in the Big East;

New Mexico State (envisioned by Baum, S Leach, and R Perry) stunned overwhelming favorite Utah State (61).

Washington (wanted by M Josephs, D Kedson, S Leach, and Tester) pulled through in the Pac-10; and

San Diego State (guessed by Baum I, Baum II, and Freidhof) climbed to the top in the Mountain West.

In tomorrow's action, it's Duke (picked by 64) vs. Georgia Tech (picked by no one) in the ACC; Kentucky (58) vs. Mississippi State (Baum I, Baum II, Cohan, D Kedson, R Perry) in the SEC; Ohio State (45) vs. Minnesota (considered by nobody) in the Big 10; and Temple (36) vs. Richmond (15) in the Atlantic 10.

McKillip currently leads the contest with 89 points, followed by J Broder (87) and Missy Peloso (86), while seven additional entrants are right behind with 84. At the other end, Booth (41) is gaining ground on the Leach girls (Samantha Leach (56) and Madison Leach (54)).

Full standings, as always, available through the link on the right.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Clear the Decks

The Big East and ACC each had one (1) of their top four seeds advance to their conference tournament semifinals, while only two (2) of the top four seeds advanced that far in the Big 10. In the Mountain West, #1 seed New Mexico (chosen by 30) has gone down and #2 seed BYU (chosen by 32) is losing in the 2nd half [EDIT -- BYU lost]. As we've said before, if the conference tournaments are any indication we may be in for a wild ride next weekend.

In today's only conference final, Lehigh (predicted by 58 of us) survived in the Patriot League. New standings are once again available through the link on the right.

Tomorrow's finals include:

America East: Vermont (chosen by 27) vs. BU (just Canning and Madison Leach)

Big 12: Kansas (taken by 69) vs. Kansas State (Baum, Crotty, DeMaso, Freidhof, P Leach)

Big East: Georgetown (Baum, M Josephs, Madison Leach, M Paston, Rybaltowski) vs. West Virginia (Canning, Crotty, D Kedson, Templeton, Tester)

Big West: UC Santa Barbara (picked by 48) vs. Pacific (25) OR Long Beach St. (Brindisi, Pike); [EDIT -- Long Beach won]

Conference USA: UTEP (liked by 55) vs. Houston (nobody)

MAC: Akron (selected by 16) vs. Ohio (zilch)

MEAC: Morgan State (supported by 73) vs. South Carolina State (the big oh)

Mountain West: San Diego State (Baum I, Baum II, Freidhof) vs. BYU (32) OR UNLV (Canning, Cohan, Fitch, D Josephs, M Josephs, S Leach, Richardson, Rybaltowski, R Schlegel, Templeton); [EDIT -- UNLV won]

Pac 10: California (favored by 51) vs. Washington (M Josephs, D Kedson, S Leach, Tester) OR Stanford (zerocity); [EDIT -- Washington won]

Southland: Sam Houston (picked by 65) vs. Stephen F. Austin (Booth, L Donadio, B Kleiman, E Kleiman, M Kleiman, S Leach, Pike)

SWAC: Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Booth, Brindisi, Canning, DaLauro, ME Donadio, Harlan, D Kedson, E Leach, Merril, Missy Peloso, Sakowski, Wanger) vs. Texas Southern (a handful of nothin')

WAC: Utah State (predicted by 61) vs. Nevada (Alberts, Brindisi, Coach Doc, M Josephs, P Leach, Richardson) OR New Mexico State (Baum, S Leach, R Perry); [EDIT -- New Mexico State won]

We're not waiting for the western games to complete [EDIT -- but we've now marked them above], but enjoy your weekend. We're less than 42 [EDIT -- 32] hours away from the final bracket.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Big Sky

In last night's action, Montana, considered only by Madison Leach, bested big favorite Weber State (chosen by 64 entrants) in the Big Sky finals, bringing young Madison all the way up into a tie for 34th place. Bob Morris (picked by 51) snuck by fan favorite Quinnipiac (taken by 20).

In perhaps a harbinger of postseason upsets to come, both Syracuse (selected by 39 contestants) and Villanova (favored by 23) went down in their very first 2010 Big East tournament games.

Standings, of course, are reachable through the link on the right.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Butler did it

Three more teams have gotten on the tourney train. Butler was a unanimous selection in the Horizon, North Texas was chosen by 30 entrants in the Sun Belt, and Oakland was picked by 60 contestants in the Summit.

In the Big Sky, overwhelming favorite Weber State (selected by 64) faces off against Montana (taken only by Madison Leach). In the Patriot League, big timer Lehigh (favored by 58) goes up against its traditional rival Lafayette (picked by 9: Canning, Cohan, L Donadio, Huffnagle, D Kornfeld, Madison Leach, MASH Leach, R Perry, and Sakowski).

The news that Mash Leach has once again dipped into the pool is enough to send shivers down many a spine. But that will have to wait and be the subject of another post.

As always, standings are available on the link on the right.

How the standings work

Every single year at least one or two people e-mail us to ask how [fill in your favorite entrant moniker here] could have six correct conference champions and have 30 points while Adams has six correct conference champs but has 33 points. Do the commissioners like Adams better than them? (And every year it's always Adams, for some reason. Isn't that weird?)

So, after 21 years, here is the answer: We get 5 points for every correct conference champion and 3 points for every team we've identified at-large who makes the field.

Still flummoxed? Well, suppose Adams picked Gonzaga to win the WCC and St. Mary's as an at-large team. Well, St. Mary's won, and thus they've made the field, so Adams gets 3 points for that, in addition to the 5 points for each of the six conference champions she has so far selected.

This seeming anomaly goes away, of course, when the entire field is chosen, because then all the people who picked Gonzaga get their 3 points. True, Adams will get 6 points (3 for St. Mary's and 3 for Gonzaga), but that's because she picked two teams who made the field while someone who picked Gonzaga to win the conference and didn't pick St. Mary's at all only picked one.

Still confused? Tough.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Four more

The majority of us guessed right on three of four tonight, although all three were close games. Old Dominion (chosen by 51) eked by William & Mary (selected by 4) in the CAA final, Wofford (favored by 40) edged Appalachian State (taken by 8) in the Southern, and Siena (picked by 74) got by Fairfield (liked by nobody) in the MAAC. The only blowout was by the sole underdog to win: St. Mary's (selected by Canning, D Kedson, M Leach, Paston, Sakowski, and Yolles) kicked Gonzaga's keister in the WCC.

In the Summit conference, Oakland (selected by 60) faces off against IUPUI (taken by 12: Alberts, Booth, DaLauro, Coach Doc, Freidhof, Harlan, D Kedson, S Leach, Merril, Sakowski, Templeton, Tester). In the Sun Belt, it's North Texas (thought highly of by 30) versus Troy (fought for by 5: Claude, L Donadio, Karlsruher, E Leach, B Peloso).

Updated standings are, of course, available via the link on the right.

No Iowa

Northern Iowa became the 5th team into the tournament, as foreseen by 66 of us. Only D Baum (I & II), Booth, Fitch, M McAtee, Merril, Paston, Richardson, and Templeton thought the MVC tournament would end differently.

Five conferences are down to their Finals. In the America East conference, our favorite Stony Brook (chosen by 44) went down in the semis, leaving Vermont (picked by 27) vs. Boston University (selected only by Canning and M Leach).

Canning and M Leach could look like heroes if they land the perfecta of BU and St. Mary's (chosen by the two of them plus D Kedson, Paston, Sakowski, and Yolles), although history suggests otherwise (at least for M Leach). 69 of us took the safer path and chose Gonzaga in the WCC.

Old Dominion (51) is our favorite in the CAA, with only Friedhof, D Kedson, Templeton, and Tester going with William & Mary.

Everybody except L Schlegel picked Siena in the MAAC, and nobody picked Fairfield. A slight majority (40) picked Wofford in the Southern conference, while Alberts, Booth, ME Donadio, Huffnagle, M Leach, B Peloso, P Ripley, and Sakowski were the only believers in Appalachian State.

Updated standings are available using the link on the right.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


We try, we really do. We write the rules as clearly as we can. We provide links on both the Rules page and the Entry Form which lead to the particular AP Top 25 that governs which teams are ineligible to be Wild Cards. Yet every single year a few entrants figure they can sneak one by us.

Well, after 21 years we've finally had enough. According to our lawyers, this post will serve as legal notice to Richardson (#25 Richmond), L Donadio (#23 Wake Forest), R Kornfeld (#21 Temple), D Kornfeld (#20 Tennessee), and Hubbard (#15 Texas) that we have submitted all your names to the Enforcement Division of the IRS.

Good luck with the audit.

EDIT: Two more wildcard scofflaws have come to light: Bill Acchione and Durkin, who both chose #22 Baylor, bringing the total of bad guys up to seven (7).

First Four In

Four teams have had their ticket punched, and in typical form our contestants were ready for two of them. Cornell clinched the Ivy League, as they were very close to doing before the pool was due, an easy five points for all concerned. Well, for all but Sakowski, who picked Harvard. OVC favorite Murray State also came through, as all of us except Booth, M Leach, S Leach, and L Schlegel predicted.

Only five entrants saw the Music Man and picked Big South winner Winthrop -- Bud Acchione, Cohan, ME Donadio, P Leach, and Rybaltowski. Only one of us (Brindisi) had any inkling that ETSU might outlast Lipscomb, Belmont, and Jacksonville in the Atlantic Sun.

For those like Sakowski who like to eschew the obvious, contest standings may be seen by clicking on the link to the right that says, "Standings."

The Dance Card is filling up....

Congrats to those who had the foresight to take Cornell to win the Ivy. Hopefully it's a 75 way tie for first in the pool.

I don't believe many if anyone had Winthrop to win the Big South. Coastal Carolina and Radford were the favorites in that one.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Upset City Already

For those of you in the pool who weren't up on their Atlantic Sun basketball, the one seeded Lipscomb lost to the eight seeded Kennesaw State. Yikes, some of us are already behind the eight ball.

It has begun

Here we go. 75 brave souls have entered this year's Contest and subjected themselves to our scrutiny. Bwahaha.

Not sure yet how many paid for the privilege.

We'll be going into the details over the next days and weeks, so check back soon for a whole lot of clever remarks and witty repartee (or at least what passes for clever remarks and witty repartee 'round these parts -- your mileage may vary).