Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not much of a dogfight, was it?

Kind of a blah ending to a fabulous tournament. Oh well.

Congratulations again to Huffnagle, E Leach, Fitch, and M Peloso. I will be contacting you in the next few days for addresses to which I can send your checks.

P.S.: For the second straight year, the time ran out before I could post the tournament "All Name" teams. I have no idea if this "feature" was popular or not in the past, but if anybody particularly misses it, please e-mail me at prencaacontest@gmail.com and I'll make sure to get to it in a timely manner next year.

Thanks, and see you all in 2012 (assuming the Mayan calendar doesn't explode the Earth between now and then).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Well, in Whiteside's wacky world it was deja vu all over again. His familiar foil, Butscher (185) finished just two points behind Whiteside's 187 points, a year after losing to him by one. Whiteside's workplace cronies, McKillip (193) and Canning (203), smacked his Shabbalicious behind (just as they did a year ago). And his sister-in-law, Booth (173), ventured perilously close to going off the deep end before losing to Whiteside for the 30 zillionth consecutive year. Although Booth's decision this year to quote Justin Bieber as support could possibly be considered a new low.

Haklar stated, "I've been deceased for quite some time now, yet I'm still positive I can do better than my son" (D'Zuro), but the living lad managed to beat off the ghost, 183 to 174. Even more impressive, D'Zuro (183) tied his metaphorical lab coat-wielding wife, K Sullivan (183). It was a good year for B Peloso (198), who not only surpassed K Sullivan, but also edged his own Duke-loving spouse, M Peloso (197) by a mere point.

In another contest between denizens of parallel planes, a live cat (Crosby, 208) handily outplayed a dead one (Claude, 195).

Believe it or not, P Ripley said he was "willing to talk smack to my 2 year old son (A Ripley) if I somehow beat him this year," and then he backed it up, tormenting the tiny tot, 187 to 158. P Ripley also beat his wife, K Ripley (167), for the first time in recent memory, although K Ripley blamed it on potentially going into labor during the contest for the second time in three years. At least she staved off her brother, M Wanger (165). Patriarch R Wanger (193) ruled the family with an iron fist for the third straight year.

Brothers N Donadio (172) and Jr. Donadio (172) tied, which some say is like kissing your sister, except these boys' sister, L Donadio (177) kicked both their butts. None of the siblings approached their father J Donadio's acumen, however.

In Leachdom, E Leach (217), the self-proclaimed "Senior Leach for over 75 years," has come out ahead of his entire family tree, besting son P Leach (202), and granddaughters Madison Leach and Samantha Leach (174).

In straight up father/child matches, however, the offspring are all grown up. Commissioner M Josephs (209) easily handled his old man D Josephs (193). Adams (207) put the hurt on father Coach Doc (194). And B Kleiman (183) edged his own father, M Kleiman (180), for the second straight year. The exception to this trend was R Schlegel (201), who barely kept hold of his dignity over son L Schlegel (197).

In a sibling rivalry of interstate proportions, R Kornfeld (182), of Michigan, wiped the court with D Kornfeld (173), of Pennsylvania.

Brenner (173) was completely outclassed by Brenner tha Don (191), in every way except name. Both M Paston 1 (189) and M Kline 1 (191) outscored their lower-digit counterparts, M Paston 2 (181), M Kline 2 (188), and M Kline 3 (176). Next year, fellas, you can enter just once and save a little coin.

Finally, we are at a loss for words to describe the beatdown G Wright (183) put on B Wright (115). Suggestions would be appreciated.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tag, you're it

The Cosmic Forces have clearly aligned. Sure, #8 seed Butler and #11 seed VCU are in the Final Four, but that's nothing compared to our news: The Leach Gang has won a Tag Team competition for what we believe is the first time ever. Yes, the Leaches sit atop the contestant heap, with an average score of 194.6, easily outdistancing Whiteside and his Detractors (188.2), the Boom Crew (182.0), the Ripley-Believe-it-or-Nots (174), and the Present-and-former-employees-of-Urban-Engineering (168.4).

While no upset can be bigger than that, it's certainly noteworthy that males (187.83) came out on top of females (180.3). Children (177.5) probably shouldn't even be seen.

In the Battle of the Species, the so-called "dumb animals," felines (201.5), spiny anteaters (199.0), and lawyers (196.25) all bested humans (185.93). Spirits from the afterworld (174.0) apparently don't get any better information than the rest of us.

If you're in radio, tv, or motion pictures (204.5), well, you must know something. Practicing attorneys (200.33) and computer specialists (194.0) know more than retired people (192.5), something that accountants (187.4), stock traders (183.5), executives (173.67), and engineers (173.25) can't say. At least in our contest, students (191.17) have found little reason to listen to teachers (185.0).

Interestingly enough, the only contestant who identified himself with UConn (Huffnagle) used his inside info to win the contest. Of those schools with more than one vote, Syracuse (200.0) did best this year, followed by Penn State (190.30), and Duke (187.20). In the Big Five, Temple (185.75), beat out Villanova (180.60) and Penn (164.67), while Big Five wannabe Drexel (198.0) trounced them all. In a battle between schools who didn't make the tournament, Indiana (183.0) slapped around Bucknell (162.5), and this despite Bucky Bison (Bucknell's mascot) sending a birthday card to two-year-old A Ripley. Among Division III schools, Widener (193.0) clobbered Johns Hopkins (184.5).

If you're thinking of changing your name, try Matt (210.5) or Ed (205.0). You could do worse than Kevin (191.0) or David (190.4), as well. And by worse, we mean your name could be Rick (186.5), George (184.67), Mike (183.25), Brett (182.33), or Andrew (182.33). As a public service announcement to all you John (180.75) Doe's out there, we do not recommend Bob(180.2)bing for apples or doing anything in the Nick (178.50) of time.

The best region to pick pools from in 2011 turned out to be Western Pennsylvania (200.5), and this despite their proximity to Butler-victim Pittsburgh. Other prime possibilities for prognostication include the Beltway area (193.60) and the Deep South (188.33). If you live in the Far West (185.0), the Midwest (179.67), or New England (179.0), we recommend you find some other leisure activity. Philadelphia Suburbs (185.89) crushed the Philadelphia Urbs (174.5), but they still couldn't find decent, cheap parking.

Our average contestant (186.83) wasn't nearly as successful as our average commissioner (196.50). So we're taking applications if anybody wants the job.

It's Ovah

As we said last week, when the contest started we figured this year might be a record breaking year. And as it turned out, we were right. This year's winning score (223) is the worst, the smallest, the most mind-bogglingest lowest total ever. How much mind-bogglingest, you may ask? Well, the 2nd lowest winning total we're aware of was 45 points better.

Winners are winners, however, and it wouldn't be right to penalize first place winner Huffnagle (223), second place winner E Leach (217) or third place winner Fitch (216), just because their scores are pathetic, now would it?

We would like to congratulate B Wright, however, whose last place total (115) was only the second worst in contest history. The record for ineptitude is still held by Carson, who scored 102 in 1998.

As one might guess, nobody got even half of the Elite Eight. Twelve contestants got three of Eight, 20 contestants managed two of Eight, a whopping 48 of us got one whole Elite Eight team correct, and G Warner and Haklar couldn't even guess any (i.e., they got zero (0) right). G Warner, by the way, claimed on his form that he "spent way too much time on the Southland and MEAC." And frankly, we believe him. Special mention goes to Burke who was one of the lucky dozen who was right on three Final Eight teams, but still managed to finish 77th (aka 6th-to-last) in the standings.

We had 82 entrants in this year's contest, meaning there were 328 Final Four selections made. And four of those selections ended up being accurate. That's right, four (4) people chose one (1) Final Four team correctly. Huffnagle and Templeton went with Connecticut, and Leach and Rybaltowski favored Kentucky.

It probably goes without saying that nobody picked any of the Final Four as their champion, but we'll say it anyway. It's a lot more fun that way.

For anyone who is too lazy to click the standings link on the right hand side of the page, full standings may be found here.

So the contest is over. Congratulations to Huffnagle, E Leach, and Fitch. Your checks will be in the mail.

Tag Team and Rivals totals will be posted sometime this evening. All-Name teams should be up before Saturday, if anybody's interested.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Only E Leach and Rybaltowski picked Kentucky into the Final Four and nobody picked VCU. Updated standings are up (right hand side of the page), and I'll post a recap, etc., on Monday.

Halfway there

Only Huffnagle and Templeton had Connecticut in the Final Four. Nobody selected Butler. I haven't put up the interim standings since the first half of the Final Four was chosen, but it looks suspiciously like the standings from Friday night, except for one thing: Huffnagle is now in the lead, with 223 points. Fitch is now 2nd, with the same 216 points he had before, with everyone else except Templeton exactly the same, too (he now has 197 points and is tied for 17th). I'll post standings after the Final Four is all decided, either late tonight or tomorrow morning.

Also tomorrow, check back here for an Elite Eight/Final Four recap, Tag Team tallies, and Rivals head-to-head.

See ya.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Two blowouts and two last second victories, and the Elite Eight is now known. And six of the Eight were chosen by less than 10 entrants, including Kentucky (9) and VCU (0). Only Kansas (77) was chosen by as many as 20 entrants (UNC got 19 votes).

Fitch has forged into the lead with 216 points, followed by M Josephs and Quint, with 209 each. Crosby (208) and Adams (207) are a whisker behind.

Shows what we know

The four winners last night were chosen by 19 entrants, combined. Only nine of us chose Florida, just six liked Arizona, only four intrepid souls picked UConn, and nobody guessed Butler.

Still, it was enough to give us a new leader, Quint, with 199 points. P Leach (192) sits in second, and Baum (189) and M Josephs (189) are currently tied for third. Seven playahs are within three points of third place.

More games tonight.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Four Square

In another wonderful example of symmetry, six of our top eleven Final Four choices are no longer playing (Pitt, Texas, Notre Dame, Purdue, Syracuse, & Louisville) while six teams who are still alive were selected by nobody to make it to Houston (Arizona, Marquette, Richmond, VCU, Florida State, Butler).

In a surprising display of competence, six contestants have all four of their Final Four remaining (Templeton, Harlan, Alberts, K Sullivan, D Kedson, Brenner). There are 45 entrants who still have three of their Four left and 27 who have two. Four prognosticators have just one (1) of their Final Four left (Baum, Jr. Donadio, G Rogers, and of course Mad Leach).

All Choices:

Kansas (63)
Ohio State (58)
Duke (54)
Pittsburgh (44)
BYU (21)
Texas (19)
Notre Dame (16)
Purdue (16)
Wisconsin (10)
Syracuse (6)
Louisville (4)
San Diego State (4: N Donadio, M Josephs, B Peloso, K Sullivan)
Kentucky (2: E Leach, Rybaltowski)
St. John's (2)
Connecticut (2: Huffnagle, Templeton)
North Carolina (2: Alberts, M Josephs)
Florida (1: E Pogach)
Texas A&M (1)
Xavier (1)
Villanova (1)
Georgetown (1)

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

Standing Eight count

In keeping with our annual incompetency theme, five of our top ten favorite choices to make the Final Eight did not get out of the second round (Pitt, Purdue, Texas, Notre Dame, Syracuse), while five teams who are still playing got zero (0) Elite Eight votes from our contestants (Marquette, Richmond, VCU, Florida State, Butler).

Looking good, Final Eight-wise, is Fitch, who has six of his Final Eight remaining and also has Marquette as a wild card, although that's not as impressive as it sounds because he also has Marquette's opponent (UNC), as well as both Ohio State and Kentucky. Others who have six of their Final Eight are M KLine 2, Quint, Whiteside, M Josephs, E Pogach, and Crotts.

We have 33 entrants with five Elite Eight teams remaining and 33 more who have four. Seven unfortunates are left with only three of their Final Eight (Steitz, White, Jr. Donadio, A Ripley, George B, M Kline 3, and leader M Peloso). Sitting around with an astonishing two (2) Final Eight teams remaining are Haklar and perennial cellar dweller Mad Leach.

All Selected Teams:

Kansas (77)
Pittsburgh (74)
Duke (73)
Ohio State (73)
Purdue (54)
BYU (51)
Texas (50)
Notre Dame (41)
Wisconsin (23)
Syracuse (21)
San Diego State (20)
North Carolina (19)
Florida (9)
Kentucky (9)
Georgetown (8)
Louisville (8)
Arizona (6: Burke, Crosby, P Leach, Mahalko, Quint, Yolles)
St. John's (6)
Vanderbilt (6)
Xavier (5)
Connecticut (4: George B, Huffnagle, Mad Leach, Templeton)
George Mason (3)
Kansas State (3)
Villanova (3)
Texas A&M (2)
Washington (2)
Belmont (1)
Utah State (1)
Alabama (1)
UCLA (1)
Vermont (1)
UNLV (1)

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Before this year's contest started, we were worried the old records would be obsolete, seeing as this year we had three more at-large teams out there, giving everyone the opportunity for 9 additional points. It seemed an unfair advantage for our contestants.

As you've probably already guessed, we needn't have worried. This year's top score after selection of the field (187 points, by M Peloso) was the WORST such score since 1994. In fact, in the past 17 years, there's only been one leading score after selection of the field that was within 5 points of this year's lowly leading tally (189, by Reider, in 2000), and that was probably negatively influenced by the Y2K phenomenon.

Of course what else should we expect when there were more conference winners chosen by 8 or fewer entrants (11: Wofford, Akron, Richmond, UConn, UNC-Ashville, UC-Santa Barbara, St. Peter's, Indiana State, UT-San Antonio, Arkansas-Little Rock, & Alabama State) than conference winners chosen by a majority of our contestants (10: Duke, Belmont, Ohio State, Kansas, Butler, Princeton, Long Island U, Bucknell, Oakland, & Utah State). A whopping eight (8) conference winners were chosen by nobody at all.

So it should come as no surprise that only one of us picked a wild card that managed more than 1 point, and that would be Fitch, who chose Marquette. There were 32 contestants who managed 1 wild card point, but for one lousy point we're not going to bother listing them.

Oh, and can we talk about basketball for a minute? Nobody seemed to flinch when the Big East got 11 bids to the tournament this year, but how Big can the conference really be after its performance in the first two rounds of the tournament? Just two of those 11 teams remain (Marquette and UConn), and of all conferences who got more than two bids, the Big East is tied for last in winning percentage (with the Big 12). Here's each conference's record so far:

ACC: 7-1 (.857)
Mountain West: 4-1 (.800)
Colonial: 4-2 (.667)
Atlantic 10: 3-2 (.600)
Big 10: 7-5 (.583)
Pac 10: 4-3 (.571)
SEC: 4-3 (.571)
Big 12: 4-4 (.500)
Big East: 9-9 (.500)

With that sort of record, seems like the Big East should enter our contest, doesn't it?

Coming up in the next day or so will be Final Four and Elite Eight breakdowns, as well as the ever-popular Tag Team Tallies.

See you soon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day Two

From our contest's perspective, not a lot to report about Day Two of the tournament. Although we can say that it wasn't a great day for George B or Broder -- both of whom lost two Elite Eight teams (Georgetown & Villanova for George B; Georgetown and Xavier for Broder), and a Final Four team (Villanova for George B; Xavier for Broder). Mad Leach also lost two Final Eight teams (Georgetown & Xavier), and D Kornfeld picked Georgetown into both his Final Eight and Final Four.

Joining the above in taking Georgetown into the Elite Eight were N Donadio, M Kline 1, Templeton, and early leader M Peloso. Additional Xavierophiles (Elite Eight division) were Steitz, G Warner, and White. The rest of the Villanova backers (at least to the Elite Eight) consisted of only R Simon and M Wanger. Yolles (Eight and Four) and Fitch (Eight) put misplaced faith into Texas A&M, while M Kline 3 went out on a limb for UNLV into the Elite Eight.

Eight more games today. Enjoy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day One

It goes without saying that everybody likes Morehead. I suppose it should also go without saying that if something goes without saying then you don't have to say it. Not to mention (and putting aside that if something's "not to mention" then we probably shouldn't mention it), in this case we doubt it's even true. The eight entrants who chose Louisville (the team blown away by Morehead's last second game winning shot) into their Elite Eight (Baum, Jr. Donadio, Huffnagle, E Leach, S Leach, M Paston 1, M Paston 2, Yolles), and the four entrants who took Louisville into their Final Four (Baum, Jr. Donadio, S Leach, M Paston 2), are probably thrilled at neither the upset nor the puerile wordplay.

Other first round losers on whom contestants languished their precious Elite Eight and Final Four choices include St. John's (picked by Booth, Crosby, Haklar, Nelson, M Paston 2, and G Rogers into the Elite Eight; by Haklar and G Rogers into the Final Four) and Vanderbilt (selected by Alberts, Booth, Karlsruher, S Leach, M Paston 1, and G Warner into the Elite Eight). Haklar and G Rogers also liked St. John's as national champions, and they have our condolences for losing their champion on the very first day of the tourney. That has to sting a little.

D Kornfeld selected Alabama into his Final Eight, and Alabama wasn't even invited to play in the tournament. B Wright deserves his own sentence for choosing Vermont, Utah State, and Belmont among his Final Eight teams, and we're so flabbergasted we don't even know what else to say about that.

True to form in our contest, the team who was our overwhelming favorite as wild card (St. John's, with 44 votes) lost in the first round. Others who have already lost wild cards include B Wright (UAB), M Wanger (Old Dominion), Templeton (Missouri State), and White (Michigan State).

More hopes to be dashed, starting in half an hour. Can't wait.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Multiple Personalities

Most years our contestants have a favorite for champion, which is convenient because it gives us an opportunity to bet on everybody else. Alas, this year we don't have that advantage, because our entrants have split almost exactly evenly among Kansas (20), Duke (20), and Ohio State (19). Pitt is our fourth most popular champion, meaning we went with all four number one seeds, although frankly we're not sure whether being in mind-meld with the Selection Committee is a good or bad thing.

Full breakdown of champion choices:

Kansas: 20
Duke: 20
Ohio State: 19
Pittsburgh: 9
Texas: 3 (Baum, M Kline 3, Mad Leach)
BYU: 3 (K Ripley, L Schlegel, K Sullivan)
St. Johns: 2 (Haklar, G Rogers)
Purdue: 2 (M Paston 2, Rybaltowski)
Wisconsin: 1 (Brenner tha Don)
Villanova: 1 (George B)
Syracuse: 1 (A Ripley)
Notre Dame: 1 (Bland)

Less Wild than usual

Things appear to be looking up for the economy. Last year, we performed an in-depth economic analysis of the worldwide economy and its effect on wild card behavior, and concluded that in poor economic times our contestants were even more clueless than usual when it comes to selecting wild cards. Case in point was last year's pathetic performance in which members of our group chose seven (7) illegal wild cards and 13 wild cards who didn't make the tournament.

This year, however, while we are pleased that the world finally seems to be shaking off the effects of the long recession, we are disappointed to announce we can only make fun of two (2) entrants for picking ineligible wild cards: Burke and D Kornfeld, both of whom chose #8 Notre Dame. A special award for reading comprehension goes to D Kornfeld, who chose an illegal wild card for the second consecutive year.

Our only entrant who went with a wild card who's off playing in the NIT was Templeton, who selected Missouri State. B Wright chose UAB, who made the field but was eliminated in a play-in game, meaning they didn't actually make the bracket, so maybe we can snicker just a little about that.

St. Johns, with 44 votes, was by a factor of four our most popular wild card. The complete breakdown of wild card selections:

St. Johns: 44
Kansas State: 10
West Virginia: 6
George Mason: 4
xxxNotre Dame: 2 (Burke, D Kornfeld)
Washington: 2 (Crotts, ACCBBallFan)
UAB: 1 (B Wright)
Old Dominion: 1 (M Wanger)
Missouri State: 1 (Templeton)
Michigan State: 1 (White)
Marquette: 1 (Fitch)
Gonzaga: 1 (M Josephs)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

And we're off...

The NCAA tournament field is set and the games start the day after tomorrow. As most of you know we give out a little incentive to the entrant in first place right after the field has been selected, and if the race for that $100 prize is any indication, we're in for a doozy of a tournament.

Coming out of nowhere, the mid-term winner is M Peloso, with 187 points, edging L Schlegel (186) by a measly point, and Harlan (185) by two. Full standings may be found on the right hand side of the page, or here.

At first blush, a couple of the committee's decisions seem odd, like picking VCU and UAB instead of Colorado and Virginia Tech, or giving SEC runner up Florida a 2 seed while snubbing Big 12 runner up Texas with a 4. But we're not ready to give our complete analysis yet. If anybody else wishes to do so, just click on the "comments" link and sound off.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wow, the sequel

Well, the Saturday night games weren't quite as enthralling as the Saturday afternoon games, but they were close. UConn over Louisville by 3, Washington over Arizona by 2 in overtime, Akron over Kent by 1 in overtime. And the best game of the night had no pool or NCAA tournament implications whatsoever, as North Dakota beat South Dakota 77 to 76 in double overtime to win the Great West conference title.

We were unanimously correct in predicting Utah State would win the WAC, but don't get cocky. We also had four more conference champions where absolutely none of us believed in the winner (Texas-San Antonio, Connecticut, UC-Santa Barbara, and Alabama State), while including Utah State only 3 of today's 13 winners were chosen by a majority of our contestants (also Princeton and Kansas). Overall, a majority of us has been right in 8 conferences out of 27, and zero of us has been right in 8 others. Symmetry at its finest.

Tonight's conference breakdown: Kansas (picked by 62) beat Texas (13); San Diego State (19) hammered the celibate Cougars of BYU (56); Washington (16) edged Arizona (37) in OT, UConn (0) snuck past Louisville (5); Akron (6: M Kline 1, M Kline 3, M Peloso, M Paston 1, M Leach, and A Alberts -- although we're not sure how Alberts managed it without having a first initial of "M") survived Kent State (57) in overtime; UC-Santa Barbara (0) rolled in the tide on Long Beach State (74); Alabama State (0) topped Grambling (0) in a battle of zero heroes; and Utah State (82) pulled away from Boise State (0) in the last few minutes.

The last four conferences finish tomorrow. Dayton (chosen by, surprise -- 0) comes up against Richmond (4); Duke (67) takes on arch-rival UNC (12); Ohio State (50) is waiting at the state line for Penn State (0); and Kentucky (28) faces Florida (35).

L Schlegel is still holding on to the contest lead, with 13 correct conference champs and 77 points. Nipping at his heels are Coach Doc (73), M Paston 1 (73), and Quint (72).

About 16 hours until the field is set...


Wow, what a championship week this year. Plenty more on tap tonight, but so far we've had five conference champions decided today, and the largest margin was 5 points.

BU (picked by 16 of us) came back from a 15 point deficit and needed free throws with 2 seconds left to beat Stony Brook (picked by no one) by 2 in the America East conference. Princeton (51) beat Harvard (31) by 1 point on a buzzer beater to win the Ivy League. Memphis (25) hit two free throws with 7 seconds left to beat UTEP (17) by 1 point in Conference USA. Texas San Antonio (another winner picked by none of us) edged McNeese State by 3 in the Southland. And Hampton (39) "crushed" Morgan State (10) by 5 in the MEAC.

This is without even mentioning UNC coming back from a double-digit deficit for the second straight day, this time roaring back from 14 down against Clemson to win their ACC semifinal match in overtime. The Tar Heels (12) face Duke (67) tomorrow for the ACC championship. And at least one commissioner is holding his breath.

In tomorrow's Atlantic 10 final, it will be Richmond (chosen by 4: M Josephs, Mahalko, Booth, and Kovolski) against Dayton (yet another possible winner picked by absolutely nobody).

L Schlegel leads us all with 11 successful conference champion guesses and 58 points, followed by Coach Doc (54), Quint (53), Canning (50), and M Paston 1 (49). And eight more players right behind with 48.

And still we have eight more championship games tonight, and then a handful more tomorrow to wrap it all up.

See ya. Gotta get back to the TV.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oh boy

Quite a day in NCAA land. ACC top seed North Carolina took it's only lead of the game at the final buzzer to beat Miami, while tops-in-the-nation Ohio State needed overtime to dispatch Northwestern. And those were the games that came out the way we expected.

Late last night UCLA (vainly chosen by 28 of us in the PAC 10) fared poorly while in Conference USA, the team with the most votes (UAB with 32) went down in the quarterfinals, leaving UTEP (17) to square off with Memphis (25) for that conference's automatic bid.

Two more favorites stumbled today, as Texas Southern (selected by 71 entrants) lost in the SWAC, and Xavier (picked by 41) got slapped around in the Atlantic 10.

The SWAC finals are tomorrow, with Alabama State (selected by nobody) facing off against Grambling (chosen by no one), which guarantees yet another winner that completely stumped our contestants. In the Big East, we're looking at Louisville (favored by five: P Leach, Karlsruher, Booth, Crotts, and Jr Donadio) against Connecticut (taken by none of us).

The only champion crowned today was Bucknell (picked by 74) in the Patriot. So I suppose we can feel good about that.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Yeah, we've been making fun of our contestants ability to predict the small conference champions, but it will all even out when the big conferences go down, right?

Think again.

Pitt, the Big East favorite according to our contestants (chosen by 41) failed to win even a single Big East tournament game, falling to Connecticut earlier today. Kansas (picked by 62) lucked out and won their first Big 12 tourney game by 1 lousy point over Oklahoma State, who missed a free throw in the last minute and then had the last shot but somehow managed to waste 20 seconds before putting up a desperation airball at the buzzer.

And things are just getting started.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two more in the truck

The University of Northern Colorado (chosen by 35 of us) won its first ever NCAA tournament bid, beating Big Sky stalwart Montana (liked by 40). And overwhelming favorite Long Island University (selected by 70) took the Northeast conference championship over underwhelming underdog Robert Morris (chosen only by E Pogach, ACCBBallFan, and N Donadio), although LIU needed overtime to do it.

That's 13 conference championships down and a majority of us have correctly predicted the winner in four (4) of them, for a rousing 30.8% success rate, and the same number of conferences in which zero of us predicted the winner. Not surprisingly, only four entrants have gotten more than half of the conferences right: Canning and L Schlegel each have eight right; M Josephs and G Wright each have seven.

Not counting the four conferences where nobody picked the winner, L Schlegel finally missed one, and is now tied for first with Canning, with both having 40 points. Right behind the co-leaders are M Josephs (38 points), Coach Doc (36), Harlan (36), and G Wright (35). Full standings may once again be found through the link on the right side of the page.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Butler did it

Butler made it back to the NCAA tournament, winning the Horizon League and bringing much joy to 42 contestants, while fellow favorite Oakland (74) took the Summit. We considered requiring our entrants to correctly identify which state Oakland comes from before awarding credit, but decided it would just be too depressing to ask (the correct answer is Michigan, not California, if you're scoring at home; or even if you're alone).

Still, it wouldn't be a pool update unless some small conference nobody who went unselected in our contest earned a bid, and tonight it was Arkansas-Little Rock (0) filling the bill. (We considered requiring our entrants to correctly identify which state Arkansas-Little Rock comes from, as well, but based on our entrants' success in the contest so far we decided even that was too much to hope for.) This brings us up to 4 out of 11 conference champions that were picked by absolutely none of our entrants.

Amazingly, L Schlegel has accurately guessed all 7 of the conference champs who were picked by at least one person, and thus he still leads the pool with 35 points. Canning has six right and sits in 2nd place with 30 points. Full standings may be found through the link on the right hand side of the page.

Princeton beat Penn in its regular season finale, meaning the Tigers (selected by 51) will take on the Crimson of Harvard (chosen by 31) for the Ivy League crown.

Come on back tomorrow for yet another riveting update.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Four more champions...

...and some of our entrants even picked three of them!

St. Peters won the MAAC, bringing up to three the number of conference champions who none of us picked (out of eight winners so far). But we prefer to dwell upon the positive. Eight of us guessed right about Wofford (L Schlegel, Steitz, M Paston 1, M Paston 2, Packman, Kline 3, N Donadio, and S Leach) in the Southern Conference, 20 of us correctly chose Old Dominion to win the Colonial, and almost half of us (39, to be precise) accurately predicted Gonzaga to win the WCC. Meaning out of eight conference champions so far, a majority of us were right about one of them (Belmont, picked by 79). Hey, and one out of eight is better than none out of eight, right? That's positive, isn't it?

Interestingly enough, with only five conference champs who had more than zero votes, we have a contestant (L Schlegel) who hit the jackpot on all five (Belmont, Old Dominion, Gonzaga, Wofford, and Morehead State), and three others (Canning, M Josephs, and Quint) who scored on four out of five. And of course these four individuals lead the pack (with L Schlegel five points ahead of the others). Full standings may be found here.

Two more league finals are set, the Sun Belt, featuring North Texas (selected by just three entrants - ACCBBallFan, Crotts, and the ubiquitous M Josephs) against Arkansas-Little Rock (selected by three fewer, aka zero entrants); and the Summit, where Oakland (chosen by 74 of us) lines up against Oral Roberts (chosen by four - Steitz, E Pogach, Kline 2, and Kline 3). And of course the commissioners are very much looking forward to a play-in game between Oral Roberts and Morehead State.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Zero Heroes

Mighty Vermont (selected by 65 of us) has fallen to puny Stonybrook (selected by nobody even associated with one of our entrants). The Stonybrooksterians will play BU (16) for the America East championship.

Also reaching their league final after being completely ignored by our contestants are Lafayette (0) in the Patriot League, who will play Bucknell (74) (who beat Lehigh (0) by 2 points tonight), and St. Peters (0) who smacked Fairfield (63) around and will face off against Iona (13) in the MAAC.

In the Southern Conference, favorite Charleston (66) must play Wofford (18) for the automatic bid. Gonzaga (39) is still playing, but if the Zags hold on to their lead they'll be playing St. Mary's (43) for the WCC crown.

You'd have been better off picking Murray as your accountant...

We should have known it would be that kind of year when Murray State (chosen by 57 of us) went down to Tennessee Tech (chosen by none of us) on Friday. But if we didn't know then, we sure know now.

So far, four conference champions have punched their tickets for the big dance, and two of them (UNC-Ashville & Indiana State) were picked by nobody in our contest. Out of 82 contestants, only 18 of us have as many as two right out of four.

The other day we mentioned the chagrin of the five people who chose Liberty (who lost before the pool was due). But now we figure the 77 others who picked Coastal Carolina in the Big South feel pretty much the same way. On the other hand, 79 people accurately selected Belmont as Atlantic Sun champ, but that probably doesn't help Steitz, Mad Leach, or Jr Donadio -- all of whom took ETSU -- feel any better about themselves.

The other winner so far who got any votes in our contest is Morehead State (chosen by 20), who beat Murray-vanquisher Tennessee Tech in the OVC final. In the Colonial, the championship game is set between Old Dominion (taken by 20) and Virginia Commonwealth (picked by three -- Wright, Selig, and D Kornfeld. In the Horizon it's Butler (42) against Milwaukee (16).

Indiana State won the MVC over Missouri State (45) and Wichita State (36), but at least the latter two have a theoretical shot of getting picked at large. As does George Mason (57), who went down to VCU.

In the Northeast, it's LIU (70) against Robert Morris (3 -- E Pogach, ACCBBallFan, & N Donadio), each of which won their semifinal games by 2 measly points over Central Connecticut State (Templeton, M Wanger, & Kline 2) and Quinnipiac (A Ripley, Quint, K Ripley, Wright, Mad Leach, & Steitz), respectively. And, as always, we love saying "Quinnipiac."

In what's probably the second Ivy League race that wasn't decided before the pool was due, if Princeton (chosen by 51) can get by Penn this week they'll play Harvard (taken by 31) in a playoff.

More games tonight. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Breaking News -- BYU's Davies case not about beer

No, apparently Brandon Davies was dismissed from BYU's basketball team after he admitted to having sex with his girlfriend, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Here's a link to ESPN if you want to read more.

We're sure everyone who picked BYU to go far and just watched or heard about the Mormons getting hammered in BYU-ville by unranked New Mexico (by 18) feels really good about that so-called Code of Honor. Or at least you probably feel good that you didn't personally sign the BYU honor pledge, so at least you can go out somewhere and drown your sorrows.

Now comes the fun

Well, the entry deadline has passed and now we know what we have. And what we have is 82 contestants this year.

And already so many things to talk about. For starters, how about BYU starting center Brandon Davies being kicked off the team for violating the BYU honor code (the rumor being he committed the heinous crime of drinking a beer). Not the best news for K Ripley, L Schlegel, or K Sullivan, all of whom went out on a limb for BYU as their national champion, and probably not putting smiles on the faces of the 22 entrants who picked BYU into their Final Four and the 51 contestants who selected the Mormons into their Elite Eight.

In other news, Liberty went down in their conference tournament to High Point last night, a few hours before our contest deadline, much to the presumed chagrin of M Josephs, M Kline, G Rogers, Steitz, and Templeton, who all said, "Give me Liberty" for Big South champion.

Fasten your seat belts. The fun is just beginning.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Here we go!

Hard to believe, but the Pool is back for its 22nd year. Entries are due Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

The link to the entry form is: http://www.davidkedson.com/NCAA.asp

The link to the rules is: http://www.davidkedson.com/Rules.htm

Everybody's welcome. So tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your pets.

It's Pool time.