Saturday, March 31, 2012

A O "K"

An all blue "K" team final. Kentucky, with three freshmen and two sophomores starting, and only one upperclassman in its rotation, would be the youngest team ever to win a championship. If they win. Kansas, with four juniors and a senior in its starting lineup, has the experience usually necessary to win a championship, but seemingly less talent. Hmmm.

Harlan wins the first place money, no matter what, although if Kansas wins we'll have the added bonus of being able to make fun of Kovolski for winning the pool but failing to pay for it. No matter how you slice it, some Whiteside is going to win some $$$, meaning no matter what, Booth has to live with once again being trashtalked by a close in-law relative.

Tune in Monday for the end of the ride.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The big question...

Who's gonna win? No, not the tournament. If we knew that, the average Commissioner (261.0) would be a lot more than a lousy conference champion ahead of the average pool entrant (255.46). Honestly, who cares whether Kentucky can beat some in-state rival, when the winner of our contest is up in the air?

So, here goes (note that we had 77 paying entrants this year):

Harlan 356
Bud Acchione 330
J Whiteside 327

Kovolski** 319
Harlan 316
Nowakowski 315
B Whiteside 314
C Whiteside 314

** Note that Kovolski chose to be a non-paying entrant, playing for the pure joy of competition and obviously disinterested in mundane things like money. So, like Crotty in 2010, a Kansas win on Monday will make Kovolski our champion... but Harlan will score the cash.

D Kedson 344
Harlan 316
Steinhardt 301

Harlan 316
D Kedson 304
Steinhardt 301

Congratulations to our contest winners, whomever they may turn out to be.


Two more Whitesides entered this year's fray, and it seemed to hurt C Whiteside's mojo. The famed and fabled "Shabba" put up only 274 points, losing to his nine year old son, J Whiteside (287) and just scraping by with a tie against his nine year old daughter, B Whiteside (274). McKillip (275) continued his ownership of his colleague. For the first time in three years, even co-worker Butscher (277) joined the C Whiteside-topping fun. C Whiteside did manage to avoid the ultimate ignominy, however, as Booth's performance (245) was less than "Nantastic."

Long-deceased Haklar claims to be close to the Almighty except he's not "chattty chatty," and her score (236) backs that up. D'Zuro (253) beat up on his dead mother, but lost by 22 to K Sullivan (275), his future-Nobel-laureate wife. K Sullivan said she hoped she didn't make B Peloso cry this year, and while she pounded her annual whipping boy, we'd say she got her wish, as we assume B Peloso's tears were caused entirely by his embarrassing scoring total (213). As you might guess, B Peloso also lost to his Duke-loving wife, M Peloso (282) by almost 70 points.

Last year, K Ripley (238) blamed her low point total on going into labor during the contest, but this year it appears parenthood is a long-term malady. The former dominant member of the Ripley/Wanger clan lost handily to both husband P Ripley (270) and father R Wanger (272). For years, P Ripley has tried unsuccessfully to beat out father-in-law R Wanger, and this year he both did and didn't, as his 270 points lost out to R Wanger 1 (272) but beat R Wanger 2 (264).

It's not just K Ripley, though. Also rumored to be with child is S Adams (278) who for the first time in recent memory trails father Coach Doc (286). It might not be the fetus, though, as it just seems to be a good year for fathers generally. R Schlegel (258) has a comfortable lead over offspring L Schlegel (246), and D Josephs (277) completely dominated son and co-commissioner M Josephs (218). Mike Mc (251) handled youngster Owen Mc (247), as well as grandpa Joe Mc (237).

In Leach World, P Leach (278) dispatched daughters S Leach (239) and Madison Leach (212), as well as in-law Pogach (259) and patriarch E Leach (263).

J Donadio (246), on the other hand, seems to have completely lost control of his own family, getting stomped by both daughter L Donadio (274) and son Jr Donadio (271), although he salvaged a sliver of his dignity by edging son N Donadio (241).

G Wright (243) smacked around her husband, B Wright (242), for the third straight year, but at least this year B Wright got within 67 points of his spouse.

It has been awhile since all three of the Alliterative Acchiones have graced our contest with their simultaneous presence. This year, the Easter bragging rights go to Bud Acchione (290) by a comfortable margin over Bill Acchione (265) and Butch Acchione (224). In the Kornfeld family, R Kornfeld (244) can sleep easier knowing he once again punished brother D Kornfeld (215) and eked by daughter's boyfriend J Hoffman (242).

Among those admitting to a DBR affiliation, Kedsy (304) and ACCBballFan (271) topped Superdave (257) and gam7 (256).

And, as usual, several contestants chose to beat themselves: M Paston 2 (257) edged M Paston 1 (253); R Wanger 1 (272) shoved past R Wanger 2 (264); and Brenner (242) lost to both B Brenner (243) and Brett Steven B (249).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

T-T-Tag Team Tallies

A lot of close races this year, starting with our annual Tag Team competition, which is currently in a dead heat. Whiteside and his Detractors average an outstanding 272.0 points, but so does a new group, Members of DBR (272.0). Trailing the co-leaders are the Ripley Believe-it-or-nots (261.0), just ahead of the Donadios (258.0). Last year's shocking winner, the Leach Gang (250.20) has begun to descend toward its natural position, although at the moment the Gang currently leads the D'Zuro Group (249.83) and the Urban Engineers (249.67), both by less than a point. Secure in the cellar, 16+ points behind even the Leaches, is the Kornfeld Confab, averaging an embarrassing 233.67 points.

EDIT: We apologize to the Alliterative Acchiones (259.67) for forgetting to add their team score in the above paragraph. The Acchiones themselves will have to apologize for finishing less than ten points ahead of the Leaches.

We'd offer to apologize for also forgetting to include the Big Mc's (245.33), but with their score, we assume they'd rather thank us.

Males (256.97) are skating just three and a half points ahead of females (253.47), despite the ladies occupying two of the top three spots in the standings. Humans (256.34) have scratched and clawed their way above Felines (256.0) by a mere third of a point while Lawyers (248.20) and Spiny Anteaters (240.0) trail both. Bureaucratic corporate departments (181.0) probably don't even deserve to be part of this discussion.

In the name game, Andrew (272.0) and Chris (272.0) are tied for tops, just ahead of Ed (269.0) and Randy (268.0). If you're thinking of naming your next child Al (261.50), David (261.40), Mike (261.0), Nick (260.0), Luke (260.0), John (259.80), Rick (259.0), or Kevin (258.50), just go ahead and flip a coin. When it comes to picking pools, they're all more or less equivalent (eight names within 3 points of each other). If you're contemplating naming your future offspring George (252.0), Bob (247.60), Brett (244.67), Fred (243.0), Colin (239.0), or Matt (238.0), we recommend birth control.

When it comes to favorite colleges, our top four performances all came from schools who entirely missed the NCAA Tournament: Washington (286.0), Duquesne (279.0), Pittsburgh (277.50), and Delaware (277.0). Arch-rivals North Carolina (268.0) and Duke (267.88) are separated by an eyelash, while ACC would-be-rival Maryland (265.7) is carrying their bags. Indiana (273.0) rules the Big 10 over Penn State (256.25), Northwestern (242.0), and Michigan (210.0), while Pitt (277.50) leads the Big East over Villanova (259.50), UConn (253.0), and Syracuse (216.0). Only three of the Philadelphia Big Five are represented, and this year's trophy goes to Temple (262.22) over Villanova (259.50) and Penn (252.50). Drexel (255.0), who really wants to be in the Big Five but realistically never will be, can still compete. Among Division III schools, Widener (268.0) controls the landscape over Johns Hopkins (247.0) and Carnegie Mellon (168.0). We have no Kentucky fans in our contest, but the other members of last year's Final Four -- UConn (253.0), Butler (243.0), and VCU (239.5) -- all showed why they're not back again this season.

When it comes to gambling acumen, Washington DC (272.0) may not be a state, but other than Louisiana (282.0), it's the best we got. Maryland (261.33) and California (259.33) are slightly better than Pennsylvania (257.34), and a lot better than New Jersey (252.0), Florida (251.0), and Illinois (248.0). Next year, if you feel the urge to fill in a pool from New York (245.67), Michigan (244.0), or Virginia (242.80), we recommend you ignore it. And if you live in Delaware (209.0), you might as well just mail your check now.

Among Pennsylvanians, both Philadelphia (232.25) and Pittsburgh (266.67) have to bow down to the "Alabama inbetween" (274.0). Philadelphia's PA suburbs (256.97) have edged ahead of the NJ suburbs (256.0). Around the nation, the Far West (259.33) has a better angle than the Deep South (257.20), while the DMV (248.30) has boasting rights over the Midwest (246.0). Apparently there's little difference between Africa (240.0), New York City (239.50), and the Afterlife (236.0).

Computer professionals (277.33) and Writers (275.0) seem to know what they're doing. Accountants (266.0) can jiggle the numbers a little better than Engineers (258.57) and those in the Financial industries (248.67). Teachers (279.0) should command the respect of Students (248.13), but we all know better, don't we? People who think they know things, like Executives (252.0) and Attorneys (248.20), probably ought to consider Retirement (257.75).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

All Four

Kentucky (chosen by 81 entrants) and Kansas (37) rounded out the Final Four today, joining Ohio State (23) and Louisville (nobody), and moving Harlan (316 points) into the lead. D Kedson (304) and Steinhardt (301) linger behind the leader, followed by Bud Acchione (290), J Whiteside (287), Coach Doc, Huffnagle, and Patashnik (all three with 286).

Only two contestants (Harlan and K Sullivan) accurately predicted three of the Final Four. Forty six entrants picked a paltry two of the Four, 43 selected a single correct Final Four team, and five entrants managed not to guess any correctly, despite the Final Four containing three of the top eight seeded teams. For the record, the names of those five entrants are: D Kornfeld, B Peloso, Quint, M Josephs, and Spitz.

About the only thing uglier than Spitz's performance was Baylor's uniforms, as the otherwise savvy architect combined her Final Four goose egg with only two accurate Elite Eight selections to tally only 168 points and drop behind HR (181) into last place, a status not likely to be improved by Spitz's choice of North Carolina as her national champion.

Full standings (along with everyone's choice for national champion) may be seen from the link on the right hand side of the page. In the next few days we'll be posting Tag Team totals and grudge match results, and hopefully also this year's All Name Team selections.

Friday, March 23, 2012


No state had ever gotten four teams to the Sweet 16. Until this year, when Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier, and Ohio U made it. No #13 seed had ever advanced to the Elite Eight. Until... well, that one's going to have to wait, after #13 Ohio University fell to sort-of-mighty North Carolina in overtime. Baylor and Kansas also had tough times beating double-digit seeds (Baylor over #10 Xavier by 5; Kansas over #11 NC State by 3), but in the end the higher seeds all won tonight, making our contestants look much better than they deserve.

Fifteen entrants got six right out of the Elite Eight, 45 fielded five on the high side, 23 managed four correct, and 11 contestants guessed just three. The two entrants at the bottom of the standings, HR (last place with 161 points) and Spitz (168) figured out a mere two Elite Eight teams in an accurate manner.

D Kedson remains on top, with 264 points, still followed by M Peloso (262), Steinhardt (261), and Harlan (256). D Kedson (Kentucky, Duke, Baylor, Ohio State) and Steinhardt (Kentucky, Michigan State, Kansas, UNC) will get a minimum of one and a maximum of two Final Four teams, while M Peloso (Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Syracuse) and Harlan (Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State, and Michigan State) can range anywhere from zero to three Final Four teams, perhaps leaving the door open for someone like J Whiteside (247 points; Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse), Huffnagle (246 points; Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State, Syracuse), or Coach Doc (246 points and all four of Kansas, Kentucky, UNC, and Syracuse alive) to surge into the lead.

We won't have to wait long to find out.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Half of Eight

First night of Sweet 16 activity, and it's Syracuse (chosen by 90 of us to reach the Elite Eight) by one measly point over Wisconsin, along with Ohio State (61), Florida (12), and Louisville (9).

Ten of us got three of the four: R Wanger 2, Kovolski, Crotts, Leace, Patashnik, M Kline, M Peloso, Mahalko, Pogach, and D Kedson. Updated standings (which may be found through the link on the right hand side of the page) show D Kedson temporarily in first place, with 234 points, followed by M Peloso (232), Steinhardt (231), and Harlan (226).

Of course it doesn't mean much until the rest of the Elite Eight is revealed, tomorrow night. Kentucky (selected by 90), Kansas (78), and UNC (78) are the favorites, although we doubt too many contestants counted on Kendall Marshall breaking his wrist. Baylor (26) and Indiana (6: Brenner, J Broder, T Joseph, Selarnick, Spitz, Brett Steven B) have at least some support. NC State (M Kline), Ohio (nobody), and Xavier (nobody) have exactly one (1) vote combined.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Not surprisingly, our Final Four predictions more or less mirror our Elite Eight choices. In this case, only three entrants picked Final Four teams that didn't make the field. And two of those three choices (Seton Hall, picked by HR, and Northwestern, taken by Brenner) aren't playing anywhere anymore. Day should feel proud that his choice, Washington, is at least still alive in the NIT.

Seven teams taken by at least one contestant to make the Final Four didn't even make the final 32: Missouri (selected by 30), Duke (29), Indiana (2), Notre Dame (1), Wichita State (1), UConn (1), and Michigan (1). Another three teams (Georgetown (2), Iowa State (2), and Florida State (2)) dropped by the wayside in the second round.

Overall, 34 of us still have all four Final Four teams standing; 54 of us still have three. Eight edgy entrants are holding tight to a mere two Final Four teams: Pogach, B Peloso, Joe Mc, Butch Acchione, Pangolin Palace, Atkinson, HR, and D Kornfeld.

Full Final Four breakdown may be perused here.

Eight track

Let's start off by saying five (5) entrants chose Elite Eight teams that didn't even make the tournament. And we are delighted to name them: Spitz decided on Drexel, Day wished for Washington, Packman picked Minnesota, and Brenner brainstormed for Northwestern. In a performance for the ages, HR selected Drexel, Seton Hall, and Pittsburgh (a team who went 5-13 in the Big East). Wow. Just wow, right?

Another ten teams who one or more of our contestants selected to make the Elite Eight dropped out after the first round: Duke (chosen by 66), Missouri (64), Wichita State (10), Michigan (8), Temple (5), Notre Dame (4), UNLV (3), UConn (2), St. Mary's (2), and San Diego State (1). Seven more teams we liked went down before the end of the first weekend: Georgetown (12), Murray State (6), Florida State (5), Vanderbilt (3), Gonzaga (1), Kansas State (1), and Iowa State (1).

Despite all that, 22 poolsters still have seven Elite Eight teams remaining; 49 have six left; and 21 have five. Three unfortunates are sitting with a paltry four (4) Elite Eight teams that are still alive: D Baum, co-commissioner M Josephs, and perennial bottom feeder Mad Leach, who this year is actually ahead of seven other contestants (at least for now). HR, of course, is one of them, currently in dead last place, with little hope of making a comeback thanks to a lousy two (2) Elite Eight teams left. If you're looking for the next big upsets, those two teams are Syracuse and Kansas.

Full breakdown of our Final Eight choices may be found here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

We're back

Sorry about our weekend absence. The tournament's heading into the Sweet 16 now, and this is generally the round where clever entrants charge through the ranks on the backs of their astute wild card selections... Oh, wait, we're talking about our entrants. In what may be a record (although we're too lazy to check; it certainly ties a record), a grand total of zero (0) contestants had a wild card that reached the Sweet 16. That's zero, zilch, nada, the big oh. Nobody.

Six wild card selections did manage to reach the round of 32 and thus garnered a critical (albeit single) point for those savvy enough to select them:

Vanderbilt (Barone, Butscher, Fitch, S Leach, C Whiteside)
Iowa State (B Brenner, T Joseph, Leace, Yolles)
Kansas State (C Brown, HR, Brett Steven B)
Gonzaga (Alberts, Pogach, Slayen)
St. Louis (Paston 1, Warner)
Purdue (BRENNER)

Congratulations, all. If you win by 1 point, you have your wild card selection to thank.

Updated standings may be found using the link on the right hand side of the page. Tomorrow, we'll give a full Final Eight and Final Four analysis.

Friday, March 16, 2012


To think, just yesterday we complained that there hadn't been enough upsets. Well, today seven double-digit seeds advanced, bringing the tournament total up to nine, including two #2 seeds, Missouri and Duke, failing to make the 2nd round, something that hadn't happened to even one #2 seed since before D Kornfeld last picked a valid wild card (2001, to be precise).

Strangely, other than Missouri losing to Norfolk State, eight of the nine upsets happened in two regions: the South, where #10 Xavier, #11 Colorado, #12 VCU, and #15 Lehigh advanced; and the Midwest, where #10 Purdue, #11 NC State, #12 South Florida, and #13 Ohio all moved forward.

Lots of entries suffered big damage today, but this particular Duke fan commissioner is too tired and too depressed to analyze it now. We'll try to get to it tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Twelve and a half hours of first round action and all we get is two lousy upsets? At least one of them rocked the pool, though, as our overwhelming favorite for wild card, Wichita State, went down to VCU. So when it comes to wild card points, the 30 of us who took the Shockers now get nothing and like it. In addition, ten of us incorrectly took Wichita into the Elite Eight.

Connecticut (picked by Crotty and Huffnagle as wild card, by J Hoffman and Rybaltowski into the Elite Eight, and by J Hoffman into the Final Four) also failed to survive the first day. The only other losses that meant anything to our contestants were UNLV (picked by M Josephs, M Leach, and B Wright into the Elite Eight), Long Beach State (chosen by M Josephs and Templeton as wild card), and Southern Mississippi, which was D Kornfeld's first legal wild card selection since 2003. Ah well, we suppose legality isn't everything.

In real life, Colorado won its first NCAA tournament game in 15 years and VCU won it's third first round game in six years, seeded 11 or lower all three times.

Actually, for VCU it's more amazing than that. In the past six years, they've made the tournament four times, seeded 11 three times and 12 this year. From those lowly seeds, their record so far in the four tournaments is 7-3, with the three losses being a 1 point loss to UCLA, an overtime loss to Pitt, and a loss in the Final Four. Next up for the Rams: #4 seed Indiana on Saturday night.

The most exciting moment of the day was watching UNC Ashville come within a few egregious calls of accomplishing something no 16 seed ever has -- finding truTV in their local cable lineup. The most terrifying moment of the day was when Baylor took the court in their truly heinous day-glo green uniforms. Oh, also, don't sell your hair to a wig shop.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


A lot of entrants out there are undoubtedly saying to themselves, "I may be in 53rd place now, but just wait until I get my Elite Eight and Final Four points!" Although unless those entrants are all Kovolski (who is actually in 53rd place) most of them probably need a remedial counting course.

An even bigger issue for some contestants is their unfortunate decision to pick a whole bunch of Elite Eight or Final Four teams from a single region. Brett Steven B, for example, chose five (5) teams from the South region (Baylor, Duke, Indiana, Iowa State, and Kentucky), meaning at least three of his choices aren't getting him any points.

Eight other entrants went with four (4) Elite Eight teams from the same region. For example, Babenzien and B Peloso both liked Baylor, Duke, Notre Dame, and Kentucky in the South. Also in the South, J Broder has Kentucky, Indiana, Wichita State, and Baylor, and Pangolin Palace preferred Duke, Kentucky, Baylor, and Wichita State. Baum selected Temple, Georgetown, Kansas, and UNC in the Midwest, while Haklar chose Michigan State, Missouri, Louisville, and Florida in the West. Baumgarten picked a pattern of Western M's: Michigan State, Murray State, Missouri, and Marquette. And another Western M, Mahalko wins the prize for choosing fully half his Elite Eight from the same sub-region, going with Missouri, Marquette, Murray State, and Florida.

Another eight entrants have three teams in each of two regions: Selig (South and Midwest); C Brown (South and Midwest); D Kedson (South and East); K Sullivan (South and West); L Donadio (South and West); P Leach (Midwest and West); S Leach (Midwest and West); and T Joseph (South and Midwest). Including those eight, 61 contestants have three teams packed into one regional, while the remaining 26 entrants have perfect proportions (or at least that's what they say on their Facebook pages).

Perhaps even worse than the above, four crafty contestants managed to cram three of their Final Four teams into one region. B Brenner, C Brown, and D Kedson all called on Kentucky, Duke, and Baylor in the South. Haklar placed her faith in Michigan State, Missouri, and Florida in the West.

Nine savvy poolsters avoided that pitfall, but still managed to choose two Final Four teams from each of two regions and zero from the other two: Selig (East and South, noteworthy because his triple-Elite Eight picks were South and Midwest, meaning he somehow avoided picking anybody in the West region for anything); B Peloso (West and South); B Wright (East and South); Bud Acchione (West and South); Fitch (West and South); Speakes (East and South); George B (East and South); R Wanger (East and Midwest); and R Simon (East and South). Including those nine, 68 entrants have two Final Four teams in one region, while 24 contestants correctly corralled one from each region.

We'll divulge our complete analysis of the Elite Eight and Final Four later in the week.

In game action, the play-in games are over, and it's a shame nobody watched. On Tuesday, Western Kentucky, the only team in this year's field with a losing record, rallied from 16 down to stun Mississippi State, and BYU pulled an even bigger stunner, overcoming a 25 point deficit to beat Iona in the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history. This evening, relative underdogs Vermont and South Florida put the beatdown on Lamar and California, respectively.

While most people are somewhat indifferent to the above information, we'd like to dish out a big "bummer" to two contestants whose wild cards didn't even make the official bracket: George B, who picked Cal as his wild card, and K Sullivan who picked Iona.

The main event begins in about 11 hours. We'll be in front of a TV and hope you are too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mind meld

Well, our contestants appear to have been in lock step with the Selection Committee, although we're not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Our four most popular Champions are the four #1 seeds: Kentucky (34); Syracuse (20); Michigan State (9); and North Carolina (8). Our next four most popular Champions are the four #2 seeds: Kansas (7); Missouri (5: Haklar, Pogach, Joe Mc, K Ripley, Rybaltowski); Duke (5: C Brown, Claude, Jr. Donadio, G Meyer, K Sullivan); and Ohio State (4: Butch Acchione, George B, D Kedson, Selarnik). The only other champions chosen were #3 Baylor (3: Booth, B Brenner, D Kornfeld) and #4 Wisconsin (L Schlegel).

One thing we'd like to mention, however, is that our contestants have been correct about the national champion exactly five (5) times in 22 years (that would be a 22.7% success rate). So we wouldn't feel so good if we were Kentucky right now. Or anybody else, for that matter.

Wild is a state of mind

We've already written about our three rulebreaking entrants, who chose illegal, immoral, and otherwise naughty wild cards. So there's really no need to drag Blatt, Babenzien, and current leader Steinhardt out of their tar-and-feather coated five-by-eight cells and parade them naked in front of a jeering crowd again, is there? Honestly, is there? Well, since when does "need" have anything to do with it?

We bring this up primarily as a brief introduction before we bring a second group into the limelight. That group being the ten (10) contestants who chose wild cards that didn't even make the field. Yes, that's right, over 13.5% of our entrants have guaranteed themselves zero (0) wild card points before the Tournament even starts. Pretty impressive, right?

To be fair to Day, Doherty, L Schlegel, B Wright (all of whom selected Drexel), J Hoffman (Northwestern), Joe Mc (Seton Hall), Spitz (Valparaiso), Patashnik (Washington), Speakes (Cleveland State), and Quint (Arizona), every single one of them would be sitting pretty if this was a pre-NIT contest. So they have that going for them.

We'll breakdown our contestant's consensus choice of champions later today.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Get ready, get set...

The field has been selected. The first $100 has been awarded. And the winner of that C Note is... Steinhardt, with 211 points. Lagging in Steinhardt's wake are Harlan (206), D Baum (204), D Kedson (204), and M Peloso (202).

We'll have more analysis as the week unfolds. First play-in games are just two days away. Full standings may be found through the link on the right hand side of the page.

Vive le tournement, tres bien viola...

(that's Fake French, for all you linguists out there, or as we like to call it, Faux Francais).

Topsy Turvy World

Vanderbilt in the SEC. Florida State in the ACC. St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10. But at least there's one constant in this topsy turvy world, and that's the immutable fact that our entrants couldn't pick any of them.

Congratulations to D Baum, S Leach, and Rybaltowski (Vanderbilt) and Pogach and Steinhardt (Florida State) for closing their eyes and randomly choosing the winning teams. Nobody managed to do even that for St. Bonaventure.

On the strength of her Florida State selection, Steinhardt has charged into the lead, with 104 points. D Kedson (102), Harlan (98), M Peloso (98), and C Brown (96) are breathing down the leader's neck.

Just one more conference final and the real fun begins. For what it's worth, Steinhardt, M Peloso, and C Brown have Michigan State, while D Kedson and Harlan have Ohio State.

Full updated standings can be seen from clicking the link on the right hand side of the page.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


The University of Colorado competed in 35 Big 8/Big 12 tournaments in school history. You know how many they won? We're talking goose egg, zilch, the big nada. They've now competed in precisely one (1) Pac 12 tourney and, you guessed it, they came out on top. Well, let us rephrase that. If you're playing in our contest, you didn't guess it at all. Exactly nobody in our contest picked the Buffaloes to win the Pac 12. Which quite frankly doesn't distinguish them that much from most other conference tournament winners. So far 26 automatic bids have been decided, and a majority of us chose the winner in only 11 (42.3%).

Since our last blog entry on this topic, the majority has ruled in four conferences -- the MEAC (Norfolk State, chosen by 51); Conference USA (Memphis, 72); the SWAC (Mississippi Valley State, 92); and the Big West (Long Beach State, 91). The majority was fooled in another seven conferences -- the Big 12 (Missouri, 33); America East (Vermont, 31); the MAC (Ohio, 27); the WCAC (New Mexico, 19); the Southland (Lamar, chosen by 3: Baumgarten, C Brown, B Wright); the Big East (Louisville, selected by 3: Fitch, D Kedson, Steinhardt); and the Big 12 (the aforementioned Colorado Buffaloes, picked by nobody).

It's not going to get any better in the last five tournaments, either. Tonight, in the WAC, New Mexico State (only picked by 19) faces off against Louisiana Tech (0). Tomorrow, it's Xavier (8: M Barone, Brenner, B Brenner, Brett Steven B, M Josephs, Pogach, Rybaltowski, and Steinhardt) vs. St. Bonaventure (0) in the Atlantic 10; North Carolina (46) against Florida State (2: Pogach, Steinhardt) in the ACC; Ohio State (40) v. Michigan State (49) in the Big 10; and Kentucky (89) against Vanderbilt (3: D Baum, S Leach, Rybaltowski) in the SEC. So, at most two of the five remaining champions will have been picked by a majority of us, meaning the best case scenario is we'll get it right in 13 of 31, or 41.9% of the conferences, and our worst case this year is 11 of 31 (35.5%). Which, mind-boggling as it may be, would actually be better than last year, when the majority of us were correct in only 10 of 31 (32.3%)

So, nice job, folks.

M Peloso (92 points) is still our leader, clinging to a one (1) point lead over Steinhardt (91) and D Kedson (91). Huffnagle (89), Harlan (87), Alberts (85), and C Brown (85) are all hanging around too.

Pogach (48) has pulled out of the cellar and now leads Slayen (42), although Pogach is still 9 points behind M Leach, N Donadio, and Brenner (all with 57) in the race for 3rd-to-last place.

Selection Sunday tomorrow -- stay tuned.

Friday, March 9, 2012

We're wrong again

Add the Big East and Big 12 to the growing number of conferences our contestants have gotten wrong. Big East favorite Syracuse (picked by 75) took a fall to Cincinnati (picked by nada), and Big 12 maven Kansas (selected by 54) dropped one to Baylor (chosen by 9).

But what do you expect from a conference that doesn't even know how to count it's own membership properly? First, the Math Gods strike down the Atlantic 10 leader, now the Big 12. All we can say is Michigan State better watch out in tomorrow's Big 10 semifinal.

Temple of Doom

So far this year, 15 conferences have decided their champions. Of those, a majority of our contestants have correctly chosen seven (7) of them -- Murray State (chosen by 95), Davidson (90), Harvard (90), Belmont (85), UNC Ashville (82), St. Mary's (56), and LIU (50). If you're calculating at home, that's a rousing 46.7% success rate, not quite as good as flipping a coin. The eight conferences so far that have mystified us are: Montana (40), VCU (40), South Dakota State (28), Creighton (18), Lehigh (17), Loyola-Maryland (15), Detroit (3), and Western Kentucky (0).

The Atlantic 10 doesn't decide its champion until Sunday but we can already chalk it up to the mystified side of the ledger, as overwhelming favorite Temple (selected by 69 of us) dropped its first game to UMass (chosen by C Brown, SLayen, and Leace). Also helping to wreck our collective self-esteem was Texas Arlington (picked by 88 out of our 96 entrants), who took a 20 point beating at the hands of McNeese State (guessed by Leace, Booth, Bud Acchione, R Kornfeld, and Rybaltowski).

In other Thursday night action, Washington (chosen by 36) went down in the PAC-12, and Delaware State (selected by P Leach, M Josephs, Jr. Donadio, and Alberts) made an early exit in the MEAC.

A full day is currently in swing. We'll report back later tonight with more.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Keep on keeping on

Since our last post, seven more teams have punched their ticket, but only two of them were picked by a majority of our entrants. Lehigh (chosen by 17 of us) snagged the Patriot League automatic bid with a big victory over Bucknell (chosen by 73). In Big Sky country, Montana (40) played at home and clobbered Weber State (56). Detroit (picked only by M Josephs, Leace, and Rybaltowski) sneaked by Valparaiso (50) in the Horizon. South Dakota State (28) edged Western Illinois (0) in overtime in the Summit. And in a battle of zero heroes, Western Kentucky (0) nicked North Texas (0) in the Sun Belt.

The only conference titles we got right were the NEC, where LIU (50) beat Robert Morris (just 3, Kovolski, M Leach, and McKillip), and the Ivy, where Harvard (90) backed into the title because Penn (chosen by 5: M Josephs, Kovolski, E Leach, L Schlegel, and Pogach, who added to his already brave and impressive collection of selected also-rans) lost to arch-rival Princeton.

In other conference tournament news, Savannah State (chosen by 40 of us) lost to Hampton (chosen by none of us) in the MEAC quarterfinals. UConn (picked by 72 at-large) won their 2nd consecutive game in the Big East tournament, beating West Virginia, and now the Huskies only have another 148 games to go to win the Big East title (really only three more, just like last year). In other Big East action, Seton Hall (picked by 75 at-large) lost to Louisville, and South Florida (36) beat Villanova.

Updated standings may be found from the link on the right hand side of this page. M Peloso is now alone in first place, with 63 points, followed by Huffnagle (58) and three tied with 53 (P Leach, D Kedson, M Paston 2). Gutsy Pogach (24) is alone in last place.

No more automatic bids decided until Saturday, when 13 conference championships are on the line. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wild and Lawless

The consensus wild card in this year's contest is Wichita State (selected by 30 of us). When informed of this high honor, the Shockers went right out and proudly dropped their conference tournament semifinal game with unheralded Illinois State.

Temple (16) and Notre Dame (9) are also well liked in wild card circles, but after that it's just a morass, with 41 entrants choosing 24 teams, as follows:

Chosen by 5: Vanderbilt
Chosen by 4: Drexel, Iowa State
Chosen by 3: Gonzaga, Kansas State
Chosen by 2: UConn, Long Beach, St. Louis
Chosen by a single, solitary, not-afraid-to-stand-out contestant: Alabama, Arizona, Belmont, California, Cleveland State, Iona, Memphis, Northwestern, Purdue, Seton Hall, Southern Mississippi, Washington, and Valparaiso

The savvy among you probably tallied the above and cleverly noted that it only adds up to 38 entrants and 21 teams. Where are the remaining three, you ask?

In pool prison, of course. Every year a slew of sly scofflaws strive to slither out of satisfying the rules. And just as regularly, the ever-vigilant commissioners delight in catching the cagey criminals.

This year, co-leader Steinhardt chose illegal Louisville (ranked #24 in the AP top 25 linked from the entry form). Blatt perhaps thought we might not notice if he took #17 Creighton. And the annual award for the most brazen disregard for our simple and straightforward rules goes to Babenzien, who tried to sneak #4 Missouri past us. Your efforts have been thwarted, sir!

We have one final note related to wild cards. Over the past couple of decades there have been those who have accused the commissioners of being nattering nabobs of negativism, who only report mistakes and errors. This reputation wounds us, truly, so much so that this year we've decided to take a moment to stretch out our hands and deliver an encouraging pat on the back. To D Kornfeld who, we are absolutely thrilled to announce, made a completely legitimate, 100% legal, and in all other ways stellar wild card selection. For the first time since 2003. Well done, D Kornfeld. Well done, indeed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dance Cards

We're up to 8 conference champions, which means we have standings. We currently have a four way tie for first, with M Peloso, Steinhardt, Templeton, and B Wright sharing the top spot with 38 points. Just behind the leaders are Day (36), Mahalko (35), Packman (35), and Bland (34). The good news for the rest of us? Steinhardt picked an illegal wild card (Louisville -- more on that story tomorrow).

In the Atlantic Sun conference, Belmont won, to the surprise of few, since 85 of our 96 entrants chose them to win. Ten of us foolishly went with Mercer (G Wright, Speakes, Butch Acchione, N Donadio, J Hoffman, HR, M Kline, S Leach, Patashnik, Slayen) and one lonely contestant chose USC Upstate (Pogach).

In the Colonial, VCU (chosen by 40) topped Drexel (51). In addition to disappointed Dragon supporters, four people plugged George Mason (M McAtee, Pogach, Quint, Slayen), and one entrant chose Old Dominion (Coach Doc),

Big South favorite UNC Ashville (82) lived up to its billing, although 13 individuals erroneously rooted for Coastal Carolina and one misguided soul selected Charleston Southern (Pogach). MAAC heavyweight Iona (72), on the other hand, couldn't seal the deal, leaving the MAAC to Loyola, Md (chosen by 15), who beat Fairfield (picked by M Josephs and S Leach) in the conference final earlier tonight. The remaining 6 MAAC votes went to Manhattan (Bud Acchione, Brenner, B Brenner, Pogach, Simon, and Brett Steven B).

In a shocker, MVC top dog Wichita State (77) succumbed yesterday to Illinois State (picked by nobody), who in turn dropped their game to Creighton (18) in overtime. S Leach liked Northern Iowa, for reasons best left unstated. In the OVC, everybody's team Murray State (95) delivered. Although apparently Booth wanted Morehead. Southern Conference hotshot Davidson (90) prevailed over Western Carolina (0), in double OT. Much to the chagrin of R Kornfeld and M Leach(UNCG), Booth and C Brown (Elon), Leace (Georgia Southern), and Pogach (Charleston).

In another overtime thriller, St. Mary's (56) took the WCC over Gonzaga (37), while three entrants wondered why they chose BYU (Atkinson, M McAtee, J Whiteside).

We're not ready to talk about individual's selections, but just reading the above we want to send out happy vibes to Pogach, who went out on a limb for George Mason (picked by 4), Manhattan (6), Charleston (nobody else), Charleston Southern (ditto), and USC Upstate (see the trend here?), and hit on none of them. More on that story later in the week, but if you're looking to place a bet, Pogach's champion is Missouri.

Six more conferences are down to their league finals: In the Summit, it's South Dakota State (28) vs. Western Illinois (0), while favorite Oral Roberts (68) wants Morehead. The Sun Belt features two directional schools (North Texas and Western Kentucky) picked by absolutely nobody we know. The America East conference pits Stonybrook (61) against Vermont (31). In the Horizon League, Valparaiso (50) faces Detroit (3 -- M Josephs, Leace, Rybaltowski), and in the Northeast Conference, LIU (50) tries to stare down Robert Morris (3 -- Kovolski, M Leach, McKillip). Finally, we'll see Bucknell (73) against Lehigh (17) in the Patriot League.

We'll be back tomorrow with more fun. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Blood

It wasn't even March before 13 unfortunate individuals lost their Big South champion, as Coastal Carolina went down to VMI. Guess you guys (and we'd be happy to name you: Babenzien, Crotty, N Donadio, Eberly, HR, A Leace, S Leach, Joe Mc, Rybaltowski, R Simon, Slayen, B Whiteside, Yolles) are playing catchup now...

Also having the ignominious honor of having their March Madness end in February were High Point, Campbell, Liberty, Jacksonville, Lipscomb, Holy Cross, Navy, Army, Colgate, Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay, and Santa Clara. But none of our entrants fell into the trap of picking any of them.

Other games with bubble implications: Poor Northwestern (chosen at-large by 50 of us) lost by 2 to Ohio State, St. Joe's (chosen by 19) lost in double OT to St. Bonaventure, and Miami (58) lost by 4 to fellow ACC bubble team NC State (27). South Florida (37) beat Louisville, and Cincinnati (80) beat Marquette.

And now March really starts.