Sunday, February 24, 2013

Helpful Hints

Back in the day, when the Entry Form was made of paper, the Commissioners used to delight in pointing out our entrants' mistakes (in our periodic newsletters*). Every time some hapless contestant only chose two Final Four teams or picked Illinois three times or chose Southwest Missouri State** to both win their conference and make the field at-large, we'd point it out and laugh and laugh. And don't even get us started on creative pool-related spelling (Perdue, anyone?).

Then we came up with the bright idea to do everything electronically. The new-fangled Entry Form makes it easier for everyone, but it does seemingly give us fewer opportunities to harp on the inadequacies of our entrants, much to the chagrin of many. Sure, we can't stop a participant from picking Quinnipiac***, but most silly errors are caught by the form. No longer can a contestant misspell their favorite team or select a team multiple times or choose the wrong number of Elite Eight squads. It's almost boring.

But there are still a couple of pitfalls our contestants can potentially run into. For example, every single year at least a couple of contestants decide to choose a Wild Card that is listed in the AP Top 25 linked on the Entry Form. Either they forget the rule completely or they use a more current Top 25, an act which clearly does not comport with the Official Rules. So if you're filling out the Entry Form sometime between now and the due date of Thursday, February 28, 2013, remember to use the AP Top 25 from 2/11/2013, NOT the current Top 25.

Another potential sticky wicket is when entrants have their hearts set on choosing a team that is ineligible to compete in the NCAA tournament. This season, for example, the new rule requiring a minimum Academic Progress Rate has knocked several schools from competing in the Tournament, including Connecticut. While you are certainly free to select such teams on your Entry Form, our advice is to refrain from such conduct.

So don't say we never did anything for you.****


* -- also published on el papel, unlike this nifty blog

** -- Now saddled with the much less amusing moniker of Missouri State.

*** -- Nor, of course, would we want to.

**** -- OK, go ahead and say it. Obviously we're only pointing this stuff out so when some entrants inevitably do these things anyway, we can doubly embarrass them by linking back to this blog entry. We need something to write about over the next six weeks, don't we?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Here we go

It has been a quarter of a century since the world was without our Pre-NCAA contest. And we'd hate to go back to the eighties, wouldn't we? Remember those hairstyles?

Well, we'll do our part: The TWENTY FOURTH annual Pre-NCAA Contest is ready to roll.

Here's the entry form.

Here are the rules.

So make a splash -- jump on into the Pool.