Sunday, April 1, 2018

Rivalry Roundup

We have a president who appears to want to drag the country back to the 1950s, so perhaps it's appropriate that the theme for this year's rivalry report is Father Knows Best.

We have a bunch of parent/offspring matchups this year, and in almost every one Daddy administered a spanking. In no particular order, D Josephs (252) reddened commissioner M Josephs's fanny (188), by 64 points; J Donadio (262) gave similar treatment to L Donadio (37 points now, but 77 points if Villanova wins); R Schlegel (259) gave it to L Schlegel (220) by 39 points (though the youngin' might eke out a 1-point win if Villanova takes the crown tomorrow); J McAtee (218) whooped M McAtee's behind (185), by 33; and Leach Gang patriarch Ed Leach (245) not only smacked around his son, P Leach (222), but also his grandchildren (Sam Leach (219); Mad Leach (191); and Elle Leach (241)), his favorite TV show (Mash Leach (191), and even the family dog (Leo Leach (185)). For his part, P Leach (222) participated in the dad-fest, disproving both daughter Mad Leach's (191) proclamation that she would "beat [her] dad," and daughter Sam Leach's (219) claim that she's "the best" in the Leach delegation.

Two fathers showed favorites, as R Wanger (242) took the belt to his daugher (K Ripley (216)) but failed to discipline his son (M Wanger (254)), and C Whiteside (227) went the other way, giving the business end of a birch whip to his son (J Whiteside (209)) but letting his daughter off the proverbial hook (B Whiteside (260)).

In our various sibling rivalries, Sam Leach (219) bested Mad Leach (191); M Wanger (254) vanquished K Ripley (216); and B Whiteside (260) added injury to insult by claiming "Jack stinks" and then trouncing her twin brother (J Whiteside (209)) by 51 points.

Only a few cases of spousal abuse this year, as D'Zuro (253) beat wife K Sullivan (233); P Ripley (228) got the better of wife K Ripley (216); and M Peloso (243 + Villanova) smacked around hubby B Peloso (240).

Among the deep annual grudges we indulge, K Ripley (216) declared her sole purpose was to beat her husband, brother, and dad, but as reported above she did none of those things. B Peloso (240) took bragging rights from K Sullivan (233). And Booth (193) didn't even make it a contest against C Whiteside (227).

Baumgarten (234 and 227), Templeton (220 and 186), and Biebel (256, 228, 226, and 218) all took turns beating themselves. We're not privy to the details of the relationship between Marshall (221) and Burch (221), but the two ended up in a tie.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tag, you're it

We've had a topsy-turvy tournament. A 16-seed beat a #1, the South Regional final was between a #9 and a #11, and brackets everywhere were busted in what seemed about 45 seconds. But what better indicator of these past few upside-down weeks than the fact that in our contest, lawyers (229.88) outscored humans (223.10)? Dogs (185.00) whimpered away with their tails between their legs, and the vision of members of the afterlife (180.00) is apparently more clouded than it looks on TV.

Of course, all is not utter chaos, as evidenced by the annual tradition of females (228.33) trouncing males (221.00) once again. In perhaps the closest competition of the year, children (223.57) squeaked by supposed adults (223.04). In a bigger rout than either of the above, the average pool participant (222.03) clobbered the average contest commissioner (208.00).

In what we guess is the main event, D'Zuro and Friends (242.25) won the Tag Team competition, beating out Ripley's Believe it or Nots (235.00) and Readers of DBR (233.40). Mired in the middle, Whiteside and his Enemies (222.25) were a little bit better than the Marshall Plan (217.00) and people past-and-presently associated with Urban Engineering (210.40). In a rite as old as the contest itself, the ubiquitous Leach Gang (208.11) hung out at the bottom, this year ahead only of the former residents of 12A (206.67).

If your name is Bob (246.50), you're pretty good at picking pools for the second straight year, and just a little bit better than David (240.00) and Kevin (237.00). Neil (230.50), Mike (222.67), names-beginning-with-"Lu" (222.50), and Rick (219.00) were about average, while if you answer to John/Jon (213.80) or George (208.00), you should probably lie on your name tag. If your name is Matt (201.50), you might want to consider witness protection.

Most of our favorite schools didn't make the tournament, but you can still hold your head high if you like Maryland (244.00), Temple (233.00), or GW (230.50). Penn State (220.25) and VCU (203.00), not so much. Only two teams that got more than a single vote made the tournament, and of those Duke (222.57) outshone Villanova (205.00), though perhaps not in the metric that counted.

Our top occupation, not surprisingly, was "retired" (241.40). Those who fiddle with computers (241.00) apparently crunch numbers better than accountants (234.29) or those in financial management (220.00), and may manipulate language better than attorneys (233.20), as well. What's up with engineers (210.33), we shudder to think. The state of education in this country can be neatly summed up by the fact that one of the teachers (234.67) in this contest spelled his occupation as "Teaher," but the educators still beat out those they "teah" (students: 224.00) fairly handily.

Regionally this year, the further west you go, the better off you are, as the Far West (248.00) beat out the Midwest (234.75), the Northeast (221.78), and the Southeast (202.83). Even locally, the western suburbs of Philadelphia (221.24) bested the city itself (219.00). On a state-by-state basis, Oregon (254.00) was tops, over California (245.00), New Jersey (243.25), Illinois (234.75), Tennessee (221.00), Pennsylvania (220.74), and Virginia (184.50).

Tomorrow, the Rivalry Report. Enjoy tonight's games.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Depending on who wins, here's who wins:


J Donadio: 302
K Biebel 4: 296
Selig: 289

Just out of the money: M Peloso: 283


Paston: 269
C Whiteside: 267
J Donadio: 262

Just out of the money: B Whiteside: 260

IF ANYBODY ELSE WINS (since none of our clever entrants had the foresight to take a chance on Michigan or Loyola):

J Donadio: 262
B Whiteside: 260
R Schlegel: 259

Just out of the money: K Biebel 4: 256

I haven't checked to make sure all of the above are paying entries. If they're not, you know the drill (an unparalleled mixture of glory and embarrassment).

We'll post Tag Teams and Rivals over the weekend.

Sunday, March 25, 2018


Well, Final Four, that is. Two #1s have added a little normalcy to the proceedings. Or, we guess, what constitutes normalcy for this contest. Out of 61 contestants, a total of eleven (11) got two (2) of the Final Four correct (that's 18% getting half right, for those scoring at home): J Donadio, R Schlegel, DiCicco, M Peloso, Selig, M Wanger, Elle Leach, Steinhardt, B Whiteside, Biebel 4, Templeton 2. Sadly, that's more than compensated by the twelve (12) entrants that got none (none) of the Final Four correct: M McAtee, T Cristinzio, Pogach, Booth, Mad Leach, Templeton, Grossman, L Donadio, M Josephs, Serri, Leo Leach, R Simon.

The new leader is J Donadio, with 262 points, followed by B Whiteside (260), R Schlegel (259), and Biebel 4 (256). Over the week, we'll analyze that further, as well as posting the ever-popular Tag Team totals and Rivalry tallies.

Saturday, March 24, 2018


Two teams hit the Final Four today, and only Steinhardt's score changed (she picked Michigan into the Final Four). We're not officially updating the standings until after tomorrow's games, but for now we can say Steinhardt has jumped into 7th place with 224 points. The other 60 people in the contest have the exact same score they did before the games took place.

D'Zuro's magical run on the back of Florida State came to end, but he's still one point out of first and is mathematically eliminated from winning the contest. For what it's worth, Steinhardt also can't win but, like D'Zuro she could come darn close.

Friday, March 23, 2018


The Elite Eight has been decided, including two #1s, a #2, two #3s, two #9s, and a #11. And of our 61 contestants, a grand total of two (2) got as many as half right (Fitch and Steinhardt each got 4 of the Elite Eight). It goes without saying that none of us got more than half right, but we'll go ahead and say it anyway. 34 of us got 3 of 8 right, 22 of us got 2 of 8 right, and three cunning entrants managed a mind-numbing one (1) correct Elite Eight team (Mash Leach, Howard, Booth).

Harlan (234 points) still clings to the tiniest of leads over hard-charging D'Zuro (233), whose wild card Florida State has been very, very good to him. Especially since nobody else's wild card is still playing. D Josephs (232) is also breathing hard down the leaders' necks. Thirteen other entrants are within a Final Four choice of the leader, with Blane (226), L Donadio (225), and E Leach (225) foremost among them.

Howard (161 points) has dropped into the bottom, comfortably behind Mash Leach (176), Sciarabba (177), and J Broder (178).

Full standings may be found on the right-hand side of the page, or here.


Going into the Sweet 16, only 47.5% of our Final Four guesses had any shot to collect points:

Villanova: 38
Purdue: 24
Duke: 24
Kansas: 21
Gonzaga: 4 (J Broder, J McAtee, Reid, K Sullivan)
Texas Tech: 2 (Booth, Sam Leach)
West Virginia: 2 (Mad Leach, Rybaltowski)
Michigan: 1 (Steinhardt)

Now with Gonzaga gone, it's a little less.

At least the above had a chance. The following Final Four selections didn't make it out of the first weekend:

Virginia: 40
Michigan State: 39
Xavier: 14
North Carolina: 12
Wichita State: 7 (M Josephs, M Kleiman, M McAtee, M Pogach, L Schlegel, C Whiteside, J Whiteside)
Arizona: 6 (Booth, M Josephs, D Kedson, Mash Leach, Rybaltowski, Tester)
Auburn: 4 (Howard, B Peloso, Selig, Serri)
Cincinnati: 2 (Mash Leach, M Peloso)
Ohio State: 2 (Leo Leach, Sciarabba)
Rhode Island: 1 (Serri)
Tennessee: 1 (M Pogach)

Going into the Sweet 16, only one entrant (Biebel 4) had all four of his Final Four alive (Duke, Kansas, Purdue, Villanova). Unfortunately for Biebel 4, due to regional overloads that still only adds up to at most two correct Final Four choices. Out of our 61 contestants, just two managed to go into the Sweet 16 with a chance to have three correct Final Four choices (K Sullivan, J Broder), and both of those promptly lost that chance when Gonzaga went down last night.

Still, with this group there's something to be said for getting out of the first weekend relatively unscathed. And in addition to Biebel 4 there were 12 contestants who had more than half their Final Four alive: Mad Leach, K Sullivan, Paston, Reid, Templeton 2, Harlan, Rybaltowski, DiCicco, P Leach, B Whiteside, Biebel, J Broder. Though there's currently nobody in our contest who has a chance to actually get more than half right.

Naturally, there are more contestants who only had one (1) Final Four team alive than there were with more than half. And we will gladly name those 14 entrants who are currently sucking for oxygen: Sciarabba, Baumgarten 2, Baumgarten, Booth, K Ripley, Mash Leach, George B, M Kleiman, J Whiteside, Blane, Biebel 2, T Cristinzio, Serri, M McAtee.

We'll update the standings tonight, after all the Elite Eight has been decided.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Partial score

Hmmm. Four teams won tonight, and those four (4) teams combined to earn points for a grand total of five (5) contestants. It's not even worth updating the standings (so we won't, we'll wait until after tomorrow's games).

Nonetheless, congrats to Fitch, M Josephs, M McAtee, Steinhardt (who picked Michigan) and D'Zuro (Florida State as wild card).


Winners of tonight's games will officially be part of the 2018 Elite Eight. But they'll have only a 48% chance of increasing the scores of one or more of our contestants. Only 12 of the 16 participants have any Elite Eight votes at all:

Duke: 53
Villanova: 52
Purdue: 43
Kansas: 42
West Virginia: 15
Gonzaga: 14
Texas Tech: 6 (Booth, T Cristinzio, Leo Leach, Sam Leach, J McAtee, R Wanger)
Michigan: 4 (Fitch, M Josephs, M McAtee, Steinhardt)
Clemson: 2 (Leo Leach, R Simon)
Kentucky: 1 (D Kedson) (though 26 entrants have UK as their wild card)
Texas A&M: 1 (Rybaltowski)
Nevada: 1 (Paston)
Florida State: zero (though D'Zuro chose Fla St as his wild card)
Loyola-Chicago: zilch
Syracuse: zip
Kansas State: nada

For completeness' sake, here are the other 52% of our Elite Eight picks:

Virginia: 53
Michigan State: 52
North Carolina: 36
Xavier: 35
Wichita State: 15
Arizona: 15
Cincinnati: 13
Auburn: 12
Ohio State: 7 (Baumgarten, T Cristinzio, Howard, Leo Leach, Mad Leach, Sciarabba, R Simon)
Rhode Island: 7 (Gallagher, M Josephs, M McAtee, Serri, Templeton, Templeton 2, Tester)
Tennessee: 5 (M Kleiman, Pogach, Reid, Serri, Warner)
Missouri: 1 (Burch)
Seton Hall: 1 (Goren)
Florida: 1 (Sciarabba)
Virginia Tech: 1 (George B)

Only one entrant (D Kedson) has 6 teams alive for the Elite Eight (Villanova, West Virginia, Purdue, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky), but he can get at most 5 correct (since Villanova and West Virginia are vying for the same Elite Eight spot). Six other entrants have 5 alive plus a wild card (Blane, Paston, D'Zuro, Steinhardt, P Leach, D Josephs) and of those, Paston, Steinhardt, and D Josephs can get as many as 6 of the Elite Eight including their wild card (the other three can get as many as 5, including their wild cards). Another six entrants have 5 alive but their wild card is gone (Reid, Rybaltowski, K Sullivan, Tester, B Peloso, DiCicco), and of those only K Sullivan and DiCicco can get as many as 5 of the Elite Eight.

In other words, nine (9) of our contestants might get more than half the Elite Eight correct. The other 85.2% of us won't. Twenty of us (32.8%) can get at most three right, including Templeton, T Cristinzio, Howard, and George B, who only have two (2) of their Eight (8) alive.

We'll have some Final Four numbers tomorrow. Enjoy the games.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


In our 28 previous contests, our contestants' top vote-getter for champion has won a grand total of 6 times, for a success rate of 21.4%. Might as well say 6 of 29 (20.7%), because our favorite this year, Michigan State (17 votes) is no longer with us. Neither is our #2 choice, Virginia (12 votes). Bad as we've been historically, we're not sure our top two choices for champion have ever failed to make it out of the first weekend before. It's nice after all these years that our entrants can continue to set new standards of maladroitness.

So while the Sweet 16 is yet to begin, only 44% of us have a champion that's still playing. The most popular among remaining champions is Villanova (selected by 11: Baumgarten, Biebel 4, J Donadio, Fitch, Howard, Sam Leach, M Peloso, Reid, L Schlegel, Selig, Warner). Beyond that, no team has been championed by more than six entrants: Duke (6: Biebel 3, J Broder, D Kedson, Mad Leach, R Simon, Tester); Purdue (6: Burch, D'Zuro, Goren, P Leach, Marshall, Serri); Kansas (3: Mash Leach, M Paston, C Whiteside); and West Virginia (Rybaltowski). Nobody ventured a champion choice on any of the other 12 teams in the Sweet 16.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Well, the Sweet 16 is set. Two regions are bereft of both their #1 and #2. Worse than that, in an astonishing display of ineptitude, before a single Sweet 16 game has been played our contestants have LOST 52% of their Elite Eight picks, 53% of their Final Four selections, and 56% of their champions. Really.

All but two of our wild cards are gone, too, but one of those two is Kentucky, a team chosen by 43% of our entrants, meaning we've "only" lost 56% of our wild cards on top of everything else (the other productive wild card choice was Florida State, chosen by D'Zuro). And Friday's wild card controversy turned out to be much ado about very little, as both Rhode Island and Tennessee lost in the Round of 32.

Our current leader is Harlan, with 204 points. And while in a normal year the fact that Harlan chose a champion (Virginia) that was the first #1 seed ever to lose its first-round game might be considered an impediment to her chances to win the contest, in this case the fact that she (a) has Kentucky as her wild card; and (b) is competing against our contestants probably makes her the favorite. Reid and D Josephs barely trail Harlan, each with 202 points. Blane (196), L Donadio (195), Ed Leach (195), Baumgarten (194), and M Wanger (194) are all within an Elite Eight choice of the leader. Pogach (150), Howard (151), and M McAtee (155) linger at the bottom of the standings.

Tune in for more detailed analysis during the week.

Friday, March 16, 2018


It has been brought to our attention that our wild card post yesterday contained several errors.

First of all, we reported that "nobody picked an illegal wild card." This is blatantly untrue. Two people picked illegal wild cards.

Second, we praised Howard for his clever pick of Tennessee (#18 in the Top 25 linked to in the contest rules) as wild card when we should have vilified him instead, and possibly implied in him a lack of moral fiber, for his bald-faced attempt to skirt the rules of the contest.

Finally, we listed commissioner D Kedson's pick of Rhode Island (#16 in the Top 25 linked to in the contest rules) as a legitimate wild card when we should have pointed out he's been running this contest for 29 years (and also wrote, compiled, and posted the rules to this contest) and thus his pick suggests either a staggering lack of intelligence or the first signs of debilitating old age. At the very least, he should have known better.


Before the late games tonight, there'd been 135 #1 v. #16 matchups in the history of the NCAA Tournament. And the #16 had lost 135 times. Yeah, one game had gone to OT (Michigan State v. Murray State in 1990) and there'd been a couple one-point games and a few others within one possession, but the #1 had never actually gone so far as to lose an opening round game. Ever.

Can't say that any more.

It wasn't like Virginia got robbed by some crazy last-second shot, either. Before tonight's 20 point beatdown, Virginia hadn't trailed at any point in any game by more than 13 points. Which is small consolation to the 12 contestants that picked a team as champion that didn't make it to the first weekend (George B, Biebel, Blane, Harlan, D Josephs, M Kleiman, Elle Leach, P Ripley, K Sullivan, Templeton, M Wanger, R Wanger). Or the 40 who chose Virginia into the Final Four (top Final Four vote-getter). Or probably not the 53 (out of 61 total entrants) who penciled in the Wahoos into their Elite Eight, either (tied for tops in that category). Or anybody who filled out a tournament bracket, for that matter.

At least those who watched can say they witnessed history. Now, who has Maryland-Baltimore County winning their next game?

Marshall Law

So far, we've played 20 games and had 3 seed upsets (not counting #9 Alabama over #8 Virginia Tech). One of those upsets was marshaled by the Thundering Herd of Marshall, who beat Wichita State, coached by Greg Marshall. The U.S. Marshals were not amused.

Nor were the 15 contestants who chose Wichita State into the Elite Eight, nor the 7 contestants who took the Shockers into the Final Four (M Josephs, M Kleiman, M McAtee, M Pogach, L Schlegel, C Whiteside, J Whiteside). Similarly nonplussed after Buffalo's 21 point shellacking of Arizona were the 15 entrants who picked Arizona to make the Elite Eight and the 6 entrants who predicted Arizona would be playing in the final weekend (Booth, M Josephs, D Kedson, Mash Leach, Rybaltowski, Tester).

The third upset loser, Miami, only truly upset co-commissioner M Josephs who picked the Hurricanes as his wild card. But M Josephs must be really upset, because he not only lost his wild card but two of his Final Four in Wichita State and Arizona. That's a pretty nasty first day and a half.

Other wild card losers include moderately popular pick Virginia Tech (DiCicco, Goren, R Simon, Templeton 2) and North Carolina State (chosen by Pogach).

Another 12 games either underway or will be, later today. How many more poor pool choices will be revealed is anybody's guess.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


For the first time in the 29-year history of this contest, nobody picked an illegal wild card. We repeat, nobody picked an illegal wild card. Truth is, despite our annual rant against such behavior, we're a little bit disappointed.

Also disappointing were our contestants' selections. One might say "wild" would be a very poor descriptor of their behavior (and even if one might not, we would). Almost half the group (26) chose Kentucky, and no other wild card candidate got more than six votes. Of the 15 teams selected, all but three are seeded between 6th and 9th. And bandwagon choice Kentucky isn't that far out of that range as a #5.

The other two choices are almost opposite sides of the spectrum, even though both choices come from the same Volunteer State. On the good side, Howard lucked into taking a Tennessee team that got a #3 seed on Selection Sunday. On the not-so-good side, three entrants (Biebel 2, Burch, Marshall) picked a team (Middle Tennessee State) that wasn't exactly invited to the Dance.

Here's the full list of wild card selections:

Kentucky: 26
TCU: 6 (Biebel 3, Booth, J Broder, Leo Leach, Reid, B Whiteside)
Florida: 6 (Gallagher, Mash Leach, Rybaltowski, R Schlegel, Tester, Warner)
Virginia Tech: 4 (DiCicco, Goren, R Simon, Templeton 2)
Houston: 4 (Baumgarten 2, M Kleiman, B Peloso, K Sullivan)
Middle Tennessee: 3 (Biebel 2, Burch, Marshall)
Butler: 3 (George B, Fitch, Grossman)
Creighton: 2 (Mad Leach, J Whiteside)
Tennessee: 1 (Howard)
Rhode Island: 1 (D Kedson)
NC State: 1 (Pogach)
Missouri: 1 (Templeton)
Miami-Fla: 1 (M Josephs)
Florida State: 1 (D'Zuro)
Arkansas: 1 (Sciarabba)

The games start tomorrow. We hope you're all in front of a screen.

The above post contains several errors. These are corrected in a follow-up post on March 16th.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Field

The field is selected. The leader after selection of the field (and winner of the prize therefor, assuming he paid) is Reid, with 202 points. In second is Harlan, with 198, and in third is D Josephs, with 196. Blane and B Whiteside (both with 190) round out the top five.

Full standings may be viewed using the link on the right-hand side of the page, or here.

A fuller analysis will be posted sometime in the next few days.

Almost there

The last six conference championships are in the books and, not surprisingly, not many of us chose a lot of winners.

In the SEC, seven of us (Baumgarten, Fitch, M Josephs, D Kedson, Ed Leach, P Leach, Serri) correctly chose Kentucky to win it. Another seven of us got Georgia State in the Sun Belt (Fitch, Howard, Mash Leach, Samantha Leach, P Ripley, Serri, Templeton). When it came to Davidson in the Atlantic 10 and Cal-State-Fullerton in the Big West, only one contestant managed to guess either of those correctly (Gallagher got Fullerton and the astonishing Leo Leach went for Davidson).

For what it's worth, Leo Leach's achievement of picking four conference champs that practically nobody else thought worthy has catapulted him all the way up to a tie for 31st place. That's almost in the top half, folks.

A majority of us did manage to select the University of Pennsylvania in the Ivy (49), and a plurality liked Cincinnati in the AAC (30). But overall, the majority only managed 14 out of 32 conference champions (a nifty 44%), while in 15 conferences the winner was picked by a dozen or fewer entrants.

Reid (97 points) is still clinging to first place, by a single point over Harlan (96 points), though Harlan is our only contestant to guess as many as 18 conference champions correctly (a scintillating 56%). Another four entrants got more than half right (17 conference champions: Reid, D Josephs, Blane, B Whiteside). Five more got exactly half right (Baumgarten, R Schlegel, M Wanger, Selig, K Sullivan). And the rest of us kind of stink at this.

They're announcing the at-large selections right now. We'll have another update later tonight.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Marshall Plan

Marshall (picked only by L Schlegel) won the Conference USA championship on Saturday by 1 point over Western Kentucky (picked by 6: Gallagher; M Josephs; Mash Leach; P Ripley; Serri; Templeton).

That's one of 26 conference championships awarded so far this season, and a majority of our contestants picked the winner in exactly half of them:

Bucknell (57); Loyola-Chicago (56); New Mexico State (54); Gonzaga (46); South Dakota State (46); Villanova (45); Buffalo (43); Montana (42); Arizona (41); Kansas (39); College of Charleston (38); Virginia (34); and UNC-Greensboro (33).

Two other conference champions were picked by a plurality of us: Murray State (30); and Stephen F. Austin (28).

The other eleven apparently required a ouija board: Wright State (12); Lipscomb (11); Texas Southern (11); Radford (7: Biebel 2, Biebel 3, Blane, Leo Leach, Mash Leach, Templeton, M Wanger); Iona (7: George B, Baumgarten, D'Zuro, D Kedson, Mash Leach, K Sullivan; Michigan (2: Leo Leach, Steinhardt); Marshall (L Schlegel only); Maryland-Baltimore-County (L Leach only -- yes, another Leo Leach special); Long Island U (zero); San Diego State (none); and North Carolina Central U (the big oh).

The amazing Leo Leach got three of the ouija conferences correct. A Kreskinian feat, or it would be if he'd gotten more than six other conferences right. He currently sits tied for 45th place.

In 1st place is Reid, with 16 correct conference champions and 86 points. Breathing down Reid's neck is Harlan (16 ccc and 83 points) and D Josephs (15 ccc and 81 points). Tied for 4th are Blane, R Schlegel, M Wanger, and B Whiteside, all with 15 correct conference champions and 78 points. In dead last is Fitch with 6 ccc and 45 points, barely preceded by Templeton (8; 46). Full standings may be found at the link on the right-hand side of the page, or here.

The last six conferences coming soon:

Big West (started at midnight): UC-Irvine (24) vs. Cal-St-Fullerton (1: Gallagher);
AAC: Cincinnati (30) vs. Houston (1: Steinhardt);
Atlantic 10: Rhode Island (52) vs. Davidson (1: Leo Leach AGAIN!);
Ivy: Penn (49) vs. Harvard (12);
SEC: Tennessee (22) vs. Kentucky (7: Baumgarten, Fitch, M Josephs, D Kedson, Ed Leach, P Leach, Serri);
Sun Belt: Georgia State (7: Fitch, Howard, Mash Leach, Samantha Leach, P Ripley, Serri, Templeton) vs. Texas-Arlington (3: Goren, M Josephs, Leo Leach (OMG!));

Then of course, after the above six championships are complete, the selection of the field. We'll try to post both before and after that momentous event.

See you then...

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Don't pass the Bucknell

In the Patriot League championship, Bucknell (picked by 57) beat the cavity kids from Colgate (cared about by 2: Leo Leach, Tester), foiling a Leo Leach special. Also, it has come to our attention that we somehow missed the Southern League championship a couple days ago, in which UNC-Greensboro (liked by 33) beat East Tennessee State (taken by 19). The leaderboard remains pretty much the same.

The only non-championship games of note tonight (so far, 10:33pm EST) were in the ACC: bubble-team Louisville almost blew a huge lead but managed to hang on against Florida State; probable-but-not-definite NC State got down big early but couldn't quite get there against BC; and last-x-out Notre Dame managed a huuuuuge comeback against probable-but-not-definite Virginia Tech. Also one in the PAC 12 -- Colorado beat bubbly Arizona State.

Plenty of games going on but no conference championships on Thursday or Friday. Have a field day.

The Wright Stuff

Well, Cleveland State's improbable run through the Horizon tournament has come to an end, with the 11-23 Vikings finally falling, to Wright State (taken by 12 intrepid entrants). In other conference championship action, College of Charleston (chosen by 38) topped Northeastern (picked by 19) in the Colonial; Gonzaga (selected by 46) pounded BYU (liked by no one) in the WCC; South Dakota State (also 46) outlasted South Dakota (14) in the big battle of the Badlands (i.e., the Summit League championship), giving them bragging rights in the Walleye State; and Wagner (favored by 50) fell to Long Island U (a zero hero).

Which overall is good news for our contestants, as three of the five conferences listed above were won by teams chosen by a majority of us. Bringing the total of majority-selected conference champions up to four. Out of eleven. So maybe more "less embarrassing" than "good."

First place, with 38 points and an astonishing (for us, at least) 7 of 11 champions chosen, is shared by Blane and Ed Leach. Another eight contestants so far have more than half the conferences correct (George B, Booth, D Josephs, P Leach, M Paston, B Peloso, Reid, Selig) and are tied for 3rd with 33 points. The other 51 of us are not doing so hot.

The only game tonight with serious contest ramifications is the Patriot League championship, which pits favorite Bucknell (57 votes) vs. undertoothpaste Colgate (2: Leo Leach, Tester). Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


We've been playing this contest for 29 years, and after watching 2018 conference tournaments for almost a week, at least one thing is clear: our entrants haven't gotten any better at it.

Six conference tournaments are complete, six automatic bids have been handed out. Our contestants had a majority consensus in five of the six. Guess how many we got right? If you guessed zero, sorry you're wrong. But if you guessed one, you'd be right on the money.

56 of us (91.8%) chose Loyola-Chicago to win the MVC, and the mob got it right. But that's as far as the good news goes. Only 11 of us (18%) liked Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun, just 7 of us reached for Radford in the Big South (11.5%; Biebel 2, Biebel 3, Blane, Leo Leach, Mash Leach, Templeton, M Wanger), another 7 of us eyed Iona in the MAAC (11.5%; George B, Baumgarten, D'Zuro, D Kedson, Mash Leach, K Sullivan); and a measly two mulled for Michigan in the Big 10 (3.3%; Leo Leach, Steinhardt). In the OVC, we didn't have a majority consensus, but our top pick Murray State (30 votes (49.2%)) did happen to win, beating Belmont (chosen by 26).

It won't get any better after the Horizon League finishes its tournament, since our favorite, Northern Kentucky (taken by 43 (70.5%)), has already lost to Cleveland State (selected by exactly nobody). The 8-seeded Vikings face Wright State (picked by 12 (19.7%)) tonight for all the Horizon marbles.

Four other conferences finish this evening, and with a Nor'easter bearing down on us as we speak, two of them appropriately have a "Nor'east" theme: In the Colonial League, the College of Charleston (38; 62.3%) faces Northeastern (19; 31.1%); and in the Northeast conference, famed composer Wagner (50; 82.0%) will attempt to play Long Island U (0; 0%). The other two are in the WCC, which pits Gonzaga (46; 75.4%) vs. BYU (0; 0%), and in the much anticipated battle of the Mount Rushmore State, also known as the Summit League championship, in which South Dakota State (46; 75.4%) plays South Dakota (14; 23.0%) for Badlands bragging rights. That last game will be held in Sioux Falls, nearly equidistant between the teams' home campuses. Also, the state fish of South Dakota is the Walleye.

If you happened to be impressed by Leo Leach accurately choosing both Radford and Michigan, our advice is don't be. Those two teams were two of ten Leo Leach prognostications with which almost nobody agreed: Florida in the SEC (7); Texas Tech in the Big 12 (5); Jacksonville State in the OVC (4); Texas-Arlington in the Sun Belt (3); Colgate in the Patriot League (2); Creighton in the Big East (only); Davidson in the Southern Conference (only); and Maryland-Baltimore County in the America East Conference (only). All right, if he wins some of those you can be impressed. But for now, at least, his pair of astute predictions has propelled Leo Leach all the way up into 13th place.

Leo's warped sibling Mash Leach also has ten lonely predictions (Radford in the Big South (7); Iona in the MAAC (7)), Florida in the SEC (7); Georgia State in the Sun Belt (7); Mount St. Mary's in the Northeast (7); Furman in the Southern Conference (7); Western Kentucky in Conference USA (6); Texas Tech in the Big 12 (5); Southern Illinois in the MVC (3); and Seattle in the WAC (1)), and we're trying to figure which set of bold Leach picks we like better. On the one hand, most of Mash's mashups have at least some group corroboration (six groups of 7 plus a 6 and only one only; compared to just one group of more than 5 and three out-on-an-islands for Leo) and so far at least, Mash has fared better, winning four of the six conferences to sit in first place with 23 points. On the other hand, two of Mash's clever choices have already lost (Mt. St. Mary's and Southern Illinois) while Leo has yet to stumble. Overall, we think the strategy will work best for neither of them.

Other than Mash Leach's first place performance, nobody currently has more than half right, but twelve players got exactly half, and all have 18 points (except for Leo Leach, who has 15): GEORGE B, Baumgarten, Biebel 2, Biebel 3, Blane, Booth, D'Zuro, Ed Leach, Reid, M Wanger, and J Whiteside.

Full standings may be found here, or from the standings link on the right-hand side of the page.

The lights are on but... no wait, they're not

There's a power outage in Commissionerville. Which is why we haven't posted in a few days.

We're now squatting somewhere we can hijack some internet, so we plan to have a post up later today.

In the meantime, you may feast on some early standings (and the way you know they're early is that Mash Leach is winning).

Talk soon.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The game is afoot...

Well, the game isn't really a foot, now is it? But the entry deadline has passed and we have 61 entries (no idea how many of those are paying entries yet).

A few conference tournaments have started, but nobody who anybody picked has lost yet. So not much to report.

But stay tuned. Maybe the game will turn into a hand or an elbow or some other body part. You never know.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Important Safety Tip

When filling out the entry form, here's an important tip that may (or may not) keep you from being ridiculed on the blog:

Once you choose your conference champions and at-large teams, and press the "Done" button for both, the bottom section is automatically populated with the teams you've chosen, allowing you to choose your Elite Eight, Final Four, Champion, and Wildcard. So far, so good.

If, however, you make a change to one of the top sections (for example, if you decide to pick Maryland-Baltimore County as an at-large team instead of North Carolina), the bottom section is re-populated. BUT the check boxes aren't cleared. So, if you make the change to the top sections AFTER you've filled out your bottom section, the box you originally checked, e.g., to signify Duke as national champion might now be checked for Houston.

How can you fix this? Three ways: Either (a) don't make changes to the top sections after you've filled in the bottom section; (b) if you want to make changes to the top sections, uncheck all boxes in the bottom section before you do then fill in the bottom again; or (c) after you make the late changes, double-check the bottom section to make sure you says what you want it to say (and if it doesn't, fix it).

If you fail to do any of the above before you click the "My Entry is Complete" button, you still have an option: on or before the due date, go to the View Entry page, and either view or print-and-view your selections to make sure your entry is what you meant it to be. If it isn't, email the commissioners, explain the problem, and ask them to change your entry manually.

Or you can just accept the ridicule for selecting Houston as your champion.

Happy pool-picking.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

It's Showtime

Think back, a mere year ago. The Trump presidency had just begun. Villanova was still the defending national champion.

Yeah, I know, it feels like that was 29 years ago. But what was actually 29 years ago was the very first Pre-NCAA Contest, in 1990. This year, then, will be the 29th annual Contest, and I just know you want a piece of that.

So here's your chance. The game is afoot. Just start clicking links below, and you'll be well on your way.



See you soon!