Everyone In The NCAA Pool

Tournament Pools Picks

I’m in an NCAA Tournament pool again this year. There’s a guy at Channel 8 who’s run a pool for decades. I know nothing about college hoops. Nothing! Every year I come back for my punishment.

For me, hope springs eternal. For the people in the pool I’m dead money. Either way it’s enjoyable and helps make meaningful games which would otherwise be meaningless.

“Who are you rooting for?” Helaine asked during the Marquette-Miami game.

“I forgot.”

“Uncle Rules-3” leads the tournament at this moment with 51 points. Speaking of meaningless, that number means nothing! Because each successive round in the tournament is worth twice the round before, scoring potential is the number to check. “Uncle Rules – 3” is a little short on potential.

If “Uncle Rules – 3” runs the table he will have 131 points. There are others, myself included, who can score over 160 points. Leading today is a Pyrrhic victory.

This makes no real sense, but in my pea brain it’s more important to not lose than to win! Losers go home. They can’t help you score more points.

The second place entrant, “Gymnast,” chose Gonzaga to win the tournament. Gonzaga lost early. “Gymnast” can only score 98 points and will finish back in the pack. Enjoy second place tonight.

Even folks who are math averse start doing the numbers during tournament time. I do. It keeps me watching the games.

That may be why the NCAA does little kvetching about one of the biggest gambling events of the year!

Was I Watching TV?


What is TV? That’s a tough question to answer nowadays. TV used to be the programs broadcast by local stations, but that’s changed. We added cable/satellite channels to the mix. Now some TV comes via the Internet.

If you follow this blog you know I prefer to compute with two screens. More real estate. More multitasking. More satisfying.

When I watched Harvard thump New Mexico last night on my computer’s second screen, was I watching TV?

Look at it from the NCAA’s perspective. If this works they might some day jettison the local TV affiliates and cable networks. They could just deliver games straight to you. Fewer middlemen. They pocket the savings! At the very least this is a good chip for the next contract negotiation.

Of course this is very scary to local stations. Though network programs are not the profit center they once were, big budget network shows draw viewers some of whom stick around for the news or other local originations. It’s tough for a local station to be strong without a strong network.


The NCAA’s presentation is well put together.

With a single click it’s possible to watch the game fullscreen. I choose to watch instead with ‘enhanced content.’ As the screengrab above shows, there’s a lot of info on the screen and more available.

An interested feature is the ability to look at Twitter activity levels, then click on a peak to see the play that caused the spike!

We have already seen the death of regional store chains (G.Fox., Caldor, Ames, Rickle, Bernies, Zayres, etc.). Is the regional power of local TV stations the next to go? Do the networks or program producers like the NCAA need them anymore?

That would be sad, but the bigger fish want the money the little fish now get. Technology marches forward.

A Geeky Look At NCAA Bracket Pools

I’m way down in his NCAA bracket pool and I haven’t paid yet. I’m good for it Swami, honest! The check’s (nearly) in the mail.

Swami’s gonna be coming after me. I’m way down in his NCAA bracket pool and I haven’t paid yet. I’m good for it Swami, honest! The check’s (nearly) in the mail.

NCAA brackets are so much fun because they look so easy. For the final 64 (I didn’t pick the play-in games) you make 63 choices. It’s pretty simple in the first and second rounds where the rules mainly match strength against weakness. Beyond that the difficulty rises quickly especially since an early round upset could eliminate a team you’ve chosen to win more games!

Like I said brackets look easy. ESPN has proof they’re not.

Thanks to a Final Four with no No. 1 or 2 seeds, plus an 8-seed in Butler and an 11-seed in VCU, just two out of 5.9 million-plus brackets in Tournament Challenge correctly predicted the entire Final Four.

A dweeb writing on the community forums at discovery.com noted there are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible ways to fill out your bracket! That’s a lot of room to make mistakes.

Even the two of nearly six million ESPN participants who have the four remaining schools picked a few incorrectly along the way. Not bad after starting with 9 quintillion possible choices!

NCAA Brackets

As always, I’m in an NCAA Tournament pool. I know NOTHING about college basketball – zip! I do some simple statistical analysis so I don’t look totally stupid.

As it turns out, the NCAA selection committee also does analysis. My picks are often close to theirs. Here’s this year’s picks. Wish me luck.

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