The Pool

Friday, March 21, 2008

Round 1

And Day 1 of the 2008 NCAA Tourney is in the books. We have Pete and Dean still perfect through 16 games. That Belmont-Duke game was quite the show wasnt it. But in the end you knew Duke would win. Even if the ref had to make some sort of suspisious Duke call as has happened so many times before, Coach K would not be denied a first round win. 6 people have Duke winning it all. All 6 of them had to change their shorts after the game.
Bucky played theyre typical game in pulling away in the second half. Good defense, rebounding, few fouls. And now Kansas State is up next with the frosh of the year Michael Beasley. During the lead up week I heard many "experts" picking USC over Wisconsin. Even in the poole theres 11 people that picked USC and one that picked K-State. Have ye no faith?
Ill be at some local bar/restaurant today watching the games in a snowstorm. Not happy about that at all. I finally got the iceberg from the end of my driveway cleared off and then the weather people dump another 6 inches out there. I really need to talk to someone about this winter stuff.
On sat Market plays Stanford at 5:45. Stanford is a 2.5 point favorite. And theyre huge. It should be an interesting game. Big vs fast. I just have this feeling that Crean is about to get out-coached. And I dont even know who the Stanford coach is.
I havent seen a K-State/Wis spread yet. That game is scheduld to tip at 3:10 according to my source which is some random page on the Internet. So you would be correct to question the accuracy of that particular fact.
There is maybe a quarter of the spaghetti left. I went to BW3 for a chicken wing dinner last night so I was unable to make my 4th meal of the day out of the remaining spaghetti. However I do plan on having a small bowl before I leave this morning.
16 more games today. 11:15 start. Two 7-10 games to start off the Friday festivities. In the past couple of years, Thursday has pretty much gone to the favorites. Then Friday is full of all the crazy upsets.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

After 7 games

Ok 7 games are in the book. We have 52 people tied at the top all going 7 for 7. But there was only one 8-9 game and no 7-10s. So dont get to comfortable out there. Ill be going out for the Badger game tonite so no updates. Ill have one tomorrow morning though. Then Ill be at a local bar/restaurant tomorrow. But it has wireless so Ill try to keep updates coming.
Market held on at the end by making free throws. Kentucky showed some immaturity at the end when they had a chance to get within one score and they turned it over instesad of giving it to the guy who hit everything and scored like 35 points.
Market plays the winner of the Cornell-Stanford game which is on channel 201 on your TimeWarner Digital system.
Good start to the tourney. Still have spaghetti left but am planning a switch to chicken wings.

Pool Standings

119 people are tied for first after 3 games.
Kent State had 10 points at the half vs UNLV. Its like Dick Bennett was coaching them. Ya have to feel for Kent State. First that whole National Guard shooting thing in 1970 and now this. Those guys cant catch a break.
Those Market guards are really fast. They might have a good team if Crean could recruit someone over 6'6". Yes I know Steve Novak was 6'10". But he avoided the lane like there was an IRS auditor in there.
I dont know how this game is close. Market gets into the lane whenever they want and they have 14 offensive boards. And theyre only up by 6.
Pitt by 24, Purdue by 23, UNLV by 21. Im thinking of split screening with Dr Phil.

Pool Blog

I totally forgot about the Pool Blog! I posted all the updates there if you dont have access to email or youre at work and youre using your home email or any one of the myriad of situaitons where you can get to the web but not your email from wherever you are right now.
The Blog site is:
I figured out the side by side situation on my TV. So that personal nightmare is over. The biggie for area residents is the Market-Kentucky game. If Market just doesnt make dumb mistakes they should win this. Theyre have better personell that the Wildcats. Ive decided to go with Market in full screen HD while monitor the other 3 games (which are good) via almost constant use of the "last" button on the remote. The other games are still early but UNLV is up 12 with about 10 left in the first. Thats a huge 8-9 game. The picking split is 89-68 UNLV. Baylor-Purdue and Pitt-Oral Roberts are both within a couple points. 3 people took ORU over Pitt. Purdue has 131 pickers.
As you may have noticed. I am not the biggest fan of the Market Golden Warrior Eagles. Why you may ask? Well Ill tell ya. Im a Wisconsin guy. Went to Madison. Work at Madison. Lived there for 15 years. I bleed Badger red. Well everybody bleeds badger red. I bet that really horks the Market fans.
Anyway I believe its our duty as sports fans to support our teams unquestionable and to denigrate our fiercest rivals at any and all occasions. Thats why whenever talk turns to Badger Hockey I feel obligated to point out that Minnesota's Doug Woog has never won a National Championship. Its always fun to watch Fox when they broadcast the Minn-Wis game. Paul Braun, Doug Woog and Tom Saggisor broadcast the game. Sags ALWAYS wears his national championship ring.
Anyway,with Market as Buckys instate basketball rival its my duty to minimize their achievements, rag on their powerpuff schedule and provide for a general atmosphere of mocking. Its nothing personal. Its just a sports thing. But as part of the code you have be realistic when the teams play. This year Market was the better team when they played back in December. Ok there. I said it.
Market is up by 4 at the half after some guy hit a 3 as time ran out. It wasnt very exciting. Just a run of the mill 3. Nothing close to a Brian Butch of the glass special to beat Indiana. Or a Michael Flowers bank it in, steal the inbounds pass and then make the play of the year by throwing the ball high into the air while falling out of bounds to run the remaining time off the clock to beat Texas in Austin.
Ok where was I? Pool Blog. The address is at the top of the email.


Well Kansass and Mich State walked pretty easily. Georgia was up until the 7:18 mark in the 2nd quarter. Xavier is on a run though. I dont want to count out the Dawgs but X looks very energized.
I saw a commercial for some restaurant and it got me thinking. You know how everyone has certain standard orders. Like if Im at a steak joint I get a ribeye medium and a salad with french dressing. Once made your personal choices rarely change. Oh maybe you'll alternate between salad dressings but in general people have their choices. Well Im thinking of changing my standard cheeseburger order from cheddar to American cheese cause it looked really good in that commercial. SO I guess thats effective advertising.
I just went out and got the mail and there were a couple of payments. So it reminded me to put the payment info out there. $10 to
200 Woodlands Ct
Hartland, WI 53029
Pay up cause you dont want to be on the Deadbeat List!
Kansass by 24 over Portland State (I check Wikipedia, Portland is NOT a state)
Mich +16 over Temple
Xavier +3 over Georgia. Georgias big guy just got his 4th foul with 5:30 left.
THe new annoying CBS thing it to put these little text advertisements at the top of the screen in place of the current game scores once in a while.


3/20 11:15am

CBS coverage is starting! The guy on the local channel doing a remote is named Brandon Cruz and has a pink shirt on. Was he dressed by Mr. Eddie's Father?
A couple of observations about the picks. Dominoz picked a total of 2 upsets for a total of 2 upset points (the difference between the seed numbers of the teams in upset picks.
On the other hand, John Misiewicz (son of the coolest guy I know) has a total of 26 for 140 points. That could be a record. Ill have the check that.
4 people picked Wisconsin. None picked Market.
Im totally carb loaded and all ready for some games. Theres some new strange setup going on with the channels. Theres apparently a channel called 58.3. So now we have fractional TV channels.
"What channel is the game on?"
"Its on 5 plus or minus the square root of 2"
All my remote work this mroning is for naught.
Its bedlam over at pool HQ. Theres spaghetti dishes all over the place. Parmeasen cheese covers the couch. The game has yet to tip but Kansass is already up 12 points and JohnnyT is mathematically eliminated.
I hope we play USC int he second round so I can go around calling OJ Mayo, Mayonaise in my best Lou Gossett Jr imitation. "D.O.R Mayo. Thats Drop on request."
I have a question, What will be the annoying commercial this year that CBS overplays? My money is on "Clean up in aisle commen sense" I like that whole series but CBS will beat it to death this weekend.
Think we'll see anything promoting the Masters?
Did you know that there are over 360,000 students-athletes and most will be going pro in something other than sports?
Come on Clark Kellog, Start the games already!!!!!!!


3/20 8:45 am

The antricipation is killing me! This must be how my sister feels waiting for Rick Springfield tickets to go on sale.
We're 3 hours away from game time. For those new poolers out there I try to send info out at strategic times during the day. Trying to keep people at work up to date. Made more sense years ago when the games werent streamed to your desktop. But its a tradition so I keep doing it.
So what does one do while waiting for games to start. Heres my day.
5:30-7 - Work out. Played basketball. So there were 10 guys this morning. We split the first 4 games. Game 5 goes back and forth. It ends up 10-10 and we're playing straight up to 11 (no win by 2). Both teams missed a couple of shots. Everybody is just dead. So the good guy on my team gets the ball a couple feet beyond the arc and with the other teams good guy right in his face just drains a 3 for the win.
A great start to a day of basketball.
7:30 - Stop at pick and save for provisions. One pound spaghetti. One pound burger. One 32 ounce jar of meat flavored Prego. Thats right I get meat flavored sauce and then I add meat to it. Only if there was some sort of meat flavored cheese I could put on it. Spaghetti is an ideal meal for the tourney. You can make a huge pile of it and then heat it up almost instantly for a meal of any size at any time. In fact as the day goes on, I ususlly dont even heat it up.
8:30 Put a half hour aside to try to figure out how to get the side by side picture thing working on my TV. A couple years ago I accidentally got it working. Didnt even know the 65 inch Mitsubishi had that particular ability. But its prefect for this situaiton. But the only time I use it in this particular day. SO every year I have to re-discover how to set it up.
9:00 Eat 2nd helping of spaghetti. Try to figure out if Ill need to go back to Pick N Save and get more.
9:15. Begins entering picks into all free on line contests I can find.
10:00 Send out the email to everyone work explaining that its tourney day and Im taking off so they should stop emailing me to upgrade their website.
11:00 Tune into CBS for the next 12 hours.
How about a quick stats break. In 18 years of the pool, people have picked Duke to win it all 177 times.
So far nobody has picked Cat-State Fullerton to beat Wis-State Madison this year.
Other whitewashes, NC, Kansas, UCLA and Tenn.
Entries close at 11 if youre not already in. Market-Kentucky starts at 1:30, Wis is at 8:40.
Good Luck everybody!

24 hours to go!


Im here at Pool HQ is just awash in nervous optimism over my picks. Ive never felt less confident. But that wont keep me from entering them into every free on-line pool I can find. CBS, ESPN, NAFTA, everywhere. Im thinking of entering them into a Tyme machine.
We have about 24 hours until the first game tips off. Georgia-Xavier, a 3-14 game. At 1:30ish Markeet plays Kentucky in a 6-11 matchup that probably will draw interest among local pool participants. Ive seen Markeet anywhere from a 4.5 to a 6 point favorite. But its Kentucky! The all time winningest college hoops program. That seems like alot of points to be giving Kentucky. Not that I would bet on the game. Im just sayin. Thats alot of points to be giving Kentucky.
Wis-State Madison is giving a bountiful 11.5 points to Cal-State Fullerton. CSF is a running team that likes to shoot the 3. But no current member of the team was alive the last time the school went to the tourney (ok Im blatently making that up) but its been awhile. So theres bound to be some jitters. And that means missed shots for the first 5 minutes of the game until they settle down. Which will allow the Badgers of Wis-State Madison to jump out to an early lead. At which point Bucky will start to play conservatively allowing the Fullertons to close in by flinging up a large selection of 3 pointers. But the pace of the game keeps the score low. Which means it also keeps the score close. Probably closer than the 11.5 point spread. Im just sayin...
Oh and then theres this. At 4:33am this morning (yes I checked the clock) I was woke suddenly by a dream. I was sweat-drenched. In the dream I was looking at and I was focused on a line that said Cal-State Fullerton 55 - Wisconsin 54 Final. I jumped out of bed and immediatly sang Varsity to try to chase those demons away. Im still trembling a bit.
For those of you who have missed the previous 300 times, the site is
Address for your entry fee payment of $10 is
200 Woodlands Ct
Hartland WI 53029
Good luck!

50 Hours to go


50 hours to go until the first game tips off. Entries are pouring in. Keep'em coming.
Im having trouble getting a fix on my picks this year. Every time I look at a bracket Im always picking all the seeds. And that never works out. Never.
So I put on some old U2 trying to focus. It was working until I realized that Bono was just as pretentious back then as he is now. So I have taken to pronouncing his name Beaux-no instead of Bah-no. That should put him in his place.
Speaking of Beaux, (and theres the segue) How about that Beaux Ryan? Right there is the best coach in college basketball. Yea, I said it. 3 big ten titles in the lasy 7 years. At Wisconsin. Only people named "Knight" can put up those kind of numbers.
Ok so Buck gets the 3 seed. No problem here. If they would have got a 2, they would have played the GTown spot at #3 (assuming they both win) So I dont dwell on the serious shanking Wisconsin got again at the hands of the committee. Theyre still pissed at Wisconsin for the NCAA Championship Hockey game back in 1992 when the refs gave Lake State two 5 on 3 power plays. Man we got screwed in that game. But I digress...
I like Buckys chances into the Elite 8. Then they'll have to come up large vs Kansass. But Lets concentrate on Cal-State Fullerton. Anybody have anything on Cal-State Fullerton? Me neither. But Im sure the Cal-State Fullerton vs Wis-State Madison game will be exciting.
Now Markeet on the other hand got a bit of the ole shaft in their bracket. I mean Kentucky??? Thats going to be a popular 11 over 6 pick Im telling ya. Then if they win, Stanford? The trees have a set of twins who are both 7 feet tall and 260 lbs. And theres only one Ousman Barro.
If youre looking for a big cool bracket printout, 42x36 inches, friend of the Pool Bernie Benson has them for $10 (if you mention this pool) at the UPS Store at 3815 N Brookfield Rd in Brookfield 262.790.1515. If youre a serious pool player or perhaps visually impaired you might want to pick one up.
Ok enough of my nonsense, Pool site is
Im going go put on some Earth Wind and Fire and try to get this Bow-no out of my head.

Oh, Its On!

Emailed 3/12

Oh its on. the 20th version of my NCAA Pool has started. Thats right, I started running this thing in 1989. Twenty years. And I have the data from the past 17 years. So if you want to know who you picked in the 5-12 games back in 1993 I can tell you.
If youre getting this email you were in the pool last year. Later in the week Ill change the list to people that are in this year. SO if you know a standard pool participant whose email has changed in the last year, please feel free to forward this email to that person or persons.
Ok anyway, rules are the same as always. First round games are worth 2 points, 2nd - 4 points, 3rd - 6 points, 4th - 8 points, semis - 10 points, Championship game 12 points.
Yes I know that youre in another pool that awards upset bonus points equal to the amount of the higher seeded team minus the lower seeded team and thats a real cool way to run the pool. I also know that "the other pool" gives you 32 points for picking the championship correctly. Theres good reasons why Ive kept the same point system for 20 years. I wont go into them here. But you can read about them in my How to Run a NCAA Pool book coming to bookstores near you in march of 2009.
Ok where was I... yes, the Pool. 20 years. The site for the pool is the same as previous years
Click the Pool Entry graphic in the banner at the top to get to the bracket.
Entry fee remains the standard $10. I feel its just not worth it to go to the $20 that many other pools are going to. $10 is enough that if you lose it its not that big of a deal but its still enough to keep you interested. $20 is just over the "crap I just lost $20" mark that angers people.
Address is
Jeff Crucius
200 Woodlands Ct
Hartland, WI 53029
The payout is
1st 60%
2nd 30%
3rd 10%
There is no tiebreaker. Ties split the money. Why no tiebreaker you ask? 2 reasons.
1. It gives more people a chance to win and thusly claim the coveted enshrinement in the Hall of Victors. This status gives unlimited bragging rights for life. Ron Olson still reminds people about his championship from 1993. The bragging only serves to keep people coming back next year.
2. I dont feel like programming in the capability.
The second one is really the dominant reason.
Ok thats the administrative portion of the 2008 Pool announcement email.
Im sure youre all interested im my views of the brackets. Well that will have to wait for another email later today because I just heard the toaster pop up. I just bought this new skippy honey nut peanut butter that im quite psyched to try.
Entries are due by 11am Thursday.
Go Bucky!

Can ya feel it?

Emailed 3/11

Oh man we're getting close now. Sunday at 5pm. 5 days and 5 hours from now.
The latest. Im sure everyone heard about Bucky and their Big Ten Championship. Yea, thats some sweet action. And then theres Market's 5th plac.... no I promised myself I would not go there.
Bucky pretty much has a 3 seed wrapped up. Right now Georgetown has a leg up on the last #2 (East coast bias) but if they lose in the Big East tourney and Buck wins their first 2 Bucky could sneak into a #2 seed. Initially I thought that there wasnt much difference between a 2 and a 3. But when I went to the stats, (I go to the stats quite often) I see the #2 wins their 1st game 95% of the time and the #3s only win at a 75% clip. The 2s goto the sweet 16 63% of the time, the 3s only 39%. 6 seeds actually have a better record going to the 16 than 3s. Crazy I know, but stats dont lie. And I dont want to even get into the 12 over 5 situation. It might just blow your mind.
So count on a #3 seed for Buckminster and with a break, a #2. Market will probably end up a #5. You know Market hasnt won a NCAA Tourney game since Dwyane Wade was there? Thats a span of like 14 years I think. Maybe this year....oh wait. Im not going there.
Ok Ill have the site up Sunday evening for purposes of picking. Make sure to get up early on Monday and go out and buy the USAToday tournament edition. Its chocked full (yes, chocked) of the all important data youll need to make your tourney picking a success. Chocked I tell ya.
Entry fee will again be the standard $10. Payable by cash, check, PayPal ( or RevolutionMoney (
Revolution Money is a new competitor for PayPal (who I dislike. Their fees are too high) If you sign up for a Revolution Money account they will put $25 into your acct as a startup. So if youre willing to do that you can get free entry. Let me know if you want me to send you an invitation.
Oh one last thing Id like to point out. Wisconsin won the Big Ten. New Berlin Eisenhower won the state Division 2 championship. Market and Slinger.... nope... not gonna go there..... tempting...but no.
Full disclosure. I owe JohnnyT $10 for Market's on the road win over Wisconsin this year. That win will bounce Market up a full seed in the NCAAs.
WAR Bucky being a #2
Happy Bracketing!

March Madness

Email from 3/3

Hi All,
Can you feel the excitement starting to build? I find myself waking up at like 1am and opening up my laptop to check Bracketology to see if its been updated. Yea I have March Madness. And thats not even getting into the fact that I have a laptop with a wireless connection sitting next to my bed at all times.
Anyway, heres the schedule.
2 more regular season Badger games. Wed at Penn State, Sat vs Northwestern for Senior day.
Then starting the next Thursday (March 14th) is the Big Ten Tourney. Bucky will be getting a #1 or #2 seed there. If its a #1 they play at 11am Friday and if they win at 12:40 sat. If they're a #2 they play at 5:30 Friday and with a win 3:00 sat.
Its about 50-50 whether they get the #1 seed. Assuming they win their last 2 (they will be heavy favorites in both games) it'll come down to how Purdont does on the road twice, Ohio State and Michigan. Purdont is young. Lets hope they lose 1. Since Purdont wept us they would win the 2 team tiebreaker for the #1 seed. #1 seed is very important because that team avoids a possible match up with Indiana until the finals. The tourney is in Indianapolis so its like a home court for the Indiana Fighting Cellphones. Ok so then the Big Ten final is like at 2 or something on Sunday. Too late to effect the seedings for the NCAAs.
Those seedings come out at 5pm on Sunday the 16th.
Bucky is sitting on a pretty solid #3 right now with 4 games left that will determine seedings. If they sweep those 4 (they will be heavy favorites in 3 of them), you're probably looking at a #2 seed. If they lose the 4th game which would be the Big Ten semifinals. They're probably still a 3. If they lose in the big ten opening round they could slip to 4. Im not even entertaining the possibility that they'll lose to Penn State or Northwestern. (And theres the gooch. I can see it now, Penn State 56 - Wisconsin 55)
Taking a quick look at the Market Golden Eagle Warrior Hawk Hilltopper Gold side of the ledger. You know how late in the season, if a team has an open date theres usually 2 ways to play it. A) take the day off and rest before tourney action. Wisconsin did this. Gets everybody healthy for the stretch run. B) go on the road and play a tough non-conf game. Coach K down at Duke likes to do this. He feels it gets the team ready for the inhospitable environment and keeps the rhythm going.
What usually isnt good for a team is to play a squash at home. You end up playing the scrubs or the seniors who never get off the bench. Plus playing that type of game only can get players into bad habits or worse get them hurt. Players dont play these games all out and thats where injuries happen.
Market plays "Florida Gulf Coast" on Tuesday.
And thats all I have to say about that.
The site is at the same URL as always
Entry fee remains the same $10 as always.
Defending Champions are John Hemming and Dan Collins who set the all time record with 204 points each last year.
Oh and one more thing, the Eisenhower Lion Boys Basketball team has reach the the State Tournament this year. The semi final game will be played at the Kohl Center at 3:30ish this Friday.
Go Bucky!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I dont gamble, but.....

So Im looking at the spreads on the games. Mich State is -2 over Markett. If you read the local Milwaukee paper this morning you would have seen that the Markett sparkplug Jeral McNeal will be out for the game. Mich is a defensive oriented team who likes to rebound. Markett is a perimeter team who lost half of their perimeter effectiveness. I think the rebound total in this game will be MSU-52, Mar-2.

I believe gamblers call this situation "free money"

Then I look a little further down and I see Illinois +2.5 playing Virginia Tech. The same Virginia Tech who beat North Carolina. Twice.

Can you say two team parlay?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Other On-Line Pools

Heres some other on-line pools to enter
Random Contest
Bob and Brian

The winning picks have been entered!

I have entered my winning picks! You are all playing for second place!

Monday, March 12, 2007


Seed data since 1991
9 seeds are 30-26 over 8 seeds
7 seeds are 30-26 over 10 seeds
6 seeds are 49-7 over 11 seeds
5 seeds are 36-20 over 12 seeds

My picks will reflect that distribution.

Pool HistoryTrivia

Never in Pool history have 2 people had exactly the same picks.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bracketology Wisdom

Bracketology is boring when youre a #1 seed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


In past years I would wait excitedly for the polls and new bracketology rankings each monday. I would spend maybe an hour going over all the teams ahead of Wis, figuring out who they played and their chances of losing and thusly Wisconsins chances of moving up.

Like said, in the past it usually took maybe an hour.

Today it took like 2 minutes.

Florida plays Ole Mis (12-5, 1-2 in conf) next Sat.

That was it.


In past years I would wait excitedly for the polls and new bracketology rankings each monday. I would spend maybe an hour going over all the teams ahead of Wis, figuring out who they played and their chances of losing and thusly Wisconsins chances of moving up.

Like said, in the past it usually took maybe an hour.

Today it took like 2 minutes.

Florida plays Ole Mis (12-5, 1-2 in conf) next Sat.

That was it.