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south-florida-airball-2012-ncaa-tournament-terrible-basketball-shotsIt is with a heavy heart that I am informing you that I will not be hosting a NCAA pool this year.

I’d love to blame my decision on the pool being a major “time suck” – and it is – but that would not be entirely accurate. Quite honestly, my heart is just not in it this year. I have been doing this for some 20 odd years, starting off with a custom built spreadsheet and 10 entries, faxing the results nightly to the current website with over 450 entries. And who knows – I may find that I missed the and resurrect it again the future – I did let he domain name auto renew. But for now, we are giving it a rest.

My biggest regret – besides not seeing Mike Hippo win the pool (5-10 entries each year!) – is the lack of a donation to charity. I for one took the money I would have spent on brackets and gave it to a charity – Moe’s Promise – Battling Breast Cancer. I encourage you to do the same if you are so inclined. Please consider the charities suggested by last year’s champion Mr. Dicko – Gleaner’s Food Bank – or runner up Suzie Kirkland – insideOut Detroit Literary Arts Foundation.

Thanks for the support through the years.
Enjoy the tournament and good luck!

What A Dicko!

mrdickoAll the money has been collected and the check’s have been cut.
This years winners are

1st place: Mr. Dicko – $1589.80
2nd Place: Suzie Kirkland – $529.93
Charity: Amazon Promise – $154.20

Thanks to everyone for playing and paying – I think this was the first time in a long time that all the brackets we paid for by the 1st of May!

There will be a couple changes for next years pool:

The first change is that we will be paying 1st through 5th place next year, rather than just 1st and 2nd (2014 payout as example):

1st Place: 70% ($1483.81)
2nd Place: 20% ($423.95)
3rd place: 5% ($105.99)
4th place: 3% ($63.59)
5th place: 2% ($42.39)

I know – what a great idea! And if Jeff Stasyk claims it was his idea, he’s lying. And the email he has to prove it is fake as well.

The second change will be the price. Brackets paid for before the championship game will be $5.00. Bracket’s paid for after the championship game will be $6.00, with the extra $1.00 going into the charity donation.

Speaking of the charity, Mr. Dicko’s suggestion for next year’s charity is Gleaner’s Food Bank and Suzie Kirkland’s is insideOut Detroit Literary Arts Foundation. Perhaps I’ll have to find another local (Detroit) option to complete the hat trick. Sorry, wrong sports metaphor -make the three point shot!

Thanks again – see you next year!



Whatsamatta, Did You Fuhgeddaboudit ?


POW – Right In The Kisser!


Fair & Balanced

newsMichigan State & Michigan Lose !!

We pride ourselves on breaking news here @
Sorry I haven’t updated you all sooner – been busy!

Since Sparty & Blue’s demise wiped out over half the brackets, most of you have lost interest as well.

Most. Not all.
The following can still win it all:

And these can still come in 2nd place:

There is a report on the siteTournament Scenarios – that will give you the final standings for the final eight outcomes. No matter how many times you hi “refresh”, you’re still screwed.

Thanks to everyone who has sent there payments in, in particular those via PayPal 🙂 Still waiting on payment for quite a few brackets, however. Please check the list to see if your payment has been posted. If you paid someone else who was gonna to pay me please poke them for me. If I don’t hear from you all by Monday we will start poking you individually!

Who The Heck Is George Mean & Why Didn’t He Put A Bracket In?

I received this infographic from longtime pool member and resident statistician Damian Doerfer before the tournament started.












I know what you are thinking – “Joe, you had this information before the tournament started and you waited until the Elite Eight to share it with us? That’s not fair! That’s like that “exculpatory evidence” they talk about on “Law & Order” or “LA Law” or something like that. That’s an unfair advantage!”

Which would be true.

If I had any idea what any of it means . . .

Big Ten Is Elite

I am one to admit when I’m wrong and I went all kinds of Medcalf on the Big Ten — Turns out, the Big Ten is not overrated. Not by a long shot.

The depth of the conference proved to be mediocre with three early knockouts, but the top squads have proven their worth. With Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin all still alive, the Big Ten has a realistic shot of matching the 1985 Big East, which got 3 teams into the final weekend of the tournament. Both Michigan and Michigan State will be favorites (by seed at least) and the Badgers are coming off the most convincing win of the the Sweet 16 round.

Quick Recaps:

Michigan outplayed Tennessee and quite frankly should not have let the Vols back into that game.  It was a strangely officiated game too. As the comeback was happening, I kept thinking, “Man these guys are giving UT all the calls”… But then came the charge call with 6 seconds left. Perhaps it was one giant make up call – Not sure. Either way, Michigan was the better team and will be playing in the Elite Eight… Where they belong.

Michigan State earned their ticket to the Elite Eight by some fantastic adjustments from Tom Izzo. When UVA had taken the game in their control, Izzo found a way to get the Spartans some huge baskets and stopped the Cavalier run. Also, Branden Dawson is having an unreal tournament… Three more dominant showings like the past two and he will certainly not be back next year.

Kentucky! The Wildcats are living up to their preseason hype finally. Louisville was a solid team and UK just kept coming at them. Should be interesting to see how they match up with the Maize and Blue next round.
Finally, I want to check back in on Mr Medcalf who ended his Sweet 16 predictions a solid 1/10. Well done sir, well done!!!

Myron Medcalf Might Be Psychic…

The Experts Are At It Again!

… Or maybe not.

ESPN’s Medcalf wrote some “Bold Predictions” for the Sweet 16. Let’s just say, he has been slightly off so far: Prediction Fail

Let me breakdown each of his points for Thursday –

Point #2: Stanford advancing over Dayton – Not even close. Stanford looked terrible.  I saw a few articles about Stanford heading into the Sweet 16 and could not understand the love. Dayton controlled the game the entire way through. +0

Point #4: Stanford vs Dayton will be the “Game of the Weekend” – That one was a joke, right??? +0

Point #6: UCLA will push Florida to the brink – I will give him a partial credit on this one. UCLA was not blown out, but Florida was in the lead pretty much the whole way and UCLA never really had the look of a team that was going to make a big run to take the lead. +0.5

Point #7: Overtime for Arizona vs SDSU – Again, I will give him a partial credit, but only because I am feeling generous. San Diego State did lead into the second half before Zona had worn them down, so at least he was correct in thinking that the Aztecs could hang with the Wildcats. +0.5

Point #8: Baylor Will Get Past Wisconsin – This was Medcalf’s biggest failure of the night! The Badgers destroyed Baylor from the opening tip in every aspect of the game. It was a fantastic performance for the Big Ten and I am very curious to see how Wisconsin matches up with Arizona. The winner of that game will be the team that controls tempo. +0

So Mr. Medcalf exits the opening night with a solid 1/5 on his predictions… How much is ESPN paying him again???

Different Strokes


If you are new to the pool this year – welcome. If you are a veteran – welcome back. I hope you enjoyed the first two rounds of the tournament. What’s that? They’ve actually completed 3 rounds so far? No, sorry, I don’t consider the play-in games to be a round of the tournament.

Can I Still Win ?

If you haven’t been to the site, please visit and take a look at the Player Scenario report. This will tell you if you still have a chance to win any money in this year’s pool. It will also tell you who you need to root for. The software actually went through the 32,768 possible scenarios left to generate this report (IT took 3 hours to run!). Of the 467 brackets entered this year, 152 can still come in 1st place, 62  in 2nd place and another 33 can come in third.

And you thought you didn’t need to watch the games anymore . . .



467 x $5.00=$2335.00

Less fees

Turbo Tourney: $19.00
Domain Charge: $9.00
Hosting fees: $8.99
Editorial Content: $10.00
Charitable Contribution: $116.75
PayPal fees: $20.00 (estimate)
Square Fees: $1.00 (estimate)

Total: $2150.26 (estimate)

First Place: $2145.26 x 75%=$1612.70 (estimate)
Second Place: $2145.26 x 25%=$537.56 (estimate)
Third Place: A Firm Handshake And A Pat On The Back


Thanks for all those who voted for this years charity – as I announced Amazon Promise  was selected, though the vote was close. Some of you have overpaid for your brackets – please note any over payments will be tacked onto the charity donation. Feel free to add a little extra to your payment if you haven’t sent it in yet and we will throw it in the kitty for them. I will update you all of the final amount collected.


First thank you to those who have already sent in their payment. Can’t remember if you sent your payment in? That’s OK – there are three reports that indicate your paid status – Unpaid Player Listing, Current Standings & Potential Standings. So if you have a “No” next to your entry, won’t you please send your payment in today?

There are the four options for payment, in order of your humble pool administrator’s preference:


Seriously people . . . you were able to enter a bracket online but can’t figure out PayPal? You’ve been meaning to give PayPal a try, so why try it now? I’ll be your guinea pig. It costs you nothing! You save postage, checks and envelopes. It’s a win-win. So go and set up your account up and then just send your payment to


I can now accept credit card payments! (we live in amazing times). So if you see me and want me to swipe you credit card we can do that. Or if you want to send me your credit card information I can key it in. Or if you would prefer to call me with the information that would work too : 586.634.1867. Email first, however – may not answer a phone call from a number I don’t recognize.


Always works. But prefer PayPal – I don’t have to write down or guess who handed me the cash, nor do I have to take it to the bank.


If you are old school you can actually mail me a check:

Joe Mares
161 Edith
Oxford, MI 48371

This is the one thing I hate about the pool – having to sign and write my name on all the checks. Then I still have to take them to the bank. Save me the trouble and just PayPal the money!


If you haven’t checked the website there are a number of reports available to you throughout the tournament

Beginning Bracket: The original bracket, back when Wichita State still had a chance

Champions Summary: A list of the teams and the number of times they were picked to win the tournament (St. Louis ? Really ?)

Unpaid Players: An alphabetic listing of the players who have yet to pay.

Players Summary: A grid listing of each players picks.

Tournament Results: Bracket view of the tournament to date. If you click on the little icon (I think they’re pencils, though I am not sure why) it will pull up a list of who picked which team in that game, including the 1 person who predicted Dayton in the Elite 8!

Tournament Summary: A list of each team and the number of times they were picked each round.

Current Standings: The current standings sorted on the number of points you have

Potential Standings: The current standings sorted on the number of potential points you can get.


Next time you visit the website, don’t just click through to the standings. Take a moment and check out the insightful analysis of Matt Pietrangelo. If nothing else, check out the captions he puts on the pictures! Give him a Facebook “like” or leave a comment to let him know you you appreciate his efforts. If you enjoy his work here you can follow him on twitter as well @Pietrang5, especially if you enjoy your world view with a green tint. A tint so green that @algore follows him! And since 28% of the brackets picked Michigan State to win (bet you all were sweating the Harvard game!) you will probably enjoy it!

Again – thanks for playing and thanks for paying – good luck – enjoy the rest of the tournament – may you finish 1 point behind me!