I am a huge fan of college basketball. I am also known to make an occasional wager. So March Madness pools - fahgeddabout it - I'm in. But generally I seem to suck, mostly due to a little bit of Big Ten homerism. The only time I ever got the final game correct, I picked Illinois over UNC in 2005. Given that was hardly a stretch - pretty much everyone in the only money pool I was in that year had the same final game and I finished something like 5th out of 9.
This year I entered only one pool where I had to chip in some money. I quickly whipped my bracket together. Not wanting to go with all chalk, I came up with UCLA and Purdue in the Final Four - neglecting that UCLA was going to be playing Villanova in Philadelphia in the second round. I had Louisville over UNC in the final, and suffice to say I finished way at the bottom of the 30 or so in this pool.
On the first morning of the tourney, I decided to throw some brackets into the free pools run by Yahoo! and ESPN. ESPN's pool gets something like 5 million entries, so they have a lot of variations covered and you *really* have to nail it to win the $10,000 or so they give the winner. When George Mason made the final four, there were actually a few people who not only picked GM, but also had the other three final four picks. Amazing.
Anyway - I rapidly threw together my picks for the ESPN pool and came up with this.
Classic. I come up with MSU over UNC, and throw Villanova into the Final Four. This actually puts me in the top 1% of the ESPN pool and if MSU wins I'll be much higher given that UNC is the consensus choice. Had I put this entry into my Fraternity pool I'd be running away with it. Sadly - I get nothing and like it. Oh well, hopefully Sparty can represent the Big 10 well tonight.