All-Name Teams
Mascot Trivia

OK, we admit it, we're bitter. Back in 1997 and 1998, an enthusiastic, young SID from St. Joseph's named Joe Lunardi told us our contest was the best pool he’d ever seen. He really liked the idea of predicting who was going to make the tournament before the field was selected. Most of you know what Mr. Lunardi (who now calls himself a “bracketologist”) has done since then. But what about the Commissioners?

Well, in this, our fifteenth year of operation, only 85 people deigned to enter our contest – the smallest turnout in more than ten years. Of those, 15 were non-paying entries. Lunardi doesn’t even answer our e-mail. We’re bitter.

With 70 paying entries, after the $100 payout to the person with most Conference Champion plus At-Large points and the $60 administration costs, first place will net $324, second place will garner $162, and third place will rake in $54.

One would think that a smaller number of players would at least mean our scores would improve, as only the sharpest of hard core contestants remain. One would be wrong. Our average score of 231.31 is the third lowest over the last decade. Only four contestants guessed more than 16 of the 31 conference champions correctly (Biebel (19); Harlan (18), B Kedson (18), and D’Zuro (17)). Only two players, Harlan and Hurrell, managed to get more than half of the Final Eight (each with five correct), and only five entrants got more than half of the Final Four (Huffnagle, B Kedson, Fenstermacher, Kane, and Droopy Leach, each with three correct).

And that was the good news. 67 entrants successfully named fewer than half of the conference champions, including six with less than one-third accuracy (P Kedson (10), Ehrmann (9), Fitch (9), D Kedson (9), Linton (9), and Droopy Leach (a mind-boggling 7)). 65 people got three or fewer Final Eight teams right, including Starbuck 2 and Silverman who managed only one (1) each. 38 contestants correctly chose one (1) Final Four team, while six are looking at a big, round goose-egg (Jr. Donadio, M Tenaglia, Mahalko, Packer, O’Brien, and Clark).

In perhaps the feel-good story of the year, in her fourth year of trying, Haklar accurately predicted a Final Four team. She’d been in an oh-for-the-millennium slump, picking zero (0) right in 2001, 2002, and 2003, but this year she finally came through. Her record is now a robust 1 for 16.

The leader after selection of the field was Biebel, with 197 points. Under ordinary circumstances, that achievement would be worth $100. Biebel, however, is a well-grounded individual who doesn’t need money to feel good about himself; the thrill of competition is reward enough. The c-note he could have earned merely by forking over a ten-spot means nothing to a person like him. Mr. Biebel, we salute you. Less proud, and all the richer for it, is Pangolin Palace, an entrant named after some sort of scaly anteater, who claims that “Pangolins are private, but sitatunga are elusive” and who had 194 conference champion and at-large points. Pangolin Palace, we may not salute you, but we’ll write you a check.

B Kedson is currently in the lead, with 293 points. Money winners, depending on National Champion, are as follows:

DukeOklahoma StGeorgia TechUConn
B Kedson333Whiteside294B Kedson293Biebel313
Harlan320B Kedson293Harlan280Huffnagle311
B Peloso302Harlan280Biebel273Peterson299
Fenstermacher273M Josephs296

Note that Biebel and Fenstermacher are non-paying entries (if UConn wins, Biebel will become the first non-paying entrant to win the pool). Thus M Josephs will get the third place money if UConn wins (and Huffnagle and Peterson will move up to second and third place) and Huffnagle will win the third place cash if Georgia Tech wins.

Bringing up the rear is Ehrmann with 173 points, significantly behind the Tenaglias (M Tenaglia’s 185 is just behind A Tenaglia’s 191), Clark (191), Jr Donadio (193), Linton (197), and Packer (199).

The most striking characteristic of our contestants is almost certainly consistency -- we can pretty much be counted on to be entirely befuddled by actual events. Only 16 of us considered Pacific as a worthy winner of their conference tournament and only 13 thought of Vermont. Truly amazing (to anyone who doesn’t know us) is the fact that six conference champions were selected by two or fewer contestants: Texas San Antonio (Jr. Donadio and Rybaltowski); Xavier (Fitch and Rybaltowski 2); Florida A&M (Hurrell); Alabama State (nobody); Maryland (nobody); and Northern Iowa (nobody).

In contrast, almost a quarter of us (20, to be precise) chose ineligible Birmingham Southern to win their conference, undeterred by that “x-“ we placed in front of the team name. Worthy of mention are Kornfeld and Joe Mc, both of which chose a team with an “x-“ in front of it for the second straight year.

We have a new hero in the “good news, bad news” category: Fitch accurately predicted Pacific, Vermont, and Xavier – but only nine (9) overall (including the aforementioned three).

Our lawyers have informed us we are contractually obligated to include a paragraph in every newsletter about the Leaches. The big news this year is the return of Mash Leach, who apparently has been reincarnated as “Droopy”. Whatever his name, his conference champion selections are pure Mash, as he selected Bucknell; Georgia Southern; Georgia State; High Point; IUPUI; ODU; Maine; Rice; St. Francis (NY); Texas-Arlington; and Wisconsin-Green Bay on his way to a success rate of 22.5 percent (7 of 31).

The at-large process seemed to have flummoxed us as much as the conference champions. An overwhelming majority of us expected to see LSU (80); Kent St (76); Utah St (76); and Florida St (68), while only 30 of us foresaw DePaul and only ten saw Richmond coming.

More than half of us had Duke (82 votes), St. Joe’s (71), Oklahoma St (49), and UConn (48) in the Final 8. Before anyone pats our collective back, more than half of us also liked Stanford (73), Mississippi St (49), Gonzaga (48), and Kentucky (46), none of which made it out of the first weekend. (For completeness sake, 65 of us expected to see Pitt in the Final 8.) But that only covers half of the Final 8. We were woefully inept at guessing the other half. Only five entrants chose Kansas (Bosse, Ehrmann, Hurrell, Kornfeld, and Droopy Leach); only four liked Georgia Tech (Harlan, Kasprzak, Kovolski, and Rybaltowski), and nobody guessed Xavier or Alabama.

Eight of us lost two of their Final 8 by the end of the first round, including M Josephs, Rybaltowski 2, and Ripley (all had Providence and Arizona); Jr. Donadio (had Providence and Dayton); Madison Leach (had Arizona and Louisville), and Rybaltowski (had Providence and Louisville). Ehrmann had first round losers Michigan State and Arizona and also uninvited Florida State. But our favorite Final 8 belonged to Silverman, who chose four first round losers (Boston College; Washington; Air Force; and UL-Lafayette) plus uninvited Colorado.

Our Final Four choices similarly showed off our hit-and-miss capabilities: Duke (67) was our overall favorite, followed by Stanford (39), St. Joe’s (38), UConn (35), and Pitt (34). Oklahoma St was favored by 22 of us, and only Harlan picked Georgia Tech.

Fifteen choices for the Final Four didn’t make the Final 32 (Arizona; Louisville; Providence; Dayton; Michigan State; Washington; and Colorado). Ripley, believe it or not, lost two of his Final Four in the first round (Arizona and Providence). Silverman chose first round loser Washington and wins the prize for being the only entrant to take a team into his Final Four (Colorado) that didn’t make the field.

Silverman deserves special mention for placing six teams (Boston College; Washington; Air Force; UL-Lafayette; Colorado; Illinois) in his Final 8, and two (Washington; Colorado) in his Final Four, that weren’t in the AP Top 25 posted with the entry form, while choosing #3 St. Joseph’s as his wildcard. Other illegal wildcard selections were turned in by R Broder (#13 Oklahoma State); Kornfeld (#14 Wisconsin); M Tenaglia (#21 Florida); and Iorio (#17 UNC). Showing exceptional reading comprehension skills were Kornfeld and Silverman who both chose an illegal wildcard for the second straight year, with Silverman winning the prize for picking a top ten team (#3 St. Joe’s this year and #8 Duke last year) as his wildcard two years in a row.

Our two most popular wildcards, NC State (chosen by 24) and Memphis (17) each got one point for winning a tournament game. Illinois (chosen by 10) and Vanderbilt (chosen only by Koiki) actually scored six wildcard points for their choosers. An alarming eight (8) wildcard selections didn’t make the field (Hawaii (Ehrmann); Kent St (Kasprzak); LSU (Marie B); Marquette (Perez); Missouri (Dagostino, D Kedson, Peterson); and Purdue (A Tenaglia).

Looking into the Future, Duke (34 votes) was the only team that got more than a dozen votes for National Champion, which doesn’t bode well for the Blue Devils. St. Joe’s was next with 12 votes, while UConn and Pitt got 10 each. Only Whiteside chose Oklahoma State as his champion, and nobody liked Georgia Tech.

This year’s Tag-Team competition was won by the Kedson Klan (251.50 avg), over the Cuse Crew (238.5). But the really big news is that the Leach Gang (234.17) beat everybody else: the D’Zuros (232.75); the Donadios (232.75); the Simons (230.50); the Fuzzy Gang (230.33); and the once-proud Nova Gang (224.50). Although as always Arnie’s Bridge Players (224.43) sported the largest tag-team, the only team they outperformed was the Charleroi Group (207.50).

In a bit of a shock, by far the most popular name in this year’s contest is Matt (Dagostino; Josephs; Mazeffa; Ruben; Rybaltowski; Rybaltowski 2). Unfortunately, the Matts (223 avg) went flat, finishing behind everyone except the Daves (217.75) and the Dear Johns (216.25). Winning the name-team competition by almost 30 points were the Big-bad-bully-boy-Bobs (260.33) over the off-the-Marks (236.67), the Chrises (234.33) and the not-so-Riches (223.33).

For the second straight year, Males (231.43) have come out on top of Females (229.43). Those with undeclared genders (237.33) lead both sexes. Children (241.25) sport nearly a ten point lead over the adults who keep telling them they know best.

Dogs (249.00) won a close race over Scaly Anteaters (244.00) in the battle of the species. Humans (231.27) although significantly behind their animal counterparts, are at least ahead of Lawyers (228.60). Disembodied spirits (212.00) need to become corporeal, and fast.

The best region for pool picking appears to be New England (257.00). New York City (236.00) confirmed its self-proclaimed superiority over Central/North Jersey (232.75). Western PA (232.57) beat Upstate NY (227.5). The Philadelphia suburbs (231.26) beat the Philadelphia urbs (230.00). In a sub-sub-regional affair, residents of Bucks County (226.88) proved themselves inferior to those who live in the western Philadelphia suburbs (237.65). The Far West (225.30) beat the Midwest (223.00) and the Deep South (223.00). The most clueless individuals come from the Washington DC/Baltimore Beltway area (219.33), but anybody who follows politics knows that. Nobody admitted to being from South Jersey.

Breaking it down by state, Illinois (273) beat neighboring Michigan (173) by 100 points. In New England, it’s better to be from Connecticut (271) than New Hampshire (243). In the Mid-Atlantic region, New Jersey (232.75) is better than Pennsylvania (231.97) and New York (221). In the Far West, Arizona (232) has a far better pool-picking climate than California (212). In the South, North Carolina (223) edged Maryland (222) and Virginia (214).

The top employer for the second straight year (and the second year ever) is Urban Engineering (218.33) soundly beating PADOT (206.50). But proving the old adage, being self-employed (230.35) is best. Salespeople (253.33) edged Landscapers (250.00) as the top occupation. Computer people (243.33) were next, over Accountants (239.50), Financial/Managerial types (234.43), and Medical professionals (233.00). Retired persons (229.63) proved they retired for a reason, but at least they beat Lawyers (226.75). We’re not sure what they’re teaching Engineers (221.50) these days. Confirming what they knew all along, Students (240.92) are smarter than Teachers (232.20) and Coaches (214.50).

In our annual cage matches, the theme was “Father Knows Best.” B Peloso (262) avenged years of ignominy, hammering his daughter, M Peloso (223), and crushing arch-rival Sullivan (227). K Wanger’s goal in life was to beat her Dad (R Wanger), but all she managed was a tie (both with 214). And in a victory for patriarchs everywhere, Ed Leach (259) kicked around his son (P Leach, 219), his granddaughter (Madison Leach, 212), and his dog (D Leach, 249), while J Donadio (266) outsmarted his wife (ME Donadio, 219), son (Jr Donadio, 193) and daughter (L Donadio, 253). D’Zuro (248) beat his wife (Sullivan, 227) and his dear departed mother (Haklar, 212). Grandpa Kedson edged Grandma Kedson for the first time in recent memory.

But we won’t be going back to 1954 just yet. Marie B (234) put her husband (George B, 216) in his place. M Josephs (256), T Pappasergi (259), R Broder (208), S Adams (252), D Simon (255), and A Tenaglia (191) all outdid their old men (D Josephs, 230; B Pappasergi, 224; J Broder, 207; Coach Doc, 246; R Simon, 206; M Tenaglia, 185). Brandon Kedson (293) clobbered his own Daddy (D Kedson, 236) and two of his grandparents (L Kedson, 242) and P Kedson, 235).

Detailed breakdowns of everybody’s picks may be found at “Pool Central,” http://www.DKNoFish.com/PoolCentral.htm. Standings, Mascot Trivia, and All-Name Teams follow. As ever, it’s been fun running the pool.

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The Commissioners have noticed that "All-Name" teams and mascot trivia, which we've been doing for 15 years, are all the rage among web commentators. Just another thing to be bitter about...

All-Name, First TeamRoll off the Tongue Team
Royal Ivey (Texas)Quemont Greer (DePaul)
Demon Brown (Charlotte)Louvon Sneed (Liberty)
Winsome Frazier (Miss. St)Guillaume Yango (Pacific)
Romaine Sato (Xavier)Uka Agbai (BC)
Zakee Wadood (ETSU)Emeka Okafur (UConn)
Sixth Man (tie): Chevon Troutman (Pitt) and Orien Greene (La-Laf)Sixth Man: David Przybyszewski (Vanderbilt)

Two First Name Team
Brandon Vincent (Mississippi St)
Otis George (Louisville)
Jarrett Jack (Georgia Tech)
Andre Emmett (Texas Tech)
Chris Paul (Wake Forest)
Coach: Brian Gregory (Dayton)

Two Last Name Team
Kennedy Winston (Alabama)
Drake Diener (DePaul)
Denham Brown (UConn)
Hilton Armstrong (UConn)
Blake Stepp (Gonzaga)

Didn't make the Tournament, but deserve to be mentioned
Dijon Thompson (UCLA)
Majestic Mapp (Virginia)
Nucleus Smith (TCU)

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(1) Name all teams in the tournament with nicknames that neither include a color nor end in ‘s’ (20 points for each correct answer)
(2) Name the most popular nickname (most teams) in the NCAA Tournament field (8 points)
(3) Among Cats, Dogs, and Birds, which has the most teams in the field? (5 points)
(4) Name all nicknames that appear more than once in the field (3 points for each correct answer)
(5) Name the teams that fit into each of the following categories (1 point for each correct answer):
(a) Feline (9 teams)
(b) Canine (7 teams)
(c) Avian (10 teams)
(d) Livestock and those who tend them (3 teams)
(e) Other Mammals (3 teams)
(f) Underworld Denizens (3 teams)
(g) Reptiles (3 teams)
(h) Invertebrates (3 teams)
(i) Atmospheric and Oceanic Phenomena (3 teams)
(j) Quartz and those who dig for it (2 teams)
(k) Historical Figures (5 teams)
(l) Bullies (6 teams)
(m) Things that run (3 teams)
(n) Members of Navy or Air Force (2 teams)
(o) Evening Wear, Clergy, People with Dirty Feet, and Anthropromorphic, ambulatory citrus fruit (5 teams)

Note: We counted three teams twice. Also, the commissioners continue to disagree on whether the Stanford Cardinal is a color, an individual bird, or a member of the Catholic Church Hierarchy, and thus, as always, "Stanford" will not be considered a correct answer to any question, ever.


(1) Illinois Fighting Illini, Nevada Wolf Pack, and North Carolina State Wolfpack.
(2) Hawks
(3) Birds (10 teams).
(4) Hawks (St. Joe's, Monmouth, Lehigh Mountain Hawks, Kansas Jayhawks); Tigers (Memphis, Pacific, Princeton); Wildcats (Kentucky, Arizona), Bulldogs (Gonzaga, Mississippi St); Panthers (Pitt, Northern Iowa); Huskies (UConn, Washington); Wolfpack (NC State, Nevada); Eagles (BC, Eastern Washington); Flames (Illinois-Chicago, Liberty)

(a) Kentucky Wildcats; Arizona Wildcats; Pittsburgh Panthers; Northern Iowa Panthers; Pacific Tigers; Memphis Tigers; Princeton Tigers; BYU Cougars; Vermont Catamounts.
(b) Gonzaga Bulldogs; Mississippi State Bulldogs; Washington Huskies; UConn Huskies; Southern Illinois Salukis; North Carolina State Wolfpack; Nevada Wolf Pack.
(c) Boston College Eagles; Eastern Washington Eagles; Kansas Jayhawks; St. Joseph's Hawks; Monmouth Hawks; Lehigh Mountain Hawks; South Carolina Gamecocks; Air Force Falcons; Louisville Cardinals; Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.
(d) Texas Longhorns; Western Michigan Broncos; Oklahoma State Cowboys.
(e) Wisconsin Badgers; Cincinnati Bearcats, VCU Rams.
(f) Duke Blue Devils; DePaul Blue Demons; Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
(g) Florida Gators; Maryland Terrapins; Florida A&M Rattlers.
(h) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets; Richmond Spiders; Alabama State Hornets.
(i) Alabama Crimson Tide; Illinois-Chicago Flames; Liberty Flames.
(j) Manhattan Jaspers; UTEP Miners.
(k) Michigan State Spartans; Valparaiso Crusaders; Charlotte 49ers; Central Florida Golden Knights; Xavier Musketeers.
(l) Valparaiso Crusaders; Texas Tech Red Raiders; Seton Hall Pirates; ETSU Buccaneers; Illinois Fighting Illini; Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.
(m) Utah Runnin' Utes; Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners; Murray State Racers.
(n) Vanderbilt Commodores; Dayton Fliers.
(o) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets; UAB Blazers; Providence Friars; UNC Tar Heels; Syracuse Orangemen.

1 You’re exaggerating.
2-20 You’re kidding.
21-50 You’re lying.
51-167 You’re cheating.

Standings Going into Final Four
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NameScoreConf ChampsWild CardChampionFinal 8Final 4
Brandon Kedson29318North Carolina StDuke43
Laura Harlan28018North Carolina StDuke52
Jim Fenstermacher27316CharlotteSaint Joseph's43
Bob Huffnagle27112IllinoisConnecticut43
John Donadio26616North Carolina StStanford42
Bob Peloso26216MemphisDuke32
Edward Leach25916North Carolina StDuke32
Todd Pappasergi25916North Carolina StPittsburgh32
Mike Peterson25916MissouriConnecticut42
Marc Kleiman25814Southern IllDuke42
Matt Josephs25613Michigan StConnecticut42
Kevin Kasprzak25616Kent StDuke42
BRETT CONNELLY25514IllinoisConnecticut42
Doug Simon25515North Carolina StDuke42
Rick Starbuck25413North Carolina StDuke42
Curt Whiteside25415North Carolina StOklahoma St32
Lucia Donadio25314North Carolina StDuke42
Manny Pogach25313Southern IllMississippi St42
sarah adams25214North Carolina StDuke32
Adesina Koiki24913VanderbiltConnecticut32
Droopy (Mash) Leach2497Southern IllStanford43
Bob D'Zuro24817MemphisPittsburgh41
Al Alberts24614North Carolina StDuke32
Coach Doc24614North Carolina StDuke32
Christopher Hurrell24514IllinoisKentucky51
Troy Kane24412North Carolina StDuke33
Pangolin Palace24416Southern IllSaint Joseph's31
Brett Bosse24316Michigan StDuke32
Wayne Crowther24314North Carolina StConnecticut32
Iorio24315Saint Joseph's41
Neil Baumgarten24216North Carolina StDuke31
Grandpa Kedson24212North Carolina StDuke32
matt rybaltowski24214IllinoisDuke32
Edward Leeds23912MemphisDuke32
Steve Smith23912MemphisPittsburgh32
David Kedson2369MissouriDuke42
Marc Reider23611Southern IllDuke32
PETER YOUNG23615MemphisDuke32
Grandma Kedson23510North Carolina StDuke32
SOB23512IllinoisSaint Joseph's32
Marie B23413LSUSaint Joseph's32
colin fitch2329IllinoisPittsburgh32
Paul Ripley23216Michigan StConnecticut31
David Josephs23013MemphisPittsburgh31
Chris Kovolski23011Michigan StConnecticut32
Arnold Selig23012MemphisDuke32
POLLY SHAFFER22914North Carolina StDuke31
Chris Nowakowski22815MemphisGonzaga31
Kate Sullivan22713North Carolina StStanford31
ESPN Bracketology22514Southern IllStanford31
Bruno Pappasergi22416North Carolina StDuke31
Maggie Peloso22313IllinoisDuke31
MaryEllen Donadio21912North Carolina StDuke31
Perry Leach21912MemphisPittsburgh31
Matt Mazeffa21914MemphisDuke21
George B21614Michigan StWisconsin31
Mark Cowboy21612North Carolina StStanford31
Nancy Booth21413CharlottePittsburgh31
Randy Wanger21413MemphisDuke21
Kelly Wanger21412Southern IllSaint Joseph's21
Bill Acchione21312MemphisStanford31
Miguel Perez21314MarquetteKentucky31
Haklar21212Michigan StDuke31
Madison Leach21214IllinoisKentucky21
Peter O'Brien21214MemphisMississippi St3
Matt Ruben21215North Carolina StPittsburgh21
Nick Mahalko21014MemphisSaint Joseph's4
Rick Starbuck 221015Southern IllStanford11
Rachel Broder20816Saint Joseph's31
Jon Broder20711Michigan StStanford31
Matt Dagostino20612MissouriConnecticut31
Rick Simon20615North Carolina StDuke21
Dave Mahalko20512Michigan StPittsburgh21
Joe Mc20314UTEPDuke21
matt rybaltowski 220311IllinoisDuke21
Doug Silverman20211Pittsburgh11
David Kornfeld20012Saint Joseph's31
Jonathan Packer19916Southern IllMississippi St2
marshall linton1979MemphisDuke21
Junior Donadio19311MemphisKentucky2
Jeff Clark19113MemphisSaint Joseph's2
Albert Tenaglia19113PurdueSaint Joseph's22
Meade Tenaglia18513Mississippi St3
Zack Ehrmann1739HawaiiSaint Joseph's31