2007 PRE-NCAA CONTEST NEWSLETTER 2
Two measly first round upsets. Four number one and three number two seeds in the Final Eight (plus a three). Two ones and two twos in the Final Four. Plus we've read recently that Billy Packer has announced every Final Four and Championship game since the Ford Administration. We've got two words for you: BO RING. And with all those favorites advancing, you probably think we're about to describe unprecedented success for our contestants...
And then you'd wake up. Only three entrants got as many as seven of the Final Eight: Mahalko, Kovolski, and P Leach. Special kudos go to P Leach, whose predictive prowess propelled him all the way up to 58th place, in part due to the fact that his seven correct Final Eight choices translated into only one accurate Final Four prediction (and believe us when we tell you that's not easy to do). Twenty-four people got six of the Eight correct, 32 people got five, and 18 got four. As a lovely balance to the three who did well, three entrants accurately selected just three Final Eight teams: N Donadio, M Leach, and Gordon.
A surprising ten entrants got three of the Final Four right (J Broder, Crowther, S Smith, Leeds, T Pappasergi, Fitch, Gato, D'Zuro, Haklar, and M Peloso). Fitch wins this year's efficiency award by getting three Final Four teams right after only getting four Final Eight teams. Special mention also goes to Haklar, who correctly guessed three Final Four teams this year after getting a total of one correct Final Four team combined in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006. (The one she got right was Duke in 2004. We don't know what happened in 2005 because we've lost all records from that year. And we swear it has nothing to do with UNC winning the 2005 title. Honest.) Forty-four contestants were accurate on two of the Final Four, 25 got one, and Gordon managed to nail down a grand total of zero (0). To put Gordon's achievement into perspective, at the time the pool was due, Ohio State was #1 in the country, UCLA was #2, Florida was #4, and Georgetown was #10. We're sure he had a plan.
And perhaps that plan was to liberate the oppressed Madison Leach. Think about it. After selection of the field, M Leach was in dead last place, which she followed up by nailing a whopping three Final Eight teams. Is there any way she could escape the cellar without someone pulling a major tank job? Yet here she is, 20 points out of the basement, looking down on Gordon, who's at rock bottom with only 196 points. Coincidence? We think not. Our current theory is that Gordon is conniving to win the draft rights to Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.
Depending on which team takes the whole enchilada, our winners will be as follows:
|M Peloso||344||Haklar||341||Conte||331||M Peloso||304|
|S Smith||339||L Donadio||331||D'Zuro||330||Haklar||301|
|Mahalko||332||B Peloso||322||S Adams||329 (tie)||S Smith||299|
|T Pappasergi||329 (tie)|
Non-paying entrant T Pappasergi appears to be following Rybaltowski into the honorable Hall of Principles. We hope that someday we, ourselves, can reach that higher plane of existence, where the thrill of competition inspires us far more than cold, hard cash. But until then we'll just laugh.
Just less than half of us (38) still have our champion alive, but with all the favorites going to Atlanta we can't decide if that's impressive or depressing. Eighteen entrants have UCLA, twelve chose Florida, seven liked Ohio State, and only Sedona picked Georgetown. So if Georgetown wins, look out, because Sedona will use those 40 points to zip all the way up to 23rd place.
But having all those active, diverse champions is sure to make our various grudge matches that much more interesting. Although not for Booth. Typical of this year's tournament, she made a big comeback, got within five points of Whiteside, 241 to 246, and then fell short (she has Wisconsin as champion; he has Kansas). K Ripley's comeback was happier, at least for her. For the third straight year she emerged victorious over her father, Wanger, this year by 267 to 261. But after a merciless thirty-three point drubbing at the hands of his newlywed bride, we wonder if P Ripley (244) is thinking annulment. B Peloso is in an even stickier situation. Although he managed to vanquish long-time nemesis Sullivan, 282 to 280, he made the mistake of taunting his Duke-loving wife, M Peloso, who is now ahead of him by 22 points (304 to 282). B Peloso's only hope is Ohio State, and unless the Buckeyes win it all, it's going to be a long, cold year in the Peloso household. Actually, let's face it, it's going to be a long, cold year in the Peloso household no matter who wins. Sullivan not only lost to B Peloso, she also finished beneath her husband, D'Zuro (290), and her deceased mother-in-law, Haklar (301).
K Ripley wasn't the only one who proved father doesn't know best. In fact, as far as we can tell, there's not one daddy in the pool who is the leader in his family. B Brooks (256), M Josephs (283), and L Schlegel (268) have all abused the unsuspecting men who sired them (O Brooks (234), D Josephs (270), and R Schlegel (252)). But for some fathers, there's still hope. S Adams (289) has a nice lead over her father, Coach Doc (275), but the old man can reclaim his masculinity if Ohio State wins the tourney. J Donadio trails last-year's winner L Donadio, 255 to 291, but can still put the little girl in her place if UCLA takes the championship. (Either way, J Donadio (255) can at least claim superiority over his wife, ME Donadio (239), although we doubt she would acknowledge the claim.) E Leach (244) trails his son, P Leach (251), but a UCLA victory will rescue his dignity as well. On the other hand, if Florida wins it all, E Leach will not only lose to his son, but also to both his grandaughters, S Leach (257) and M Leach (216, with Florida as champ). P Leach has already lost to one daughter (S Leach) but can beat out his other daughter (M Leach) if Florida doesn't win.
The three Pastons are currently tied, each with 256. And we can't even think of a good joke about that. If Florida wins, J Paston will emerge from the scrum.
This year New York is the best state from which to make predictions, with an average of 275.0, edging out Illinois (271.0). For the rest of the Industrial Northeast things appear to get worse as you go south. Thus, it's New Hampshire (265) over New Jersey (260.43), Pennsylvania (260.34), and Delaware (256.0). Within Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh area (275.88) has easily bested urban Philadelphia (262.40) and even more easily handled the Philadelphia suburbs (256.41). The Washington DC area (264.67) is clearly a more hospitable basketball-picking environment than North Carolina (242.0), so perhaps that monumental UNC collapse at the hands of Georgetown should not have been a surprise. Following this logic, it doesn't bode well for Florida (251.0). None of our contestants hail from Ohio or California, which probably makes Ohio State and UCLA the favorites to meet in the final.
In the battle of the species, felines reigned supreme, batting humans around like a ball of string, 282.0 to 258.55. And in one of the few upsets of the year, lawyers (272.86) appear to have disproved Darwin's theories, adapting mid-pool and finishing well ahead of humans. Lamarck would be proud. But like the cockroach, we see that some scavenging forms of life will never evolve beyond their primitive roots, as Tar Heels (256) join Scaly Anteaters (256.0) at the very bottom. We now believe that those in the timeless realm (301.0) can use that seeing-into-the-future thing to their advantage.
We've always known that females (266.58) like it on top, especially when it comes to dealing with males (259.87). And children (260.86) tend to get caught in the middle. Although contrary to what most students (261.0) believe, they can still learn a thing or two from teachers (284.33) and coaches (263.5). Medical professionals (289.5) have taken the occupational prize this year, just ahead of teachers (284.33), practicing attorneys (272.75), and stock pickers (264.0), while computer professionals (259.33), accountants (255.17), and engineers (252.69) are all below average (our overall average score is 261.23). All we can say about financial wizards (250.0) is that it's a good thing they're wizards at something.
Luke (276.33) seems to have used the force to beat out fellow disciples Matthew (267.67), Mark (241.0), and John (259.0), not to mention Paul (244.0). (Although I guess we just mentioned him...) In the battle of the Beatles, John (259.0) once again overshadows Paul (244.0) and George (235.0), but looking at these scores we'd have to say the non-entering Ringo was the smart one. Brett (277.0) was actually the top name of the year, even better than Luke (276.33), Chris (276.0), and Bob (270.0). Jake (264.5), Ed (264.0), and Arnold (264.0) were at least above-average, while the best Mike (259.75), David (258.0), Kevin (256.33), Nick (255.5), and Rick (248.5) can say is that their name isn't Jeff (234.0).
Conrail (287.0) is employer of the year, beating out "Self" (262.0), PaDOT (245.0), and Urban Engineering (243.0), which finishes in the cellar for the second straight year.
In a tight tag team tussle, the D'Zurans (285.5) barely beat back Natalini and Friends (283.8), and no one else was even close. Arnie's Army of Bridge Players (257.6) was the best of the worst, just ahead of the Wangers (257.3), the Pastons (256.0), and the Donadios (251.8). And while it's no surprise that the Leach Gang (245.0) trails all those other groups, we'd like to take a moment to marvel at the Koufax Group's achievement. Lagging behind Leaches is shocking enough, but the Koufax group of five pools has an average score of 229.8, which is only better than three individual entrants (N Donadio, M Leach, and Gordon). Frankly, it's a feat that may never be duplicated.
Due to lack of interest (on our part) we are foregoing Mascot Trivia and the All-Name team. We promise we'll do it next year. In the meantime, if you really need your All-Name fix, try this link. (You have to scroll down a little to get the NCAA entries.) As always, we've enjoyed running the pool. Standings are below, and see you next year.
Going into Final Four
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|Name||Score||Conf Champs||Wild Card||Champion||in Final 8||in Final 4|
|Missy Peloso||304||15||Virginia Tech||Florida||6||3|
|Steve Smith||299||16||Notre Dame||Florida||6||3|
|Frank Conte||291||19||Notre Dame||UCLA||6||2|
|Lucia Donadio||291||16||UNLV||Ohio St.||6||2|
|Todd Pappasergi||289||12||Virginia Tech||UCLA||6||3|
|H Gato||285||12||Virginia Tech||Texas A&M||5||3|
|Edward Leeds||284||16||Michigan St.||Florida||5||3|
|Matt Josephs||283||18||Virginia Tech||UCLA||5||2|
|Bob Peloso||282||15||UNLV||Ohio St.||5||2|
|Kate Sullivan||280||16||Virginia Tech||North Carolina||6||2|
|wayne Crowther||277||13||Texas Tech||UCLA||5||3|
|Jason DeMaso||275||14||Louisville||North Carolina||5||2|
|Coach Doc||275||14||Texas||Ohio St.||5||2|
|Jake Karlsruher||273||13||Boston College||Texas A&M||5||2|
|Luke Nowlan||270||14||Boston College||North Carolina||6||2|
|Luke Schlegel||268||17||Texas||Ohio St.||6||1|
|Kelly Ripley||267||13||Michigan St.||UCLA||5||2|
|Chris Nowakowski||266||13||BYU||Texas A&M||5||2|
|Laura Harlan||265||17||Maryland||North Carolina||6||1|
|Colin Fitch||264||11||Virginia Tech||Florida||4||3|
|Arnold Selig I||264||16||Louisville||UCLA||5||2|
|Arnold Selig II||264||14||Texas||Ohio St.||6||2|
|John and Greg||259||14||Texas||North Carolina||6||1|
|John Marshall I||259||14||Texas||Texas A&M||6||1|
|Matt Paston||256||16||North Carolina||6||1|
|John Donadio||255||13||Virginia Tech||UCLA||5||2|
|Neil Baumgarten||253||14||Michigan St.||North Carolina||4||2|
|Bob Huffnagle||252||15||Michigan St.||Texas A&M||6||1|
|Marc Kleiman||252||16||Missouri St.||North Carolina||5||1|
|Al Alberts||251||13||Louisville||Texas A&M||6||1|
|Perry Leach||251||11||Virginia Tech||North Carolina||7||1|
|Mike McAtee||251||11||Texas||North Carolina||5||2|
|Bill Acchione||250||16||Virginia Tech||Ohio St.||5||1|
|Kevin Kasprzak I||250||15||Drexel||North Carolina||5||1|
|Kevin Kasprzak II||248||15||Winthrop||North Carolina||5||1|
|Rick Simon||245||13||Maryland||North Carolina||4||2|
|John Shadle||242||12||North Carolina||4||2|
|MaryEllen Donadio||239||10||Virginia||North Carolina||6||1|
|Oliver Brooks||234||18||Geo. Washington||Washington St.||4||1|
|Dodger||231||15||Kansas St.||North Carolina||4||1|
|Jeff Gordon||196||14||Notre Dame||Kansas||3|