1998 PRE-NCAA CONTEST NEWSLETTER 2

Standings

After three rounds, it appeared as if our contestants might finally be getting it, as 118 out of 126 entrants guessed at least half of the Final 8 correctly, perhaps our best Final 8 showing ever. (The other eight? Alberts; Carson; Connelly; P Leach; S Shaid; R Karpp; Wegbreit/Arglic; and D Padilla). As usual, that faint promise of competence faded quickly into a spring drizzle in the very next round. In undoubtedly the worst Final 4 showing ever, ninety two (92) of our entrants accurately selected either one (1) or zero (0) Final 4 teams.

Epitomizing our unfulfilled potential were Brady, who correctly chose seven of the Final 8, but only one of the Final 4; and K Sullivan and Brinkley, each of whom correctly chose seven of the Final 8, but only two of the Final 4. But even more impressive were A Natalini and Quasi, each of whom accurately selected six of the Final 8, but absolutely none of the Final 4. Joining A Natalini and Quasi in cluelessness were D Padilla; J Einbinder-Schatz; M Einbinder-Schatz; Gold; D Kedson; Connelly; and Post, all of whom guessed zero (0) of the actual Final 4 teams.

But of course, 92 out of 126 is not the whole picture. A whopping two (2) of our contestants accurately selected three of the Final 4: Mastro and M Leach. Mastro parlayed this stroke of luck into a money position, as he will finish no lower than third. Defending champion Mash Leach, who correctly chose three of the Final 4 for the second straight year, moved all the way up to a tie for 68th place (in part because he only got four (4) of the Final 8 teams).

Although we donít intend to repeat too much of what was said in the "mini-updates" we released between newsletters, we do want to emphasize that, for the first time in pool history, nobody was clever enough to choose a Wild Card that was able to win two games (although two teams that were eligible Wild Cards - Valparaiso and Washington - made it to the Sweet 16).

Nobody picked Stanford as National Champion, and only one person each chose Kentucky (M Josephs) and Utah (Glowacki). Thirty two contestants chose UNC as champion, led by K Sullivan (297 points) and Mastro (288).

All prize winners, depending on national champion, are as follows:

StanfordKentuckyUtahUNC
K Sullivan297Matt Josephs308Glowacki309K Sullivan337
Mastro288K Sullivan297K Sullivan297Mastro328
Flannery (tie)285Mastro288Mastro288Flannery (tie)285
Joyce (tie)285Joyce (tie)285

Just missing on the prizes were J Piccirillo (283 pts); Brady (282); Linton (282); and Dresden (281).

Bradyís all-time record for most points (379) is quite safe for another year. However, Bobbie Shaidís year old record for futility, 140 points, is in jeopardy. Carson, who asked to be recognized for her astute pick of Valparaiso as an at-large team, has amassed a mind-numbing 102 points, but has UNC as her champion. Thus, if her champion wins, she will squeak by with 142 points. If UNC loses, Carson will set a new record for ineptitude that may well never be broken.

Almost 100 points ahead of Carson, but behind everyone else, is D Padilla (191 pts) who narrowly trails Connelly (192); P Leach (204); Gold (208); Post (209); and Quasi (210). Raps, who declined to choose any Top 25 teams as at-large selections, finished ahead of 16 entrants.

And speaking of Bobbie Shaid, last yearís darling has completed her first step in Mash Leachís footsteps, improving from last place to 79th place, and finishing ahead of both her daughter and her future son-in-law.

It has come to the attention of the commissioners that the solicitous Salus has succinctly stated that his primary goal in the pool was to beat the score of the commissioners. And we would like to congratulate Salus for achieving his goal and a higher score than commissioner D Kedson, although we are forced to notice that Salus also finished 21 points behind commissioner Kedsonís cat.

And speaking of "friendly" rivalries, the commissioners couldnít help but notice an interesting trend among couples who submitted separate pools. Starting with pool-leader Kate Sullivan, who trounced her husband DíZuro 297 to 239; Jodi Piccirillo hammered Mark Piccirillo 283 to 248; Susan Abrams edged Norm Rosen 274 to 270; Mary Ellen Donadio beat John Donadio, Sr., 267 to 264; Sandy Disbrow shellacked Russ Karpp 263 to 218; and Susan Shaid snuck by fiancee David Kedson 238 to 237. The only male to win one of these partner contests was John Joseph, who barely bested better half Betsy Porter 252 to 246.

Even more interesting were the comparative scores of children who submitted pools separately from both their parents. John Donadio, Jr., managed a score (270) better than either of his parents (who averaged 265.5); Miles Joseph (251) scored better than his parentsí average score (249); and, most impressively, seven year old Sam Karpp beat his average parent 242 to 240.5. Sam, who earns special mention because he filled out his own pool, didnít just beat up on his folks, however. The youthful Karpp tied with four others and had a better score than 42 alleged adults. Unborn Baby Sullivan (277) had a significantly better score than father N Sullivan (245), but the commissioners have learned a major reason for this discrepancy: apparently several of Baby Sullivanís choices were actually made by four year old Katie Sullivan (future sibling of Baby Sullivan, and no relation to pool-leader Kate Sullivan).

In an internal struggle, the left side of Maibachís brain beat the right side, 260 to 231.

Our average score was 249.01 points. Nationally renown Lunardi was only slightly above average, with 252 points, and is tied for 59th place. Prefers Anonymity might want to change his name to Prefers Mediocrity, as heís tied for 55th place with 255 points.

By now, it should come as no surprise that females proved superior to males, 255.68 to 247.70. Nor should it shock anyone that, in the battle of the species, felines (253.0) soundly trounced humans (248.43), and lawyers (247.08) took their place in the food chain below both. It was a bit of a surprise that lawyers finished ahead of the dogs (227.5), however. For the second straight year, mutants (267.75) scored better than any "natural" species.

And speaking of natural selection, the commissioners would like to point out a fascinating de-evolutionary trend among our entrants. Unborn children (277.0) lead children (253.17), who in turn lead adults (248.8). There could be a paper in this.

In the name game, the Susans have slipped. In a remarkable turnaround, the Ricks (265.0) tied for the top spot, having the same score as the average Joe (265.0). Just behind were the on-the-Marks (263.0), followed by the lazy Susans (259.67), the dear Johns (252.57), the babbling Bobs (249.0), the Mr. Bills (247.75), and the speak-into-the Mikes (243.14). And chalk one up for Goliath - the Davids (237.83) are at the bottom, trailing the Ricks and Joes by almost 30 points.

Apparently feeling the pressure in the Tag Team competition, the Bridge Players Association went out and recruited several new members since the last newsletter. The finesse failed, however, as the card players lost in their bid to overcome the new kids on the block, the friends of JJ, who won the competition hands down, 254.22 to 251.00. In another potential controversy, Maran was removed as one of the Friends of Amy. Apparently, heís nobodyís friend. Nevertheless, the extended Friends of Amy (252.64) almost caught the Friends of JJ, while the non-extended Friends of Amy (237.25) only narrowly defeated the Leach Gang (230.75). Again, the only group that the Leach Gang managed to beat was the extended Leach Gang (229.33). We guess that Mash Leach will have to hit the recruiting trail harder next year.

In the Family Fun frolic, the Donadios (267.0) held on to edge the Hastings (265.33), in a thriller. The Natalini family (256.0) was next, followed by Joseph (249.67), Shaid (245.67), Kedson (245.33), and Mc (245.0).

In the Geographical challenge, Delaware (269.0) proved to be this yearís prognosticatorís haven, followed by Connecticut (265.5), New Jersey (256.71), Maryland (253.75), Pennsylvania (247.56), and New York (242.8). The spin doctors in our nationís capital proved inadequate (237.25), but whatís new about that? Regionally, North Jersey (253.67) barely beat South Jersey (252.38) and the New York City metropolitan area (250.33). Phiadelphia suburbanites (249.35) slammed the Philadelphia urbanites (246.22). Western Pennsylvania (237.0) was not a particularly pleasing place for Pennsylvanians to produce pretty prognostications.

In another non-surprise, the top two occupations were Retired (260.50) and Student (257.67). Salespeople (250.20) edged Computer people (249.60), Engineers (248.29), and Accountants (246.25). Practicing Attorneys, of course, were at or near the bottom. Teachers (242.0) were once again mastered by Students, and everyone else as well.

Among employers with at 3 or more entrants, "Self" (254.43) stood alone. Among companies, Conrail (250.5) is temporarily on top, beating Urban Engineering (250.0), the Delaware Group (248.42), and PaDOT (245.75) by a rail. In a surprising turnaround, Vibroplating (238.33) tumbled from top to bottom.

ALL NAME TEAMS

This yearís all-name teams do not necessarily all come from within the Tournament, but oh well. They come in two main categories, geography and religion.

U.S.EuropeBeyond
Rick Houston (Richmond)Tarik London (Alabama)Marcello Correa (SD St.)
Trenton Cross (Cal.-Northridge)Paris Corner (Iowa St.)Kenya Merritt (Md.-Balt.-Cty)
Arthur Carlisle (SC)Joe Madrid (Cal-Poly-SLO)Jordan Kardos (Ill-Chi)
Terrance Durham (St. Bon.)Jeff Monaco (So. Utah)Roman Peoples (NE Illinois)
Vegas Davis (Tenn)Denmark Reid (NM St.)Mars Mellish (Manhattan)
Hon Mention (US): Maceo Baston (Mich)(Yes, we know Rome is in Europe, & Korea is spelled wrong)
Top Recruits: Paris London (Memphis St.)Ontario Harper (undecided)
Coach: Cuba Gooding, Jr. (actor); Ass't Coach: Togo West (Secretary of War)

UniversitiesReligious Hierarchical Figures
Jonathan Richmond (NC A&T)Dylan Pope (Air Force)
Jermaine Stanford (Minn)Brian Cardinal (Purdue)
Sharif Fordham (E Mich)Greg Nun (St. Francis NY)
Oral Roberts (Miss St)Angel Santana (St. Francis NY)
James Madison (Cleve St)J.R. Christ (Colorado)
Hon Mention (US): Phiffney Dukes (N Ill)Hon Mention (US): Joel Templeman (Creighton)
Hon Mention (US):Marlon Hopkins (Prairie View)Coach: God Shammgod (NBA)
Assít Coach: Priest Lauderdale (NBA)
Restricted Earnings Coach: Art Monk (NFL)

Next year, we plan on continuing this trend with a "Books of the Bible" Team, starring Leviticus Williamson of Notre Dame, and Laron Profit of Maryland (Profit, Prophet, whatís the difference).

MASCOT TRIVIA

Even more inexplicable than the commissionersí penchant for All-Name Teams is their taste for mascot trivia. This yearís questions are:

(1) Name all teams in the tournament with nicknames that neither include a color nor end in Ďsí (3 teams, 20 points total)
(2) Name the most popular nickname (most teams) in the NCAA Tournament field (5 points)
(3) Among Felines, Canines, and Avians, name which has had the most success (winning pct) in this yearís Tournament, and which has had the least success (5 points each)
(4) Name the five nicknames that appear more than once in the field (some latitude allowed), and of these, which has the highest and which has the lowest winning percentage (2 points for each correct answer)
(5) Name the teams that fit into each of the following categories (1 point for each correct answer):
(a) Cats (8 teams)
(b) Dogs (5 teams)
(c) Chicken (2 teams)
(d) Other Birds (4 teams)
(e) Weasels, Pigs, Reptiles, and Eight-Legged Creatures (5 teams)
(f) Bears, Pandas, Horses, and Sheep (4 teams)
(g) Soldiers of Colonial Times (3 teams)
(h) Soldiers of Medieval Times (2 teams)
(i) Other Military Figures (3 teams)
(j) Common Laborers (5 teams)
(k) Insubordinates (2 teams)
(l) Ancient Greeks, Ancient Celts, and Mythological Figures (4 teams)
(m) Ready for 50 yard dash (3 teams)
(n) Mafioso and Comic Figures (2 teams)
(o) Wind and Fire (3 teams)
(p) People who look down from high places (2 teams)
(q) Native Americans (2 teams)
(r) Nicknames that are not worth categorizing (6 teams)

Note: We counted two teams twice.

The Ongoing Stanford debate: This year, the Wall Street Journal definitively spoke on the topic of the Stanford mascot, proclaiming: "They're the Cardinal now, without an Ďsí - the color, not the bird. Their mascot is a guy dressed as a tree." The commissioners, however, do not necessarily view information from this dubious source as conclusive proof, and continue to disagree on whether the Stanford Cardinal is a color, an individual bird, or a member of the Catholic Church Hierarchy. Thus, "Stanford" will not be considered a correct answer to any question, ever.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
TRIVIA ANSWERS

(1) Massachusetts Minutemen, Navy Midshipmen, Illinois Fighting Illini
(2) Wildcats (Kentucky, Arizona, Davidson)
(3) Canines have had the most success, with a 6-5 record (.545 winning pct.). Avians have had the least (1-6, .143 win pct.) Felines are 8-7 (.533 win pct.) A feline is still playing, however.
(4) Wildcats (7-2, .778); Huskies (5-2, .714); Tigers (1-2, .333); Bulldogs (0-2, .000); Rebels (0-2, .000)
(5)
(a) Kentucky Wildcats; Arizona Wildcats; Davidson Wildcats; Princeton Tigers; Clemson Tigers; Charleston Cougars; South Alabama Jaguars; Prairie View Panthers.
(b) UConn Huskies; Washington Huskies; Butler Bulldogs; SC State Bulldogs; New Mexico Lobos.
(c) SC Gamecocks; Delaware Blue Hens.
(d) Kansas Jayhawks; Temple Owls; Illinois State Redbirds; E. Michigan Eagles.
(e) Michigan Wolverines; Arkansas Razorbacks; TCU Horned Frogs; Maryland Terrapins; Richmond Spiders.
(f) UCLA Bruins; Cincinnati Bearcats; W. Michigan Broncos; Rhode Island Rams.
(g) UMass Minutemen; George Washington Colonials; Xavier Musketeers.
(h) FDU Knights; Valparaiso Crusaders.
(i) Nicholls State Colonels; Tennessee Volunteers; Navy Midshipmen.
(j) Nebraska Cornhuskers; Northern Arizona Lumberjacks; Oklahoma St. Cowboys; UNCC 49ers; Purdue Boilermakers.
(k) Mississippi Rebels; UNLV Runniní Rebels.
(l) Michigan St. Spartans; Iona Gaels; Duke Blue Devils; Detroit Titans.
(m) UNLV Runniní Rebels; Utah Runniní Utes; Murray St. Racers.
(n) San Francisco Dons; St. Louis Billikens.
(o) Miami Hurricanes; St. Johns Red Storm; Illinois-Chicago Flames.
(p) West Virginia Mountaineers; Radford Highlanders.
(q) Florida St. Seminoles; Utah Runniní Utes.
(r) Utah St. Aggies; Illinois Fighting Illini; Oklahoma Sooners; Indiana Hoosiers; Syracuse Orangement; UNC Tar Heels.

SCORING:

1 - More than we expected.
2-20 - More than we hoped.
21-50 - Get a job.
51-114 - Get a life.


Current Standings - March 22, 1998
Going into Final 4

Back to Top

NameScoreConf ChampsWild CardChampionFinal 8Final 4
Kate Sullivan29717XavierNorth Carolina72
Mark Mastro28815IllinoisNorth Carolina63
Dick Flannery28516TempleDuke62
Jason Joyce28518TempleKansas52
Jodi Piccirillo28318Miami-FLNorth Carolina62
Paul M. Brady28218St. John'sKansas71
Marshall Linton28216TempleDuke62
Karen Dresden28117TennesseeDuke62
A Capella28017ClemsonArizona52
GREF28015TempleNorth Carolina62
Marc Kleiman28015IllinoisKansas62
Troy Kane27715TempleNorth Carolina62
Bob Shaw27715Oklahoma St.North Carolina62
Baby Sullivan27719IllinoisDuke61
Laura Harlan27518IndianaDuke61
Susan Abrams27419TempleArizona61
Lisa Brinkley27413Murray St.North Carolina72
Brian Leahy27115IowaKansas62
Joe Mc27115TempleKansas62
John Donadio, Jr.27015TempleDuke52
Norm Rosen27017IllinoisDuke61
Joe Glowacki26916AuburnUtah52
Sarah Adams26818TempleDuke51
George Brindisi26814UNC CharlotteKansas52
Coach Doc26818TempleDuke51
FREG26818TempleDuke51
Joe Hastings26819St. John'sKansas61
Matt Josephs26817St. John'sKentucky52
Frank Conte26715IllinoisKansas52
Mary Ellen Donadio26717TennesseeArizona61
Susan Hanson26717TennesseeDuke61
Arnold E Selig26616TempleDuke52
DREG26518St. John'sKansas51
Peter O'Brien26518XavierDuke51
Rick Schlegel26516Oklahoma St.Duke61
Polly Shaffer26516IllinoisDuke61
Jon Broder26417TempleNorth Carolina61
John Donadio, Sr.26417IllinoisNorth Carolina61
Claude26317IllinoisDuke51
Sandy Disbrow26315St. John'sNorth Carolina61
Robert C. Natalini26218IllinoisNorth Carolina51
Packer26214IndianaKansas52
Hank Fila26115St. John'sNorth Carolina52
Jeffrey Gill26013St. John'sDuke52
John Maibach26017St. John'sDuke51
Barbara Spitz26015St. John'sArizona61
Arrow Man25916XavierNorth Carolina61
Rick Salus25916TempleDuke42
GRED25814St. John'sArizona61
Butch Acchione25616XavierDuke61
AJOB25616IllinoisNorth Carolina61
Edward Leach25618TempleDuke51
January Man25612MarquetteNorth Carolina62
Mike Maran25616IndianaNorth Carolina42
Prefers Anonymity25518TennesseeNorth Carolina41
Bill Shaid25515XavierDuke52
David Harris25415IllinoisDuke61
Len Kedson25315TempleDuke51
John Joseph25214St. John'sArizona61
Joe Lunardi25216St. John'sDuke51
Miles Joseph25117TempleDuke51
Rick Warmbier25115Oklahoma St.Duke61
David J. Josephs24914TempleKansas42
Bill McGarrigel24914IllinoisKansas61
Patrick O'Brien24916XavierDuke51
Mike Papalia24812St. John'sKansas61
Mark Piccirillo24815XavierNorth Carolina61
Bill Byrnes24715IllinoisNorth Carolina51
Ira Kedson24716Ball St.Duke61
Mash Leach2479CharlestonNorth Carolina43
Brian Corrin24616St. John'sDuke51
Bruno Pappasergi24616TempleNorth Carolina51
Betsy Porter24614TennesseeKansas61
Stephen Smith24614St. John'sArizona61
Peter Hastings24515Duke61
Quasi II24516ClemsonKansas41
Neil Sullivan24516Seton HallDuke41
Bobbie Shaid24413TempleDuke42
Kevin Kasprzak24315St. John'sDuke41
Michael Aub (Manute)24212TempleKansas61
Sam Karpp24214IllinoisDuke51
Robert A. Peloso24216XavierKansas41
Pat Riot24214IllinoisDuke51
Don Russell24216St. John'sArizona41
Oliver Brooks24113Murray St.Kansas42
Jeff Clark24117TempleDuke41
Bill Acchione24011St. John'sDuke61
Kevin Grande24015IndianaArizona41
Bob D'Zuro23914TempleNorth Carolina51
David Lundberg23916Oklahoma St.North Carolina41
Jerry Ostru23914TempleNorth Carolina51
Dave Papalia23914TempleDuke51
Mike Mc23815St. John'sKansas51
Susan Shaid23812IllinoisDuke32
Al Alberts23717TennesseeDuke31
David Kedson23717TempleDuke5
Randy Wanger23713IllinoisDuke51
Cowboy23614St. John'sDuke51
Mark Tiger23616IllinoisNorth Carolina41
Travis Bryan23513XavierNorth Carolina61
Dodger23413XavierArizona51
Jack Henderson23413XavierDuke51
Amy Natalini23214St. John'sDuke6
Clinton Walker23214TempleArizona41
Lou C23115Ill.-ChicagoNorth Carolina41
John Maibach II23113XavierKansas51
Mike Baer23013TempleKansas41
Bob Wegbreit (ARGLIC)23015ClemsonNorth Carolina31
Jon Raps22716XavierNorth Carolina52
Alan Schwartz22713St. LouisArizona41
Ed Leeds22614Oklahoma St.Arizona41
McMoose22612TempleNorth Carolina51
Manny Pogach22614TempleKansas41
Matt Nannen22413St. John'sNorth Carolina41
Michael Einbinder-Schatz22015TempleArizona4
Russell J. Karpp2189TennesseeDuke31
Domino Leach21612St. John'sKansas41
Joshua Einbinder-Schatz21115St. John'sDuke4
Tom Wamser21111TempleSouth Carolina41
Quasi21012N. ArizonaDuke6
David F. Post20912St. John'sDuke5
Ken Gold20815TempleArizona4
Perry Leach20411Oklahoma St.Duke31
Brett Connelly19212XavierArizona3
Don Padilla19113St. John'sDuke3
Eileen Carson1024Long Beach St.North Carolina21