They could have chosen anyone, but they chose Temple. Thirty-six contestants were astute/lucky enough to pick the Owls as their Wildcard, earning a 25 point bonus. Not surprisingly, nine of the first ten in the standings selected Temple as their Wildcard (with fourth place Claude as the exception). However, with all due respects to those canny contestants, the most impressive Wildcard selection in years belongs to B Spitz, who picked Gonzaga, and also earned 25 bonus points.

But after ten years of pooldom, it is a comfort to know that some things never change. Despite the fact that four of the top six teams (and six of the top eleven) listed in the entry form’s Top 25 were in the Final 8, along with 2 teams chosen as Wildcards by 37 entrants, we still had 33 contestants that chose fewer than half of the Final 8 correctly. Thirty people correctly selected three Final 8 teams (including Wildcards), and three wise men (R Karpp, Arrow Man and Vigliotta) accurately predicted only two of the Final 8.

Including Wildcards, 56 entrants had four of the Final 8, and 42 got five of the Final 8. Nine contestants actually guessed six of the Final 8 (Bill Acchione; S Adams; Alberts; J Einbinder-Schatz; J Hastings; J Marsala; Peter O’Brien; Schlegel; and Scott). Baer was the only player to correctly tap seven of the Final 8.

So? Baer’s truly impressive feat was to pick 7 of the Final 8, but only one (1) of the Final 4. Almost as tricky were Carruth, M Piccirillo, and Whiteside, each of whom had five correct Final 8 teams, but only one actual Final 4 team. In fact, 33 contestants managed only one of the Final 4, despite the presence of three number one seeds in the Final 4 including Duke, which was chosen by everybody except M Josephs and Sheehy. Sixty-eight entrants got two out of four, and 40 proud poolsters correctly predicted three out of four. The efficiency award goes to J Donadio, Jr.; Hanson; Kestner; Leinheiser; Linton; and Pappasergi, who all got three Final 4 teams, after getting only three Final 8 teams. Only five contestants thought to select Ohio State into the Final 4 (Anderson; J Einbinder-Schatz; Gorman; Huffnagle; and Russell).

107 entrants have Duke as their Champion; 12 have UConn; and 4 have Michigan St. (Bill Acchione; Cowboy; D’Zuro; and Scott). Nobody picked Ohio St.

If Duke wins, Peter O’Brien will tie Brady’s all-time record for most points, with 379. All prize winners, depending on National Champion, are as follows:

DukeUConnMichigan St.Ohio St.
Peter O'Brien379J Marsala344Bill Acchione374Peter O'Brien339
S Adams370Peter O'Brien339Scott347Bill Acchione334
Claude360Butch Acchione (tie)334Peter O'Brien339S Adams330
Bill Acchione (tie)334(<-- and isn't that cute?)

Just missing out on fame and fortune were M Einbinder-Schatz (314); Bland (312); Leahy (312); Pogach (311); E Leach (311); D Papalia (311); and J Donadio, Sr. (310).

On the other side of glory, last place currently belongs to Vigliotta, who accurately selected two Final 8 teams and one Final 4 team, and has 207 points. Following Vigliotta, in a very tight race, are Sheehy (212); Raps (213); S Karpp (214); and Dodger (215). If Duke wins the tournament, Sheehy will take over the bottom spot, and Mash Leach will take his accustomed spot in 2nd-to-last place.

Our overall average was 270.00, more than 20 points better than last year.


As the pool’s tenth year is winding down, we’d like to take a quick stroll down memory lane. The following is a brief history of the high (and low) points of the Pre-NCAA Contest:

1990: The very first Pre-NCAA Contest takes place, with 18 contestants. Commissioner D Kedson wins the pool, nearly causing it to be the very last Pre-NCAA Contest.

1991: UNLV is such a heavy favorite that the Commissioners offer 20 extra points to anyone who picks a successful champion other than UNLV. Notwithstanding the "UNLV discount," 78% of the entrants pick the Running Rebels – and lose.

1992: Gray chooses only 2 correct conference champions (including the Ivy League champ, who had clinched before the pool was due).

1993: New entrant Moccio writes to the Commissioners, claiming that they have treated him unfairly in a published newsletter. The Commissioners respond by battering him mercilessly (in print) for the next three years.

1994: Rosen becomes the first (and only) contestant to win the pool twice. Mash Leach breaks the Gray barrier, amassing a mere 150 points.

1995: The Mutants enter the gene pool. Commissioner D Kedson finishes dead last.

1996: Brady sets the pool record for most points, with 379 points. Domino Leach becomes the second member of the Leach Gang to finish last.

1997: Joe Lunardi, the editor of the Blue Ribbon guide and columnist for ESPN, enters the contest. His entry is significantly worse than his published predictions, and he finishes 44th. The sententious Salus selects twelve (12) teams twice each as well as an ineligible Wildcard. In the feel-good story of the decade, perennial cellar-dweller Mash Leach wins the pool.

1998: Carson accurately predicts only four conference champions, picks fifteen teams at-large with records under .500, chooses Vermont in her Final 8, and finishes 89 points out of second-to-last place. Her record for fewest points (102) may never be broken.

Only six players have entered every contest: Alberts, Broder, Leeds, Joe Mc, D Kedson, and L Kedson. Of those, Alberts has the best average, at 278.90. Seventeen people have entered at least eight contests, with the following average scores:

Name# YearsAvg. Score
L Kedson10275.80
D Kedson10261.90
E Leach8261.13
Joe Mc10259.10
P Leach8234.25
D Leach8234.00
Mash Leach8228.88

RS Natalini has had the most top 10 finishes (6), although he only finished "in-the-money" once. Other entrants with three or more top 10 finishes: Shaffer (4); L Kedson (4); and Linton (3). Conspicuously absent from that list is Rosen, who has won the pool twice but hasn't finished in the top 10 in any other year.

A phenomenon that has always fascinated the Commissioners is the schizophrenic nature of some of the competitors, 18 of whom have finished in the top 10 as well as the bottom 10 (including one of the Commissioners, D Kedson, who has finished 1st, 4th, 5th, 10th, last, 5th-to-last, and 6th-to-last). Those who have gone both ways are: Leeds; Wamser; Stover; Joe Mc; Alberts; Broder; D Kedson; N Sullivan; M Leach; Shaw; D Leach; Connelly; E Leach; Butch Acchione; Moccio; Henderson; O Brooks; and Dresden. Deserving special mention are money winners who have also finished in the bottom ten: D Kedson (see above); Alberts (2nd, 5th, 9th, 4th-to-last); Broder (2nd, 10th, 4th-to-last); N Sullivan (1st, 2nd-to-last; 4th-to-last); Butch Acchione (3rd, 8th-to-last); and of course Domino Leach (2nd, last, 4th-to-last, 9th-to-last, 10th-to-last) and Mash Leach (1st, last, 2nd-to-last, 3rd-to-last; 8th-to-last). This year, Mash is 7th-to-last and Domino is 9th-to-last. As noted above, if Duke wins the championship, Mash Leach will have corralled himself another 2nd-to-last finish.


In the Tag Team competition, Arnie's Army of Bridge Players can't buy a trick. Despite a heavy recruiting effort, the only teams that the battling bridge boys (261.08) managed to beat were the Karpp/Disbrow family (243.33) and, of course, the Leach Gang (253.5). Jumping into the void left by the decline of the card commandos were the Alliterative Acchiones, this year's Tag Team winner, with an average of 290.67. Just behind them were the Friends of JJ (285.89); the MCs (285.00); and the Hastings Group (280.67). Just ahead of the Leaches was the Kedson/Shaid contingent (264.00).

In a predictable development, Females came around, comfortably beating their male counterparts, 271.81 to 269.77. Children (286.80), as one might easily guess, thrashed adults (269.38). The Battle of the Species proved much more surprising, with Lawyers (272.20) edging Humans (270.17) and Mutants (261.25). It also reveals the real truth about cats and dogs, as Felines (284.00) lead them all, and Canines (253.00) distantly trail the pack.

Among couples who entered separately, the woman trounced the man in four out of seven pairs. On the distaff side (whatever that means), Abrams (253) edged two-time champion Rosen (250); K Sullivan (286) topped D'Zuro (260) handily for the second straight year; Disbrow (271) hammered R Karpp (245) again; and rookie P Kedson dominated veteran L Kedson. Attempting to gain some small measure of respect for the male half of the population, J Donadio, Sr. (310) rolled past ME Donadio (277); M Picirillo (261) beat J Piccirillo (234); and D Kedson (272) managed the last word against S Shaid (253).

New Jersey (292.18) proved to be the best place to fill out your pool this year, followed by the Beltway area (288.33), Pennsylvania (271.16), New York (255.00), the Deep South (253.50), the Midwest (239.00), and New England (232.33). In regional strife, South Jersey (292.57) finished above North Jersey (287.17); Western PA (282.50) beat both Suburban Philadelphia (270.95) and Urban Philadelphia (268.13). The New York state suburbs (255.00) bettered the Connecticut suburbs (247.50).

How the once-mighty have fallen, in the Name Game. Susan, once everybody's favorite name, finished all the way down at the bottom, with an average of 259.00. The way-above-average Joes (286.50) took the competition, paying the Bills (282.80) back for past losses. Behind the Bills were the Ricks (280.40), the Johns (278.60), and the Mikes (277.33). The Dons (270.33) and Daves (270.17) detoured by the baffled Brians (265.67) and the bogged-down Bobs (259.86).

Occupationally speaking, Computer people (287.75) made a run at Salespeople (288.83), but came up short (probably a Y2K problem). Accountants (280.91), Engineers (274.00), and Doctors (273.50) made up the middle of the pack. Students (269.63), Finance professionals (268.00) and Attorneys (266.83) all finished ahead of Teachers (264.00), continuing to exhibit what's wrong with education today.

Among employers, T Rowe Price (288.33) won a hard-fought struggle with "Self" (286.88) and the Delaware Investment Group (285.00). Urban Engineers (272.58) and PaDOT (261.89) at least managed to beat "Retired" (253.17).

Mascot Trivia and All-Name Teams follow. As always, it's been fun running the pool.


In furtherance of the celebration of the Pre-NCAA Contest's tenth anniversary, this year's All Name Teams are "All Time" All Name teams:

Exree Hipp (Maryland)Boubacar Aw (Georgetown)
Fabulous Flournoy (McNeese St.)Terquin Mott (LaSalle)
omm'A Givens (UCLA)Ancient Kessely (E. Kentucky)
Justice Sueing (Hawaii)Leviticus Williamson (Notre Dame)
God Shammgod (Providence - Captain)Fennis Dembo (Wyoming - Captain)

Coaches: Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Lafayette Stribling (Miss. Valley St.)
Referee: Zelton Steed

The "I Love Alliteration" Team"All Pool Entrant" Team
Mustapha Hoff (Oregon St.)Meade Tenaglia
Ndongo N'Diaye (Providence)Justin Slade
Dmitri Domani (St. Joe's)Mash Leach
Ya-Ya Dia (Georgetown)Stosh Niemczak (past entrant)
Duany Duany (Wisconsin - Captain)Nasser Albarouki (past entrant - Captain)

Majestic Mapp (Freshman at UVa next year)
Scientific Mapp (no kidding; Majestic's younger brother.)
How about "Topographic Mapp"? (OK, we are kidding about that one.)


The Commissioners' taste for mascot trivia has been the subject of several psychological theses over the years. This year's questions are:

(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 (5 points)
(3) Among Felines, Canines, and Avians, which has the most teams in the field? (5 points)
(4) Name the five colors that appear as part of the nickname of one or more of the teams in the field (3 points each)
(5) What color (appearing as part of a team's nickname) is the most popular in this year's field? (5 points)
(6) Name all nicknames that appear more than once in the field (2 points for each correct answer)
(7) Name the teams that fit into each of the following categories (1 point for each correct answer):
(a) North American Cats (5 teams)
(b) Asian and/or African Cats (3 teams)
(c) Dogs (5 teams)
(d) Birds (8 teams)
(e) Burrowing and Cave-dwelling Mammals (5 teams)
(f) Livestock (3 teams)
(g) Early American fighters and Ancient Greeks (6 teams)
(h) Nasty Weather (4 teams)
(i) Reptiles (3 teams)
(j) People and Fauna of the Old West (8 teams)
(k) Religious or Anti-Religious Figures (5 teams)
(l) Those who Exercise (3 teams)
(m) Found in Faces or Feet (3 teams)
(n) Found in Back Rooms at Country Clubs (3 teams)
(o) Stupid beyond description (3 teams)

Note: We counted three teams twice.


(1) NONE!!! (For the first time in pool history.)
(2) Wildcats (Kentucky, Arizona, Villanova, Weber St. Oddly, 3 of the 4 are in the Midwest Region.)
(3) In a major upset for the flock, Felines and Birds are tied with 8 each.
(4) Blue, Red, Gold, Orange (Syracuse Orangemen), and Purple (Evansville Purple Aces)
(5) Believe it or not, it's a three-way tie, between Blue (Duke Blue Devils; Delaware Blue Hens; Creighton Bluejays), Red (St. John's Red Storm; Stanford Cardinal (it's a color, not a bird); Miami-OH Red Hawks), and Gold (Minnesota Golden Gophers; Tulsa Golden Hurricane; Kent Golden Flashes), with three apiece.
(6) Wildcats (Kentucky; Arizona; Villanova; Weber St.), Tigers (Auburn & Missouri), Bulldogs (Samford & Gonzaga), and Huskies (UConn & Washington).
(a) Kentucky Wildcats; Arizona Wildcats; Villanova Wildcats; Weber St. Wildcats; Charleston Cougars.
(b) Auburn Tigers; Missouri Tigers; Lafayette Leopards.
(c) UConn Huskies; Washington Huskies; Samford Bulldogs; Gonzaga Bulldogs; New Mexico Lobos.
(d) Winthrop Eagles; Louisville Cardinals; Creighton Bluejays; Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners; Kansas Jayhawks; Miami-OH Red Hawks; Temple Owls; Delaware Fighting Blue Hens.
(e) Wisconsin Badgers; Minnesota Golden Gophers; SW Missouri St. Bears; UCLA Bruins; Cincinnati Bearcats.
(f) Texas Longhorns; Arkansas Razorbacks; Rhode Island Rams.
(g) George Mason Patriots; George Washington Colonials; Tennessee Volunteers; Mississippi Rebels; Michigan St. Spartans; Detroit Titans.
(h) St. John's Red Storm; Tulsa Golden Hurricane; Miami-FL Hurricanes; Kent Golden Flashes.
(i) Maryland Terrapins; Florida A&M Rattlers; Florida Gators.
(j) Oklahoma St. Cowboys; Utah Utes; Arkansas St. Indians; Alcorn St. Braves; UNCC 49ers; Oklahoma Sooners; Florida A&M Rattlers; Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.
(k) Siena Saints; Stanford Cardinal (it's a member of the Catholic Church Hierarchy, not a bird); Penn Quakers; Valparaiso Crusaders; Duke Blue Devils.
(l) Mt. St. Mary's Mountaineers; Utah Runnin' Utes; Murray St. Racers.
(m) UNC Tar Heels; Iowa Hawkeyes; Ohio St. Buckeyes.
(n) UAB Blazers; Purdue Boilermakers; Evansville Purple Aces.
(o) New Mexico St. Aggies; Indiana Hoosiers; Syracuse Orangemen.


1 - More than we expected.
2-20 - More than we hoped.
21-50 - Get a job.
51-125 - Get a life.

Current Standings - March 25, 1999
Going into Final 4

Back to Top

NameScoreConf ChampsWild CardChampionFinal 8Final 4
Peter O'Brien33921TempleDuke53
Bill Acchione33420TempleMichigan St53
Sarah Adams33018TempleDuke53
Michael Einbinder-Schatz31418TempleDuke43
Calvin Bland31217TempleDuke43
Brian Leahy31217TempleDuke43
Manny Pogach31217TempleDuke43
Edward Leach31118TempleDuke43
Dave Papalia31119TempleDuke42
John Donadio, Sr.31019KansasDuke53
Joshua Einbinder-Schatz30717ArkansasDuke63
Rick Schlegel30718TempleDuke52
Mike Scott30718TempleMichigan St52
Bill McGarrigel30620TexasDuke53
Al Alberts30520TennesseeDuke62
Audrey Kohart30419MinnesotaDuke53
Joseph Marsala30418TempleUConn52
A Capella30215TempleDuke43
Neil Baumgarten30018TempleStanford42
Joe Hastings30016TempleDuke52
John Joseph30019XavierDuke43
Coach Doc29918TennesseeDuke53
Barbara Spitz29915GonzagaDuke43
Mike Mc29717XavierDuke53
Eric Wagner29719ArkansasDuke43
Rick Salus29520KansasMaryland52
Butch Acchione29418TempleUConn42
Laura Harlan29418TempleDuke42
Miles Joseph29316TempleDuke42
Justin Kestner29319TennesseeDuke33
Mike Wetzel29317ArkansasDuke43
Steve Lester29217TempleUConn42
Randy Wanger29218TexasDuke43
Craig Marsala29119ArkansasDuke43
John Donadio, Jr.29014TempleDuke33
Mike Moyer29015KansasDuke53
Lou C28716TempleDuke42
David Lundberg28715ArkansasDuke53
Kate Sullivan28618ArkansasDuke43
Kevin Grande28515TempleUConn42
Phyllis Kedson28515TempleDuke42
Ken Gold28418TempleAuburn32
Matt Josephs28419ArkansasKentucky52
Kevin Kasprzak28315ArkansasDuke43
Scott Warren28317TempleDuke42
Don Padilla28218CaliforniaDuke52
Bill Quinn28220XavierDuke42
Nick Mahalko, III28115TempleDuke32
Jon Broder28018TempleDuke41
Peter Hastings28017ArkansasDuke52
Bob Shaw27916MinnesotaAuburn43
Jeff Clark27817TempleDuke41
Bob Huffnagle27815TempleDuke32
Mary Ellen Donadio27715LouisvilleUConn43
Tim & Mike Leinheiser27717LouisvilleDuke33
Joe Mc27719TexasDuke42
George Brindisi27616OklahomaMiami-Florida42
Rick Seidel27615ArkansasDuke52
Marshall Linton27417TennesseeDuke33
David Josephs27318TempleUCLA31
Troy Kane27218TexasDuke42
David Kedson27218KansasDuke42
RC Natalini27216TexasDuke52
Rick Simon27217TempleDuke41
Sandy Disbrow27112WashingtonUConn43
Susan Hanson27117TennesseeDuke33
Bruno Pappasergi27018ArkansasDuke33
Don Russell27013KansasDuke43
Polly Shaffer27019TexasDuke32
Mike Baer26913TempleDuke61
Paul Brady26816LouisvilleUConn42
Linda Jaffe26718TempleDuke31
Quasi Kedson26616VillanovaDuke52
Jerry Ostru26620TexasUConn32
Curt Whiteside26620KansasKentucky51
Joe Glowacki26518TexasDuke32
Chris Nowakowski26518XavierDuke32
Cowboy26415ArkansasMichigan St52
January Man26419KansasDuke32
Mike Papalia26310XavierDuke52
Patrick O'Brien26216VillanovaDuke42
Hombre de Enero26116SW Missouri StDuke42
Ira Kedson26117SienaDuke42
Mark Piccirillo26119ArkansasKentucky51
Bob D'Zuro26015ArkansasMichigan St42
Donnell Sheppard25915TempleDuke22
Todd Anderson25613DePaulMaryland42
Edward Leeds25514ArkansasDuke42
Arnold Selig25514KansasDuke42
Susan Abrams25317LouisvilleMaryland41
Susan Shaid25315KansasDuke32
Sid Spitz25316RutgersUConn42
Meade Tenaglia25318ArkansasDuke32
Hank Fila25214ArkansasDuke42
Dick Seidel25218ArkansasAuburn41
Andy Botwin25015ArkansasDuke32
Perry Leach25015TennesseeUConn32
Norm Rosen25017TexasDuke41
Jim Budwell24913Duke32
Arrow Man24918TexasDuke22
Bobbie Shaid24914MinnesotaDuke42
Bill Gorman24815Boise StDuke42
David Harvie24614WashingtonDuke42
Russell Karpp24516LouisvilleDuke22
Len Kedson24516LouisvilleDuke41
Buddy Acchione24413KansasKentucky42
Bill Byrnes24419ArkansasDuke31
Janet Carruth24415LouisvilleTemple51
Brian Corrin24317Murray StDuke31
Bobby Peloso24218ArkansasDuke31
Brian Stover24216ArkansasDuke41
Scott Pearson24116Oklahoma StStanford31
Miguel Perez24113MinnesotaDuke42
Jeffrey Kashuba24014TennesseeUConn42
Quasi Kedson II24015LouisvilleDuke41
Justin Slade24017ArkansasDuke31
Michael Aub (Manute)23916TennesseeStanford41
Mike Lane23912WashingtonDuke42
Incineration Man23911TexasDuke43
Brett Connelly23713XavierDuke32
Jodi Piccirillo23420ArkansasDuke31
Jay Yantosh23415Duke41
Oliver Brooks23214MinnesotaDuke41
David Pennybaker23215WinthropDuke32
Domino Leach23013ArkansasDuke41
Casey B22715MinnesotaDuke31
Mash Leach2237TexasMaryland42
Jack Henderson22211MinnesotaDuke31
Sam Karpp21413PennsylvaniaDuke31
Jon Raps21311Fresno StDuke31
Nancy Sheehy21215VillanovaUConn31
Ronald Vigliotta20716VillanovaDuke21