SCOTT'S MARCH MADNESS OLD NEWS

April 7, 2019 7:39AM CST

#1-Virginia will meet #3-Texas Tech on Monday. Auburn fans must be bummed. Charles Barkely announced that that he may cry and he actually looked like he might. It seemed like Auburn had that game in hand when the Virginia guard dribbled it off his heel with 5 seconds remaining, but the foul with less than a second remaining cost them the game. I thought the ref could have swallowed the whistle, but even Charles agreed it technically was a foul.

I hope you didn't bet the over (+132.5) in the Texas Tech / Michigan State game? Tear up the ticket with the score 23-21 at half. Both teams play tough basketball, which I like. I just recently realized that the games top scorer, Matt Mooney, went to private high school a couple miles from my house. I found myself rooting for for him although I generally route for Big-10 schools and like Tom Izzo.

In this pool, only two people picked the correct championship participants. Joe Rizzo picked Virgina over Texas Tech and Kyle Weurding picked Texas Tech over Virginia. Kyle currently sits in third place and has a chance to take the big prize with a Texas Tech victory. Jamin Nixon (a.k.a. Reed) remains on top with #1-Virginia and Jim Rotenberg in second with #1-Duke. Remember, I do pay out prizes to the entire Top10.

In the SWEET-16 Pool, past pool winner Pete Moutvic sits at the top 3 but does have Michigan State as the final winner. Still lots of movement coming in the Sweet-16 leadboard depending on who wins the final.

Only a few people still unpaid. Expanding the electronic payment options greatly improved the collection process. For the last few, don't be a weasel.


March 31, 2019 6:12PM CST

Duke is gone! I do respect what Coach K has done in his career, but I couldn't let Duke into the Final Four. I couldn't let him pass John Wooden to be the coach with the most Final Four appearances.

Two great games to watch today! First an OT game with #5-Auburn beating #2-Kentucky, and then an awesome game between two great coaches. I am obviously not hiding my happiness with #1-Duke getting knocked out by #2-Michigan State. I am one of the people who drank the Kool-Aid in November and thought Duke would go undefeated this year. Although I am not a fan of Duke, I do like the look of the picture below:

Jamin Nixon moves into the top spot with the Michigan State victory. The picks are actually entered by Jamin's son Reed. He has #1-Virginia as his Champ. He is all over many leaderboards and has had an incredible showing this tournament. The next three (Jim Rotenberg, George Keskey, and Gavin Freytag) take a big hit since they had #1-Duke as their Champ. Gavin had made a big jump up when he picked #5-Auburn to the Final Four. TJ Nolan moves up to 7th and has Michigan State as his Champ. Just outside the Top-10 in 11th place is Kyle Weurding. He has #3-Texas Tech as his Champ and can still make a big move.

Is the suspense killing you about who will win? If so, then see the page that shows all the last eight possible combinations at the following link: FINAL FOUR COMBINATIONS.

In the SWEET-16 Pool, Pete Moutvic moves into spot at the top of the SWEET-16 Leaderboard. Pete is a previous pool winner (1998) and is hoping to take regain his old form with a SWEET-16 victory.

The $200 prize for the best combined 3&4th Round goes to Jamin Nixon (a.k.a. Reed Nixon). He is crushing it. He is also in third in the Sweet-16.

The Regional Bracket awards are listed below. Once Leaderboards are final, you can see the winner at the following link: FINAL RESULTS.

EAST: Betty Bairley, Patrick Russart
WEST: Jamin Nixon
SOUTH: Scott Nelson, George Keskey
MIDWEST: Mike Curley

The electronic payment method really increased promptness of payments this year. I have over 90% of the entry fees in. Thanks. Don't be a weasel and send it today!


March 31, 2019 8:18AM CST

Jim Rotenberg moves up the leaderboard into the top spot by picking #3-Texas Tech into the Final Four. Jim has Duke as his Champ. Jamin Nixon is only one point back in the second place spot with #1-Virginia as his Champ. TJ Nolan moves up to 8th and is the highest person with #2-Michigan St as his Champ. Jason Gonski is in 10th place with #2-Kentucky.

In the SWEET-16 leaderboard, Jamin Nixon is at top and still has a perfect bracket.

Jamin Nixon is crushing it this year so far. He also has the best overall WEST bracket so takes home the $200 prize.

The best SOUTH bracket is a tie between Scott Nelson and George Keskey who will split the $200 prize.

90% of the payments are in. Thank you! But still 10% with 'check in the mail'. Don't be a weasel, get your entry fee in today.


March 30, 2019 8:15AM CST

The first #1-seed is gone. North Carolina is bounced out and so do nearly 20% of brackets in this pool. The Elite-8 still has the cream floating to the top with three of the #1-seeds and still many of the 2-seeds and 3-seeds.

The ACC, BIG10, and SEC all looking strong with 2 teams each in the Elite-8.

George Keskey still sits at the top of the Leaderboard with Duke as his champ. It is amazing to me that George also another Duke bracket in 7th place overall. Scott Nelson in second with Duke. Sorry to break it to Scott, but he has the exact same picks a George ahead of him. Jim Rotenberg is third with Duke with all his Final Four picks alive with some differences from the two above.

Jamin Nixon in 4th place with the highest #1-Virginia pick. You have to go to Bob Buethe in 25th place to see your first #1-Gonzaga pick. A few others with #2-Kentucky and TJ Nolan with #2-Michigan State sprinkled in the Top 25.

For something completely baffling to me is Bill Hutten. He has three brackets in the Top-10. Bill is also the only person to win the pool back-to-back (06 & 07). I almost thought there must be a way he is cheating or maybe he is magic. But sadly for Bill, all three brackets have North Carolina as his Champion.

In the SWEET-16, the rich are getting richer. George Keskey (first place overall) and Jamin Nixon (4th place overall) still have perfect SWEET-16 brackets. George even has one bracket tied for third in the SWEET-16. Tied for third place in the SWEET-16 is Gavin Freytag who is 5th place in the overall Leaderboard. TJ Nolan also tied for third in SWEET-16 and he is highest person in overall leaderboard (14th) with Michigan State as his Champ. I used to think that luck played an important part, but I am staring to think that there must be a talent to this (which I clearly do not have since I am currently in 454th place overall).

Don't be a weasel, get you entry fee in today.


March 29, 2019 6:56AM CST

Half of the Elite-8 is decided. Both #1s still in, but both #2s are out.

George Keskey has got all 4 of the Elite-8 so far and moves into a 10-pt lead on top of the Leaderboard. He has Duke as his Champion. Scott Nelson also with Duke in second place. Bill Hutten is the only person to ever win this pool back-to-back (06 & 07) and is in third with North

In the SWEET-16 Pool, over 80% of the entrants got in a bracket. This is about the norm over the last few years. There are still 39 people still perfect including pool leader George Keskey who has 4 correct SWEET-16 brackets.

Most people have already sent in their entry feel. Still some stragglers. Don't be a weasel. Send your entry fee today.


March 24, 2019 10:37PM CST

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER YOUR SWEET-16 POOL

The first two rounds are complete, and the Sweet-16 teams are set. All the #1-seeds, #2-seeds, and #3-seeds are all still alive and into the Sweet-16. But, #1-Dook came so very close to losing. When UCF kept it close for so long, I was thrilled. This was the one big upset that I was craving. This was the one big upset we were missing over the weekend. I am still bummed and don't think I will sleep well tonight. How did Johnny Dawkins' son miss that alley-oop with 1:55 remaining in the game? The UCF Knights were up 4 points at that point and were on a break-away. I was yelling at the TV to pull it out and take time off the clock. As soon as he missed that dunk, I knew my night was ruined. I knew Duke would win. All I can say is 'darn'. I may have yelled worse when it all happened.

#12-Oregon played #13-UC-Irvine, so we were guaranteed one double-digit seed into the Sweet-16. Apparently, this wasn't that big of a surprise since this pool actually had a many people who picked #12-Oregon into the Sweet-16. 26% of all brackets got it correct. The overall leaderboard is still wide open and will see a lot of movement.

Jerry Brammer moves to the top of the leaderboard with Kentucky as his Champ. George Keskey, Dave Mutter, and Scott Nelson are all one point back and all with Duke at their Champ. What is truly amazing is that both Jerry Brammer and George Keskey each have a second bracket in the Top 10. Wow!

The prize for the best Round 2 goes to John Yurkovich and Brian Kann who will split the $200 prize. Both were perfect will all 16 teams picked correctly into the Sweet-16. Check out the MOST SWEET-16 TEAMS page to see who has the most Sweet-16 teams. People at the top of that list historically make big moves up the Leaderboard.

Don't forget to check out the CONFERENCE STATS page. The ACC is looking really strong with 5 teams into the Sweet-16. The BIG-10 and SEC also got 4 each.

For the last place award, Tim Ponder holds on to clinch it and will take the $200 award. Final Results for all prizes can always be seen on the FINAL RESULTS page.

I originally created the Sweet-16 for people who needed a second chance after their brackets went bust. This year not many in the pool have a truly busted bracket yet, but you still get another chance to win prizes. Don't forget to enter the SWEET-16 Pool. Every original bracket entered gets a free chance in the SWEET-16 pool at no extra charge. Log in to your home page and click the 'ENTER 16' button to enter your picks. Your new picks do not affect your original bracket in any way. If you have questions, see the SWEET 16 INFO page.

I was going to build a new modern interface this year but ran out of time. The new style is called 'responsive' which means it automatically resizes depending on which size device you are on (phone, tablet, large monitor) and collapses menu to iphone style. I created the Leaderboards in a new style that allows easy filtering and sorting. I also made 'Region' and 'Round' leaderboards all on one page each. Check them out at this page: NEW LEADERBOARDS. Looks good on iphone if you turn it on its side.

I created a Message on the MESSAGE board. Send a reply if you have other suggestions for next year. Remember that your replies on the message board are 'public'.

I also finally fixed the PDF Print issue. I re-coded the PDF code so you can print your brackets in a much nicer format. My hosting company upgraded software on the servers late last Sunday night (terrible timing) and erased the PDF module used in the PHP code. They could not get it back so I re-coded it with a different open-source library I got from another location.

The pool has 327 people across 28 states. Two people are from abroad. Here are the top 10 states represented in the pool:

IL33.6%
CA16.2%
SC5.8%
MI5.5%
NY5.5%
NC5.2%
TX5.2%
NV3.1%
OH2.8%
CT2.8%
FL1.5%

Most have been great getting their payments in early. Over 71% of payments are already in. This year I took as many electronic payments as I could. I know that 'check is in the mail', but here is the breakdown on payment methods.

PayPal38%
ChasePay/Zelle37%
Venmo10%
Check8%
GooglePay3%
ApplePay2%
Cash2%

Don't be a weasel. Send in your entry fee today.


Sooooo Close!



March 24, 2019 8:36AM CST

All the higher seeds won on Saturday except for #5-Auburn over #4-Kansas. So, still all but a few still have their Champion still in the tourney. With the brackets holding to form, 33 people were perfect yesterday. Check out the MOST SWEET-16 TEAMS page to see who has the most Sweet-16 teams. The people at the top of that list tend to finish very strong in the overall leaderboard.

My UCLA roommate, David Mutter, moves up to first place with Duke as his Champion. With so many top teams still in, lots of movement still expected in the big leaderboard.

Tim Ponder remains with the best low, but it all hinges on the Liberty game for him today.

BIG10 and ACC still looking very strong with 5 team still in remaining. SEC still with 4. BigEast has all 4 teams gone already.

I was going to build a new modern interface this year but ran out of time. The new style is called 'responsive' which means it automatically resizes depending on which size device you are on (phone, tablet, large monitor) and collapses menu to iphone style. I created the Leaderboards in a new style that allows easy filtering and sorting. I also made 'Region' and 'Round' leaderboards all on one page each. Check them out at this page: NEW LEADERBOARDS. Looks good on iphone if you turn it on its side.

I created a Message on the MESSAGE board. Send a reply if you have other suggestions for next year. Remember that your replies on the message board are 'public'.

Don't forget to enter the SWEET-16 Pool on Monday. And, don't be a weasel. Send your entry fee today.


March 23, 2019 8:53AM CST

UPDATE: PDF printing now fixed. You can print your bracket via PDF again.

I must say, I could not believe it when I turned on the Virginia game in the first half. Last year, they were the only #1 seed to ever lose to a #16-seed. During the first half this year, #1-Virginia was losing to #16-GarnerWebb by 14 points. Ultimately, they pulled it out. Even #1-North Carolina was losing at half but pulled it out.

It didn't feel like a day with big upsets, although five double digit seeds did win on Friday, #13-UC-Irvine was the biggest surprise with a win over #4-Kansas State. #12-Liberty pulled out a close one over #5-Mississippi St.

I don't consider #12-Oregon a real upset. I almost feel sorry for #5-Wisconsin who drew #12-Oregon. Oregon was Top-15 pre-season but had some injuries early. Oregon also peaked by winning the Pac-12 tourney to get the automatic bid. Sorry Badger fans.

This year, all the #9s won and three of the #10s won. Three of the #12s which seems to happen all the time now. All the big seeds still in, so very few have a true busted bracket. Only 4 people have lost their Champ (excluding people going for last place award).

Kevin Kachmarik moves into first place with many others close behind.

Peter Lennon has a great second day and wins the $200 prize for Day-2.

The BIG-10 is still looking good with a 7-1 record. The Big East looking the worst of the power conferences with 3 of their 4 teams already out. The CONFERENCE STATS page shows the results by conference.

The Last Place award is not quite final. Tim Ponder remains in first but could get extra points if #12-Liberty beats #4-Virginia Teach. Carl Davies sits close behind but could also get points with a victory by #13-UC Irvine. Tim Ponder happens to also have a Top 15 bracket overall. What a versatile gambler he is.

Don't be a weasel, send your entry fee today.


March 21, 2019 11:11PM CST

We have 516 brackets entered this year. That will make a good payout for the big winners. Everyone in the Top-10 will get a prize.

Some tight games today without too many big upsets, but those #12 v #5 games are good every year. We are getting spoiled; a #12 doesn't seem like a big upset anymore. It happens with great regularity. The #12 seed wins almost 35% of the time. See my HISTORICAL STATS BY SEED page to see the stats. #12-New Mexico State took #5-Auburn to the wire but just couldn't pull it out. Then later, #12-Murray State beat #5-Marquette handily.

Kentucky won today, but will Calapari leave and be the next UCLA coach. Coach Calipari did squash those rumors today, but it would obvisouly be a step up for him.

On the STATS page you can also see who everyone picks to win it all. The top 8 picks were almost exactly as I expected. The top four picks are the four #1s. The next four picks were the four #2s. Those top eight teams make up over 96% of all the brackets. Duke was the top pick with 36.6% followed by North Carolina with 19.9%. Virgina is the third most picked which give the ACC over two-thirds of all brackets. The East Coast bias left Gonzaga as the least respected #1-seed with 8.3% of the picks. Travis Mistretta picked Marquette on a bracket and is the first person with their Champ knocked out. To see more stats, check out the page I created last year - TEAM STATS. Click on the teams name to see the percentage that picked that team in each round.

BIG-10 did have a great day. They went 5-0 today. SEC also looking good with 4-0 start. Check out the CONFERENCE RECORDS page to see the details.

Dan Shapland is the one person with a perfect day and will take the $200 prize for the best first day. His Dad Mark is a two-time winner of this pool. It must be genetics.

We have 13 people going for the last place prize. Tim Ponder is holding a slim lead with only 18 points. For those who have never tried to create a loser bracket, it is much harder than you think due to the upset bonus. I used to give money to the last place finisher when people tried hard on every bracket. When I raised the payout, people began to go for it on purpose. I must admit, I find it interesting to watch those brackets - LAST PLACE LEADERBOARD.

We have 316 people entering with 516 total brackets. This year I did enter only one Sheet of Integrity, but I typically enter two. Without many Pac-12 teams in the tourney, I didnt need to pick my typical UCLA / PAC12 heavy bracket. I have no issue with others who like to enter multiple brackets. A few people enter multiple

times since they enter for their kids. Others just like to diversify since they hate to have their single bracket goes bust. The majority do enter only once:

1 bracket66.1%
2 brackets18.0%
3 brackets7.0%
4 or more8.8%

Lastly, I decided to take as many electronic payment options as I could and have been impressed on how fast people have paid. I already have 55% of payments in on the first day which blows away all previous years. Thank you.

For those remaining unpaid, don't be a weasel. Get your payment in today.


March 20, 2019 10:34PM CST

Although the play-in games don't count toward the scoring in pool, March Madness has started. The PAC12 is still undefeated. Speaking of impressive conferences, how about ACC getting three #1 seeds. I think all three are deserving of a #1 seed.

I do like how the committee slots some games. With Arizona State winning, Coach Bobby Hurley gets to face Buffalo which is the team he left to go to ASU. If #5-Wisconsin can get to Sweet-16, they get to face their previous coach Tony Bennett who now coaches Virginia (although a large gap in years unlike Bobby Hurley.)

You have until first tip on Thursday to enter or edit your final picks. The first tip is 12:15PM EST on Thursday, but I will leave the cutoff at 12:20 PM EST to give a few minutes of grace period.

Sorry about some of the technical glitches.

Good luck to everyone.


March 13, 2019 5:23PM CST

Scott's March Madness is back for its 30th year. The brackets will be announced this Sunday evening.

The price per bracket is again $20, and all other rules are the same as last year. The prize payouts will be dependent on the number of brackets entered. Please see the POOL RULES page on the website for the details.

The NCAA Selection Committee added 4 play-in games on Tuesday & Wednesday. These games will not be counted in the pool scoring. You have until first tip-off on Thursday, March 21st to enter your brackets.

As always, all the entry fees that come in will go back out prizes to the winners. The one exception is a donation to the a local Glenview charity.