2005 NCAA Tournament Pool FAQ

Q:    How many times can I enter?

A:    As many times as you'd like.  Please make sure you number each of your entries (i.e. John Q. Public #1, John Q. Public #2, etc.) so that I can give each one a unique name in my tracking software.  It's $5 per entry.

Q:    How often are the standings updated on the web site?

A:    They are updated after the completion of each day's games.  If I'm still awake they'll be updated that night, but they'll be updated by 9am the following morning at the latest.  After the regional finals (which finish up on Sunday, March 27th) I will provide a detailed analysis of payouts for all remaining scenarios and all entries still alive for a prize.

Q:    Do I have to enter using www.netpick.net?

A:    You don't have to, but it does make things easier for me.  I'm expecting to get about 200-250 entries for this pool, and each one I have to click in from a paper sheet takes between two and three minutes.  Each one I get submitted from Netpick takes me five seconds.  It helps keep my sanity (or at least what little sanity I have remaining), and it virtually eliminates the chance of an entry error.  It's really quite easy to use.  

Q:    I'm a little short on funds right now.  Can I pay you later?

A:    No.  Pay up.  I hate to be a jerk about this, but collecting the entry fees is easily the worst part about running this pool (wayyy worse than clicking in hundreds of entries).  There are too many people in this pool for me to chase even a small fraction of the entry fees after the fact.  If you're mailing the check I understand I may not have it by tip-off on Thursday, but the envelope you send it in must be postmarked no later than Thursday.  I understand that the odds are that you, dear reader, are an extremely credit-worthy individual.  However a few bad apples in the past have ruined it for everybody.  Sorry.  I only had to delete one unpaid entry last year, which was my best year yet.  Hopefully this year that number will be zero.  

Q:    I just looked at the PDF file of my official pick sheet and I see there's a mistake.  What should I do?

A:    That depends.  If it's my mistake simply let me know via email and I'll fix it once I verify the error was my own.  One important note: you must correct any mistakes I've made no later than Tuesday, March 22nd.  This is to avoid a situation where a mistake is caught after I've paid the winners at the end of the pool.  Your picks should be available online for review no later than Friday March 18th.  

If you made the mistake filling out your original bracket you're out of luck.  It is important to note that all entries must be logical, meaning that every winner has to come from one of the teams playing the game before.  Every year I get a couple of entries where someone makes an impossible selection, such as A beating B, C beating D, but then B winning the game between A and C.  My software can't handle it and I will change your bracket to some sort of logical path of my choosing.  I will change the minimum number of games I need to make your bracket logical and you'll have to live with those selections.  Also, if you forget to fill in a game I'll choose a team that keeps your bracket logical and you'll have to live with my decision.  If you notice you missed a game on your sheet before tip-off of the first game, send me an email and I'll fix it.  Once noon EST hits on Thursday my selection for your blank or illogical pick is final.

Q:    What do you do if someone forgets to enter a tiebreaker?

A:    I will enter "100" as your selection.  Please don't ask me to change it.  It's a pain to amend entries once the tournament has begun, and if I do it for one person I have to do it for everyone.  The best thing to do is to remember to fill in the tiebreaker when you fill out your sheet!!!

Q:    How does the tiebreaker work?

A:    You should enter the total number of points you think will be scored in the final game.  For example, if you think the final score will be 67-61, you should enter "128" in your tiebreaker slot.  In the event of a tie the entry closest to the tiebreaker score finishes ahead of the other tied entry.  If two entries are still tied after application of the tiebreaker there'll be no further tiebreakers, and those entries will equally split whatever prize(s) they're tied for.  For example, if player A has chosen 130 as his tiebreaker and player B has chosen 126 as her tiebreaker and the score of the final game is 128 those entries would still be tied because each missed the final score by two points.  If they were tied for first they would each win one-half of the combined value of the first- and second-place prizes.

Q:    Can I enter anonymously or using a pseudonym?

A:    No.  This is an open pool where most entrants know each other.  I just hate having conversations where someone asks me "who's Slappy McPicker?" and I can only answer with "he works with Jorgen Von Hoopsenhoffer in Accounts Payable".  Plus it gets to be a pain to figure out where I need to send a check if you finish in the money.  Please use your real name on your entry.  Thank you.

Q:    Is there any award for the entrant who gets the lowest score?

A:    Yes, eternal shame.

Q:    How much do you take out of the prize fund for running the pool?

A:    None.  100% of entry fees go into the prize fund.  I only profit if I have an entry that places in the money.

Q:    How do we know you're not cheating?

A:    I'll post my picks (and the picks of any other entrants from my immediate family) on the web site shortly after tip-off.  I will also give hardcopies to my trusty lieutenant Paul G. who will act as an independent verifier.  For what it's worth I haven't made a dime in any of my first five NCAA pools.

Q:    If I don't know you is there anything else I should give you with my entry?

A:    Yes, either your contact information (email preferably) or the name of someone I do know who is also in the pool who I can contact if you finish in the money.  Every year I get about ten entries where I say "who the &$%@ is this guy?" which invariably leads to problems applying payments to entries.  Don't be that guy.

Q:    I can't log in to www.netpick.net!  What should I do?

A:    Usually Thursday morning right before tip-off www.netpick.net gets overwhelmed with entries and has trouble with the traffic.  Please don't wait until the last minute to fill out your bracket if you're planning on filling it out online.  Hopefully this won't be a problem for anyone.  

Return to the 2005 NCAA Pool Homepage.

If you have any questions, send me an email at ncaa@mattolsen.com.