2006 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 $10 per entry.

Q:    When is the deadline for entries?

A:    12:00 noon EST Thursday March 16th.  If the time stamp on your email is dated 12:01pm or later on Thursday March 16th your entry is void.

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 26th) 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:    YES!!!  This is a change for this year.  I'm expecting to get about 200-250 entries for this pool, and each one I would get on paper would take me several minutes to enter.  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.  Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

Q:    But I hate those online entry things.  I won't enter if you don't take a paper entry.

A:    That's not technically a question, but my response is "sorry".  The pool is now too big for me to handle all those paper entries.  It takes far too much time, and I'm at the point where I'd rather forego the entry than enter it manually.  Please don't ask for an exception.  I'm not going to grant it.  If you're not willing to enter online then this is not the pool for you.

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 will delete all unpaid entries, and if I don't have your check by Friday March 24th you will be permanently banned from all future pools.

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 21st.  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 17th.  

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.  Entries must be made in your own name.  I'm going to make out all prize checks to the names listed on the winning entries, so don't do it.  If you really want to be anonymous then this is not the pool for 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:    Nothing.  100% of entry fees go into the prize fund.  I only profit if I have an entry that places in the money, and that hasn't happened in the first six years of the pool.

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.  Print them and keep them handy to make sure I don't change my picks if you doubt me.  Otherwise you'll just have to trust me.  <insert evil laugh here>

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:    How is the pool scored?

A:    Points are awarded as follows:

The tiebreaker (see above) will come into play for players tied for any of the four prize positions.  Ties are not broken below 4th place when the final scoresheet comes out.

Q:    Don't I have to wait until Tuesday night to send you my selections since I need to wait to see how the Monmouth vs. Hampton play-in game pans out?

A:    No.  First, I don't offer any bonus points for picking upsets in this pool, so picking against UConn in the first round is dicey at best (go ahead and pick against them, I dare you!).  Second, those two teams count as one team for the purposes of this pool.  So, if you pick Hampton to beat UConn, but instead Monmouth beats Hampton and then continues on to beat UConn, I'll still give you credit for the pick.  Send me your brackets as soon as you've got them finalized since it's easier for me if I get the brackets spread out over the course of three days rather than all on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.   

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.  Hopefully this won't be a problem for anyone, but if it does create a problem I'm afraid I can't help you.  So many people wait until the last minute that I can't start making exceptions and accepting paper entries for all those last-minute entries.  Please try to enter no later than Wednesday night for safety's sake.  

Q:    I've never entered the pool before and I'd like to see what these reports look like.  Can you show me some samples?

A:    Sure.  Everything from last year's pool has been archived.  You can see the final results and final report there, and there's another page with records of each daily update.  You can also see a sample of how each entrant's picks are available for viewing.

Return to the 2006 NCAA Pool Homepage.

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