2012 NCAA Tournament Pool


4/3/12 5:40am - Congratulations to the Kentucky Wildcats for cutting down the nets this year. More importantly, congratulations to RobWarshaw1 for winning this year's pool. He'll take home a tidy sum for his prescience. The final prize structure is as follows:

Winners should have heard from me already. If you didn't get my email it probably wound up in your spam filter. Please drop me a note at my email address.

I hope you all enjoyed another year of the Moose Resorts NCAA Pool. Hopefully we'll see you again in 2013 for the fourteenth annual installment. Until then, thanks for playing and have a great year.

3/31/12 11:30pm - With a huge Kansas comeback in the books, we're down to one game for all the marbles. No entrant has a prize locked up, so it's all or nothing for the eight remaining entries with a chance at a prize. Good luck to all eight of you.

Scenario #1
Kentucky over Kansas

1st Place - 120 - RobWarshaw1
2nd Place - 119 - ACK
3rd Place - 118 - greeny2
4th Place - 116 - Izzy DiCarlo
Scenario #2
Kansas over Kentucky

1st Place - 130 - Bill LaGram1
2nd Place - 121 - JoeGuzzardi2
3rd Place - 120 - FunkyBunch3
4th Place - 119 - MoliveDeux

On a quick side note, I was eliminated from prize contention, keeping my perfect 0-for-13 streak alive and putting off accusations I've cheated for at least one more year.

3/25/12 8:05pm - It's a darn good time to be Bill LaGram1. He will win the pool in three out of eight scenarios. Five other entries have a chance to take home the top prize, but all five of those need all three games to break their way. One of those entries is mine, marking the first time in thirteen years I've had a chance at the top prize in the final weekend. It's not a great chance, but I'll take it!

19 entries (10.4%) still have a chance to cash. The ways everything else could shake out are listed in the table below. If you see your entry listed there, congratulations! If you don't, my sympathies. Bookmark the site and visit again in March 2013. As I mentioned before I have received all the pool entry fees, so there's not much more to say between now and Saturday's games. Good luck to all who remain.

Scenario #1
Kentucky over Louisville
Ohio State over Kansas
Kentucky over Ohio State

1st Place - 125 - Gerry Cauley 1
2nd Place (tie) - 123 - Scooffer (tiebreak: 121)
2nd Place (tie) - 123 - altman2 (tiebreak: 156)
4th Place - 119 - rbritton12
Scenario #2
Kentucky over Louisville
Ohio State over Kansas
Ohio State over Kentucky

1st Place - 117 - Clark2
2nd Place - 111 - Aaron Ort
3rd Place - 109 - Gerry Cauley 1
4th Place (tie) - 107 - Scooffer (tiebreak: 121)
4th Place (tie) - 107 - Matthew Olsen 3 (tiebreak: 138)
4th Place (tie) - 107 - altman2 (tiebreak: 156)
Scenario #3
Kentucky over Louisville
Kansas over Ohio State
Kentucky over Kansas

1st Place - 120 - RobWarshaw1
2nd Place - 119 - ACK
3rd Place - 118 - greeny2
4th Place - 116 - Izzy DiCarlo
Scenario #4
Kentucky over Louisville
Kansas over Ohio State
Kansas over Kentucky

1st Place - 130 - Bill LaGram1
2nd Place - 121 - JoeGuzzardi2
3rd Place - 120 - FunkyBunch3
4th Place - 119 - MoliveDeux
Scenario #5
Louisville over Kentucky
Ohio State over Kansas
Louisville over Ohio State

1st Place - 101 - Siva Fevaa
2nd Place - 98 - Gerry Cauley 1
3rd Place (tie) - 96 - Scooffer (tiebreak: 121)
3rd Place (tie) - 96 - altman2 (tiebreak: 156)
Scenario #6
Louisville over Kentucky
Ohio State over Kansas
Ohio State over Louisville

1st Place - 107 - Matthew Olsen 3
2nd Place - 106 - Clark2
3rd Place - 105 - RobWarshaw6
4th Place - 100 - Aaron Ort
Scenario #7
Louisville over Kentucky
Kansas over Ohio State
Louisville over Kansas

1st Place - 103 - Bill LaGram1
2nd Place - 101 - Siva Fevaa
3rd Place (tie) - 94 - Nate Miles (tiebreak: 165)
3rd Place (tie) - 94 - JoeGuzzardi2 (tiebreak: 138)
Scenario #8
Louisville over Kentucky
Kansas over Ohio State
Kansas over Louisville

1st Place - 119 - Bill LaGram1
2nd Place - 110 - JoeGuzzardi2
3rd Place - 109 - FunkyBunch3
4th Place (tie) - 108 - Melo for brains (tiebreak: 132)
4th Place (tie) - 108 - MoliveDeux (tiebreak: 115)

3/24/12 9:30pm - Only five games left to go in the tournament, and we're getting some clarity in the pool. Only 13 people (7.1%) can still win. Only 41 entries (22.4%) are still eligible for a prize of some sort. Tbox2 and uconnscott are in first place, Bill LaGram1 has the most scenarios to win the top prize, and Matthew Olsen 3 has the most scenarios to finish in the money (yay!).

About an hour after tomorrow's final game, I'll post a detailed listing of what each of the potential eight Final Four outcomes would mean for the pool, so you'll know exactly what you're rooting for (if you're rooting for anything). Good luck to you.

3/24/12 7:50pm - We're paid in full! The full prize fund is now guaranteed.

As a reminder, the prizes are:

3/24/12 6:35pm - I processed the pool with Florida winning about 20 minutes ago. Guess I jinxed the Gators. Sorry if you needed Florida to win.

3/24/12 6:30am - The first Friday of the tournament had some of the most exciting upsets we've ever seen. Last night, not so much. Chalk prevailed, and some strong brackets got stronger. uconnscott (a.k.a. "The Pride of Plainville") still has a two-point lead, but Cuse is in the House has the most scenarios to win. There are still 128 ways this tournament can play out, but after Saturday's games we'll be down to 32, and after Sunday's games we'll be down to 8. We're already down to 27 potential winners (14.8%), including two of my brackets. 69 entries (37.7%) are still alive for one of the four prizes.

Based on feedback I've gotten, I think we'll be down to one unpaid entry by the end of the day. If his check doesn't come in today's mail I'll post his real name here and ask for your help in contacting him for payment. If there's no payment or correspondence by Sunday he'll be eliminated and the 2nd place prize will be $350 instead of the originally announced $360.

Good luck, and enjoy today's games.

3/23/12 11:40am - Got a couple more payments. I'll guarantee the second half of Maryland Jay's payment (I already have half, long story) so we're just three entries short. First prize is now guaranteed at $1200, and each of the 2nd-4th place prizes are $10 short. If/as I'm paid the last three I'll add those funds to 4th place, then 3rd place, then 2nd place. So, as of today, minimum guaranteed prizes are $1200/$350/$170/$80. Edited at 12:20pm: got one more in so fourth place is now guaranteed at $90.

3/23/12 6:20am - Ah, the pool is a very fickle beast. Four games last night took some brackets that were looking strong (like Sunday's leader) and completely shattered them. Now we have a new leader in uconnscott. He's two clear of the rest of the field, but as we saw yesterday things can change in a hurry. No one got all four games right last night, but 14 people (7.7%) did manage to get three. There are now 40 brackets with a chance of winning it all (21.9%) and 83 still in the running a finish in the money (45.4%). After tonight's games, we'll have even more clarity. Good luck to you all.

3/22/12 8:10pm - The good news is that we got a bunch of payments in today, bringing us to 96.7% paid. The bad news is that of the six unpaid entries, only one has contacted me about the delay and promised payment is in the mail. I'll send out another round of emails tomorrow, with public shaming and real names posted on the website if I haven't heard by Saturday. So, the minimum guaranteed prizes at this point are $1180/$340/$170/$80. Hopefully we'll get those last six payments in. I've never had more than one entry stiff me in the same year so hopefully those last six payments are on their way.

3/21/12 7:40pm - Seven more payments in, bringing us to 90.7%. Four of the remaining 17 entries have gotten in touch with me, so that leaves 13 people still silent. Emails will go out to them tonight.

3/20/12 8:20pm - Tuesday's received payments have been applied. Still 24 entry fees missing, meaning only 86.9% of payments have been received. This is the latest I've ever been below 90%. Emails go out tomorrow, and real names of non-payers get disclosed this weekend. If you haven't put the check in the mail yet, you may want to send me an email to see how you can send me the money via PayPal immediately.

3/19/12 7:10pm - Monday's received payments have been applied. 76% of entries have had payments applied.

3/19/12 5:45am - After most of us went to bed last night, Florida State's elimination put a dent in a bunch of brackets. 48 entrants had them in the Final Four, and 7 had them winning it all. JoeGuzzardi1 is still leading the pool by two points, but the Florida State's loss hurt his potential score. Now the highest potential score belongs to Gerry Cauley 1 at 140. There's a five-way tie for second which includes JoeGuzzardi2. Joe's excellence this year apparently cannot be contained to one bracket.

You'll notice two new columns in the standings spreadsheet: "Percentage First" and "Money Percentage". There are 15 games remaining to be played, which means there are two-to-the-power-of-fifteen (32,768) remaining ways this tournament can play out. The software has crunched all 32K+ outcomes and figured out how many of them lead to certain brackets winning or placing in the money. So, your "percentage first" is what percent of those 32,768 potential outcomes lead to you winning. Same thing for the "money percentage", except it counts any scenario that puts you in the top four. It doesn't weigh any particular scenario more heavily than any other, so the scenarios with Ohio winning it all are equally weighted with the scenarios that crown Kentucky as the champion. These percentages will continue to update as the next several rounds progress. After Thursday's four games we'll be down to 11 games remaining (2,048 potential outcomes), so we'll have a lot more clarity on Friday morning.

As of right now, 96 entries (52.5%) are still mathematically eligible to win the top prize. 149 entries (81.4%) are still alive for some sort of prize, which I think is a record percentage remaining after the first weekend. To those 18.6% of you completely eliminated, sorry things didn't break your way.

One last note, I will be updating the pool each evening with the entry fees received in that day's mail. If you have not yet sent the check, PLEASE do so immediately. As I've mentioned before, collecting entry fees is the worst part of the pool, and every year I have to spend a lot of time chasing down people who forget to pay. Please do me a favor and make my unpaid job a little easier by paying before I need to come bug you. Thank you.

Have a great Monday. Back on Thursday with more results.


3/18/12 9:35pm - JoeGuzzardi1 is owning the pool so far. He is two points clear of the rest of the field, and has a maximum possible score five points higher than his nearest competitor. Nicely done Joe. Of course, premature congraulations can be a curse in this pool...

3/18/12 2:40pm - With N.C. State's upset win, I'm now in a tie for first place. I'll use this as a chance to remind people that if you want to audit my brackets, I encourage you to go to the "all brackets" PDF file and save it to your hard drive. Then you can check on me if I win. I haven't cashed in during any of the 12 previous pools, but maybe #13 is lucky?

3/18/12 8:40am - No huge upsets yesterday, so the scores continued to climb. As of now we have a two-way tie for first between FB and JoeGuzzardi1, but lots of entries are right on their tails. Only two brackets were busted yesterday, both courtesy of Vanderbilt, so if you were still in the running through Friday's games, you're probably still alive for a prize today.

After the final game is over tonight, I'll have a detailed breakdown of which entries are still mathematically alive. Enjoy today's games!

3/17/12 8:50pm - The standings page now reflects who has paid and who has not. If your check is in the mail, don't worry about it. If you haven't sent it yet, please do so ASAP.

3/17/12 9:05am - Yesterday's upsets certainly suppressed the pool scores. The best anyone did in the first round (yes, I know the NCAA is now calling it the "second round", but calling the "First Four" the "first round" is not something I'm willing to do) was 25 games right out of 32. Four people managed that feat. Looking at the maximum possible scores though, it's still wide open. 160 entries (87.4%) still have their championship pick alive. We should have more clarity after Sunday's games when the software will crunch through all 32,768 remaining possible outcomes and tell us exactly how many brackets still have a shot.

Later today I'll start putting the "paid" information into the pool. If you haven't put that check in the mail yet, please do so today!

Good luck with today's games, and enjoy St. Patrick's Day.

3/16/12 9:40pm - Holy cow... did that really happen? Amazing to see two different #2 seeds go down on the same day. While this makes it an officially tough opening round for the UConn/Duke household we have here, it'll make the Duke haters happy (you know who you are). Surprisingly, only one person had Duke winning it all. 10% of entries had them in the Final Four. That's a very low number for a two-seed, but when you're in Kentucky's bracket I guess that happens.

Next update tomorrow. Have a good night.

3/16/12 9:00pm - Too many delays on flights today, but a big "thank you" to jetBlue for having DirecTV so I could watch that amazing Norfolk State-Missouri game. That one hurt a lot of people. 39% of brackets had Missouri in the Final Four. 6% of brackets had them winning it all. Things just started getting interesting in a hurry...

3/16/12 2:45pm - Getting on a plane shortly and won't be able to update the page until early evening. Sorry.

3/16/12 8:05am - For those of you who are trying to check out the page on iPhones and getting redirected to my nonexistent mobile site, my apologies. My web site host apparently gave everyone mobile forwarding functionality without a clear way to opt out. I'm working on it.

3/16/12 12:10am - With the first day's games in the books (or about to be in the books... the results look pretty solid as I get ready to go to bed) we didn't have a lot of upsets. However, UConn's loss took the pick sets of 11 brave souls who chose the hometown Huskies to win the whole thing and tossed them in the circular file. I applaud those of you who had faith in the team, and will join you in your prayers that we haven't seen Coach Calhoun on the sidelines for the last time. However, don't forget to put that check in the mail if you haven't already.

No one was perfect on day one, but we do have two entries who have gotten 15 out of 16 correct. Congratulations to Frank Librera and trac2razor for that accomplishment. However, it's still a wide-open pool. Besides the twelve entries who had picked Connecticut to go to the Final Four, only one other entrant lost a Final Four team when Wichita State lost.

3/15/12 6:00pm - 88 brackets perfect through six games. No one has lost a Final Four team yet, but the night is young...

3/15/12 12:30pm - Here is a PDF file of all the brackets. You can use the "find" function to find your bracket name and print your page if you want to have your bracket handy in a nicely printed page. You can also always just click on the standings link that will be at the top of the page for the rest of the pool. That will take you to the standings and take you to your current bracket at any time. It's just not printer friendly.

Please click on the standings link at the top of the page ASAP and verify that your bracket is in. If it didn't make it in, let me know IMMEDIATELY and I'll search my emails to see what's wrong.

One last reminder, please do not send me a PayPal payment without contacting me first. Thank you.

3/15/12 12:15pm - Looks like 183 entries. If that number holds prizes will be $1200 for first, $360 for second, $180 for third, and $90 for fourth.

3/15/12 10:30am - Currently at 171 entries. First prize will be at least $1,100 (barring non-payments).

3/15/12 7:15am - Up over 150 entries. Close to last year's pace. I think 200 is a good guess.

3/14/12 9:00pm - Up over 100 entries. About on the same pace we were on last year when we had 210 and a $1400 first prize.

3/14/12 6:30am - Two more additions to the FAQs for this year.

Q: If I picked Syracuse and already submitted a bracket, may I change it? A: Yes, but I must receive your request to delete your old bracket no later than 9pm EDT tonight. Due to some business committments I need to make this deadline firm. Email me at ncaa@mattolsen.com, give me both your real name and bracket name, and I will delete your old entry. In the meantime, you can fill out a new entry with a new bracket name and submit that. You can just add a "1" or something to the end of your old bracket name, but it must be different.

Q: One of the reports I got after entering still says "2011" on the header. Will that be a problem? A: No problem at all. Just a small software error.

Welcome to the 13th annual Moose Resorts NCAA Basketball Pool. I expect approximately 150-200 entrants this year, which would yield a first place prize of over $1000. Full details and rules are in the FAQ, but here are the highlights:

Still have additional questions about the pool? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

If you're new to the pool, and want to see what the pool page looks like, here's last year's pool.

Questions that aren't covered in the FAQ?  Send me an email.