NCAA 2021 Pool

bsj

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Dec 6, 2003
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My MO...which has worked exactly ZERO times in this...is to pick a team that has a very good chance of winning but isnt the most popular pick...so that I am competing against a more reasonable number if I get it right. I have Baylor so far so good.
 

B H Kim

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My MO...which has worked exactly ZERO times in this...is to pick a team that has a very good chance of winning but isnt the most popular pick...so that I am competing against a more reasonable number if I get it right. I have Baylor so far so good.
That's a variation on my typical strategy: pick a quasi-plausible 3, 4 or 5 seed in hopes that I'll be the only one picking them. It almost worked in 2010 when I would have won the whole thing if Butler had beaten Duke.

This year, my daughter beat me to Purdue (and it looks like she's the only one picking them), but someone else has FSU along with me.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
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Dec 6, 2003
21,331
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
That's a variation on my typical strategy: pick a quasi-plausible 3, 4 or 5 seed in hopes that I'll be the only one picking them. It almost worked in 2010 when I would have won the whole thing if Butler had beaten Duke.

This year, my daughter beat me to Purdue (and it looks like she's the only one picking them), but someone else has FSU along with me.
Baylor is struggling early against Hartford soooo....i may be done very early
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
45,254
Sitting in 2nd right now, but that's with my "least favorite" entry, but I hit North Texas and Oregon State.

I guess I'm a Baylor fan.
 
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bsj

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Dec 6, 2003
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What a weird first round. I only have 11 of 16 of my sweet 16 remaining which is awful, but all 8 of my elite 8 which seems rare. Still breathing barely i guess
 

The Needler

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Dec 7, 2016
1,801
So, people who picked Oregon are currently getting 14 points. The game was a no contest, of course; sportsbook bets on the game were cancelled as no action, and I believe all the major bracket contest sites likewise are giving no points for the Oregon/VCU game.

I’m guessing your program awarded the points automatically, @Dan Murfman, but they should probably be adjusted.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

RIP Dernell
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Mar 24, 2008
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I am going with no game in the VCU/Oregon game and anyone who picked Oregon I have taken away those points.
I think that's totally fine. I'm sure you're fine with the precedent that is now set no matter what round this occurs in as it may be a hell of a lot more points than 14 in the final round or two of the tourney.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
45,254
All excited to look for scenarios before I remembered that we're a day behind.
 

Dan Murfman

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All excited to look for scenarios before I remembered that we're a day behind.
Sorry. I started running it right after the USC game. Woke up this morning and it wasn't even halfway done. So I had to cancel and rerun without it . So I'm updated through last night. Started running it again so hopefully it will be done this afternoon when my wife gets home.
 

Humphrey

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Aug 3, 2010
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6 out of 16 for yours truly; that's hideous!

Somehow, 3 of my final 4 picks are still alive; of course, I picked Illinois to win it all.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
45,254
One of my entries--the best I can finish is 42nd. And I would need Oral Roberts to win it all for that to happen.
 

johnmd20

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it seems like a lot less entries have a shot at 1st. Am I being paranoid because of the new format?
It has to be related to the new format. But that's cool, this style of play puts way less of an emphasis on the final rounds. I kind of like that. I do not like the fact that picking the champion is worth 32 more points than a first round game in normal scoring.

And I say this as someone who has a best finish chance below a number of people in the pool's worst possible finishes. When you fail, it's best to fail big!
 

johnmd20

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For example, Oregon State has scored 60 points for the people who picked them to win those games. Villanova 25 for two wins. North Texas scored 26 points for 1 win. Obviously the Oral has scored 75 points.(I do not know if anyone picked them)

Gonzaga has scored 5 so far for two wins. If you picked Oklahoma in the first round, it was worth 16 points.

So if you nail a couple of upsets, you are going to be so much further ahead than anyone else and it's impossible to catch up.

edit - if a #1 seed wins the tourney, it's worth 52 points. Picking Ore St into the 16 was worth more than picking a 1 seed to win. I dig it. Chaos!
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Mar 24, 2008
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For example, Oregon State has scored 60 points for the people who picked them to win those games. Villanova 25 for two wins. North Texas scored 26 points for 1 win. Obviously the Oral has scored 75 points.(I do not know if anyone picked them)

Gonzaga has scored 5 so far for two wins. If you picked Oklahoma in the first round, it was worth 16 points.

So if you nail a couple of upsets, you are going to be so much further ahead than anyone else and it's impossible to catch up.

edit - if a #1 seed wins the tourney, it's worth 52 points. Picking Ore St into the 16 was worth more than picking a 1 seed to win. I dig it. Chaos!
I think this is correct. I like the new scoring, but where it really inhibits is just picking a 1 seed as an overall winner, which I think is great. No one should be well rewarded for a 1 seed knocking off a 16 or 8/9. It really does add a lot more to going out on a slight (not even extended) limb to pick a 2 seed worth 104 points (or 3 seed and 156 points) as the overall winner.

Also in the previous scoring the bonus for underdog winner was really only maximized for the first round or two and after that people should pick more conservatively since the seed range narrows and round points are worth more. This encourages picking more low seeds going even deeper into the tournament.

Of course, I'm saying this with a bias as my brackets have done pretty well so far.
 

B H Kim

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I only have 5 of the sweet sixteen and 1 final four team left, but I still have 470 scenarios where I win the whole thing. I guess my strategy of trying to be the only one to pick a quasi-plausible winner works under the new scoring system.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Mar 24, 2008
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If I'm reading this correctly the USC Oregon game right now will decide the pool winner. If USC wins then John Murray gets 1st and 2nd and if Oregon Wins then Stacey Balter wins the whole thing.

USC and Oregon worth 30 and 35 points respectively.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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What kind of a pool are you guys entered in that's it's over before any Elite Eight games?
 

Dan Murfman

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What kind of a pool are you guys entered in that's it's over before any Elite Eight games?
The kind of pool where I put a bunch of work into so people can have a good time.
The kind of pool where I tried something different after I felt was getting a little stale.
The kind of pool that will reevaluate for next .
 

johnmd20

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The kind of pool where I put a bunch of work into so people can have a good time.
The kind of pool where I tried something different after I felt was getting a little stale.
The kind of pool that will reevaluate for next .
You should pay no mind to the troll.
 

Average Reds

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What kind of a pool are you guys entered in that's it's over before any Elite Eight games?
I know you were just trying to make a wry, witty observation, but, as someone who used to run a lot of pools (back in the pre-Internet dark ages) it's a ton of work and nothing was more aggravating than the potshots tossed over the transom by people mocking the effort.

Might want to think about that a bit.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
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Dec 6, 2003
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i love this pool and look forward to it every year. it was worth shaking up the scoring system. this adjustment didnt quite get it, but i look forward to the correction Dan. Thanks again for doing this, Dan
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
45,254
i love this pool and look forward to it every year. it was worth shaking up the scoring system. this adjustment didnt quite get it, but i look forward to the correction Dan. Thanks again for doing this, Dan
Be awesome if behind the scenes you could click a button, chance the scoring system to the older one..."Hey look, NOW I AM WINNING!"
 

The Needler

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Dec 7, 2016
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Seems like the problem (assuming it’s a problem that the winner [and second place] of the pool has been decided when there are still three of the six rounds left in the tourney) is using BOTH the seed multiplier AND the Fibonacci scoring system. Obviously if point values still doubled each round, the leader would still be ahead and have a good chance o win, but it wouldn’t be over.

Again, thanks for the work in putting this together. And I appreciate you tweaking the scoring system. But I would definitely send that blogger guy a note about this real-world result of his system.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
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Mar 14, 2006
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i love this pool and look forward to it every year. it was worth shaking up the scoring system. this adjustment didnt quite get it, but i look forward to the correction Dan. Thanks again for doing this, Dan
I love this pool as well and apologize if it came off that I was upset at Dan. It's a ton of work for sure and I look forward to whatever adjustments are made going forward. Like I said, it didn't work this year, but that doesn't mean it wasn't worth trying because I think the old way had gotten a bit stale.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
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Oct 31, 2013
40,871
The kind of pool where I put a bunch of work into so people can have a good time.
The kind of pool where I tried something different after I felt was getting a little stale.
The kind of pool that will reevaluate for next .
I know you were just trying to make a wry, witty observation, but, as someone who used to run a lot of pools (back in the pre-Internet dark ages) it's a ton of work and nothing was more aggravating than the potshots tossed over the transom by people mocking the effort.

Might want to think about that a bit.
No offense intended. Ran some free and $1 pools myself pre-internet in HS, hand-graded all the entries, had a bonus for upsets pre-FF, so I appreciate the effort. Just a lighthearted comment that missed the mark. Apologies. Carry on.
 
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DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
45,254
The pools (or folks running them) have to decide what they think is the most important part of it--nailing upsets early or picking the eventual Elite 8/Final 4/Champ.

The happy medium is hard to find.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
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Jul 13, 2002
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right here
I have no experience running a pool so this might be chaos - but what would happen if you scored it both ways and combined those scores to find the winner?
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Mar 24, 2008
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Full Disclosure: I'm the pool winner and obviously biased. I found this to be the most fun pool system I had prepared for because of the scoring system and I think there's a couple of factors that resulted in this years outcome:
  • People have not adjusted to the new scoring system. With the previous scoring system super early upsets were most important because of the largest difference between seeds, but later in the tourney you were talking a bonus of 4-6 points vs a 16 or 32 point round. In the current system, picking a 1 seed to win it all just doesn't generate a lot of points, yet Gonzaga, Illinois, Baylor and Michigan were still picked 77% of the time. There were a ton of points out there for the Elite 8, 30 for USC, 55 for UCLA, and 60 for Oregon St, but very few people had seeds below 8 making it this far despite the fact that the reward would have justified the risk.
  • The first round in the new system is weighted too heavily, thus the 2nd round is worth only 1.5x the first round and the Champion is 10.5x. I think you can fix this with a minor adjustments of starting at 1 for the first round and going 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. The 2nd round is now worth 2x and each round is more than it was with the current system finishing with 13x for picking the Champion vs the first round pick. Elite 8 went from 2.5x to 3x and Sweet 16 went from 4x to 5x. (Note: I also did a quick analysis of scoring 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and this actually tilted the weighting further to first round upsets rather than away from it, which we want to avoid).
  • Three 1 seeds and a 2 seed are in the elite 8. Those picks just don't generate a ton of points to catch up with even if you have high accuracy late in the tournament. If we end up with a final 4 of Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor and Houston, that'll be a total of 40 points to come out of the elite 8 round. Oregon State's win was worth 60 points alone.
  • In the previous system, there was also a (bad) unpredictability with the upset bonus beyond the first round. Thought you were scoring big points for a 10 over a 2 to reach the sweet 16, sorry but your 10 actually beat a 15: 2 points. This became exacerbated as the rounds went later there was less advantage for actually getting right an upset like a 4 or 5 seed reaching the final 4, which would normally be an excellent pick. (This is where the current system shines a 4 reaching the final 4 is worth 72 points vs 18 for a 1).
Honestly I think 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 might be the best overall fix, especially with an extra year of people adjusting to the new scoring system.

This is actually my first year in the money. Though a few years ago, I would have won the whole thing if Kansas had won the final over Kentucky. I have fun with it every year primarily because it's not the same old 1, 2, 4, 8.... scoring system, though I do agree that the previous upset scoring had become a bit formulaic for the early rounds. Totally open to assisting in tweaking the scoring system for whatever we want to target for gameplay.
 

Humphrey

Member
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Aug 3, 2010
1,770
Appreciate being given the opportunity to play. The scoring system is a non-issue w/regard to my performance!
 

The Needler

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Dec 7, 2016
1,801
Honestly I think 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 might be the best overall fix, especially with an extra year of people adjusting to the new scoring system.
I would lean toward 1,2,4,8,16,32. I think the scoring should still be slightly weighted toward picking the Final Four through champ over upsets. Especially since this pool is big enough, and will always have a good number of people picking chalk, that will never be enough on its own. You’ll still need to find the upsets.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
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Dec 6, 2003
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I’ve run a league for a while with this setup
1,2,3,6,9,15

upset points capped at
+1 for any matchup that had a seeding differential of 2-5, +2 for any higher differential (upset points double in rounds 4-6)
 

Dan Murfman

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Plugged in both of your suggestions. With Needler's scenario there were actually 2 other entries with a chance to win. Of course one of them was Mo's other entry. And Mo's would not have made a difference for 1st place.
 

The Needler

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Dec 7, 2016
1,801
So I have had an extra year to ponder scoring and was going to say screw it and just keep it the same way. But I found a method that I’m going to give a try .
No more bonus points per se. Instead changing the points per round to 2. 3 5 8 13 21. And for each game picked correctly you get the points for the round X their seed number. So in the first round if you pick the 8 seed to win and they do you get 16 points (2 points for the round times their seed). Here is where I found it

https://forgettheprotocol.com/blog/2017/03/12/fixing-bracket-pools-rtfm-scoring-system-redux?rq=March madness
He deleted that post in the past few days, which is kind of funny.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
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Dec 6, 2003
21,331
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All told, I;m pretty happy with my year. I'm in 2 pools with the same bracket. In one, a Baylor wins and I come in 1st of 19...in another I will come in 3rd of 129. In this one...I think I will top out at 33rd. But...don't take this as a criticism. This is a great pool. I'll adjust my bracket next year for this one :)

Go Baylor!!!