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Bracket Busted

I signed up for a new type of NCAA Pool this year. Well, new to me, at least. Instead of just picking the winner of each game, you are given an allotment of funny money, and each team is given a dollar value based on their seed. The object is to accumulate the most wins for your allotment of funny money.

I wasn't sure how to go about winning such a pool. The #1 seeds cost half of your allotted funny money, and the #2 seeds weren't much cheaper. After thinking about it for a few minutes -- and looking back on it, I should have taken longer -- I decided that the best approach was to take the team who I thought was going to win it all (Connecticut) and spend the rest of my money on teams who I thought would out-advance their seed. (Like a #4 seed making the Final 4, for instance.)

Here's a look at the teams I was able to buy:

  • #1 Connecticut -- They cost me about half of my stack, and rewarded me by almost being the first #1 seed ever to lose a first round game.
  • #4 Kansas -- I thought that Kansas was the #4 seed most likely to advance far in the tourney, so it seemed like a good buy.
  • #6 Michigan State -- Same as Kansas. They were a #6 seed, who didn't cost much, and even though they hadn't performed well down the stretch, they had the talent and the coach who could take them deep.
From there on, I picked lower seeds who I thought could make it to the sweet 16.
  • #10 Seton Hall -- I actually had them losing in my brackets, but I thought the competition in the Big East might give them an edge. And Tennessee was a weak #2 seed, so it seemed like a good buy.
  • #11 Southern Illinois -- They play some of the best defense in the country. I thought the WVU/Iowa area looked vulnerable to a good defense.
  • #12 Utah State & Kent State -- At least one, and lately two, 12-seeds advance every year. They were cheap, and I thought I would get at least two wins out of them.
  • #15 Davidson & #16 Oral Roberts -- I was out of money, but I had enough money to buy a #15 & 16, or 3 #16's. I chose the former.
If you haven't figured it out by now. I've got only one team left. I've been completely eliminated from the competition after one round.