A Twist to Traditional NCAA Bracket Pools

By: Andrew Switzer
By: Andrew Switzer

We have all heard of and participated in your traditional NCAA bracket pool where you fill out all 63 games and see who can pick the most games correctly.  This give people whose team either isn't in the field or got knocked out a reason to cheer for/against certain teams.  People that wouldn't otherwise give two hoots about the tourney follow the teams they picked and it has evolved into what we all know as March Madness.   Its truly a wonderful thing.

For those of you that may be a little more interested in following the tourney even closer, iv got a new twist.  I was invited this year to participate in a "Players Pool."  Here is how it works...  12 guys got together last night for the draft.  The draft is just like your regular fantasy football draft where you draw the draft order out of a hat and do a snake draft where the person who had the last pick in round 1 gets the first pick in round two and so on.   You draft individual players off teams and each person gets 10 players.  At the end of the tournament you add up all the points scored by your drafted players and the person whose players scored the most points throughout the tourney wins.  Much like the filling out the brackets a lot of luck is involved but there is a lot more strategy involved than your regular bracket pool.  You obviously want players that score a lot of points but also players that will be playing several games and get several chances to score points.  In the beginning it is obvious to take the top players on the top teams but after all of them are gone you have some difficult decisions to make.  Do you take a player on a #1 seeded team who averages 8 points a game, or a player on the #7 seed who averages 20 points per game?  Different people had different strategies.  You also want to find that "sleeper" like Stephon Curry last year who was on a low seeded team that made a run to the elite 8 and scored tons of points along the way.  You also want to make sure that you don't pick players from teams that will be playing in an early round so they don't knock each other out.

Here are my players 1.) Singler - Duke 16.5ppg (player very well recently) 2.) Adrien - UCONN 13.7ppg (#1 seed should play 4-5 games)  3.) Cole Aldrich - KU 14.6ppg 4.) Leo Lyons - Mizzou 14.4ppg  5.) Harris - Syracuse 12.8ppg  6.)  McCamey - Illinois 11.9ppg  7.)  Borha - Utah 11.9 ppg  8.)  Shipp - UCLA 14.4ppg  9.) Christmas - Temple 19.2ppg (huge potential if temple can make a run from #11 seed)  10.) Pitmann - Texas (just entered starting lineup and playing well recently - If  Texas makes a run, he will be scoring a lot of points)

So get some friends together and give it a try.  Its a whole new twist to watching the tourney unfold.

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