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And Now We Move on to the Elite Eight

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tonight completed the round of 16 of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney and The Thinking Man's Thoughts Tourney Time Challenge has become very close.

I am still in first place, but Ron Bean is only 2 points behind me and newcomer Jon Knisely has moved into third place, with Josiah falling into fourth place.

At this point in the tournament, all of the human players except for Josiah have picked at least five of the elite eight. Ron Bean has 6 of the 8 and Jon Knisely has an incredible 7 of the 8. Very nice, guys.

Here are the standings after the first three rounds.
Name Points Correct
1. Frank Sansone 236 42
2. Ron Bean 234 46
3. Jon Knisely 226 45
4. Josiah Sansone 220 35
5. Andy Rupert 193 41
Higher Seeds only 190 42
6. Sam Knisely 188 39
7. Andy Efting 168 36
8. Barack Obama 165 38

2nd Round of NCAA Tournament

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I worte this a few days ago and just realized that I never published it - sorry. I know some of you are on the edge of your seat. :)

The second round of the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has ended, without a whole lot of upsets and with a change in the leader board of The Thinking Man's Tourney Time.

Josiah had a rough second round - all four of his Final Four teams have been eliminated, making his chances of winning it all pretty slim.

I have overtaken Josiah and moved into the lead - although my picks are not nearly as impressive as the picks of Ron Bean. Mr. Bean has picked 40 of the first 48 games correctly and sits in third place with two regions that he is still perfect in - the South and the West. He also has 15 of the 16 Sweet Sixteen picks correct - very impressive.

(In case you are wondering how he could have picked that well and not be in 1st place, well, it has to do with the scoring system in use, which awards points based on the victory and the seed of the team that wins - meaning that a victory by a 4 seed is worth 5 points (1 for the victory + 4 for the seed) whereas a victory by an 11 seed is worth 12 points (1 for the victory + 11 for the seed). It is kind of a risk/rewards system. Picking an underdog increases the chances that you will have a game that earns you zero points (since they are not expected to win), but if you pick a lower seed and it is successful, you get the extra bounce of the seed value. So, while Mr. Bean has more correct picks than I do, my successful underdog picks have given me the lead (currently).

Here is the standings after the second round.
Place Name Correct Score
1. Frank Sansone 37 213
2. Josiah Sansone 33 211
3. Ron Bean 40 207
4. Jon Knisely 38 194
5. Andy Rupert 36 170
6. Sam Knisely 34 166
Higher Seeds Only 36 164
7. Andy Efting 31 146
Coin Flip 21 146
President Barack Obama 33 144

1st Round of March Madness Complete

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wow. That was fast. Real life responsibilities - and sleep because of those real life responsibilities - caused me to not be able to watch more than 2 minutes of any of the games in the first round. As one who thinks this is the greatest event in sports and that the first four days of the madness are the best, this is kind of disappointing. The only exciting thing I was able to see was the last 15 seconds of the double overtime Ohio State loss to Siena. (I woke up* and it was on. The guy hit the three pointer before I could even process what was going on with the game and then in 3.4 seconds it was over and I knew Josiah would be disappointed this morning - as would the rest of Buckeye nation.)

My son, Josiah, joined us in the tournament this year for the first time. He picked a little bit with his heart and choose Ohio State to win it all. (While he is not from Ohio, Mom Mom and Grandpa live in the state of Ohio and he has somehow became an OSU fan as his favorite college sports teams.)

This year Sam Knisely attempts to defend his two-year run as the winner of The Thinking Man's Touney Time. Jon (his brother, perhaps) has signed up to join the rest of us in trying to stop his impressive streak.

After the first round, Josiah is actually in the lead, despite the loss by Ohio State which knocks out his eventual champion and the loss by Illinois, who he also had in the championship game. He does have a perfect West region so far and only missed one game in the East region, but maintaining his lead will be pretty tough unless there are major upsets to ruin everyone else's final four picks as well.

In second place is me :). My best region is the Midwest region where the only game I missed was Ohio State. I think this is a pretty impressive regional backet, considering the fact that my correct picks in that region included picking 13 seed Cleveland State over 4 seed Wake, 12 seed Arizona over Utah (despite many saying Arizona doesn't even belong in the tourney), 11 seed Dayton over 6 seed West Virginia and 10 seed USC over 7 seed Boston College. A region that featured 5 games where the lower seed won and I picked correctly 4 of those upsets and the only game I missed in the whole region was the double overtime loss by OSU.

In third place is Ron Bean. Mr. Bean has picked two perfect regions - the West and the South. Very impressive - someone should get you a Moxie :). Considering the fact that Josiah has lost two of his Final Four picks and I have lost one of mine, my guess is that Mr. Bean is the favorite at this time - here's hoping that someone knocks out North Carolina soon to relieve him of one of his Final Four picks.

New player Jon Knisely is in fourth place with a perfect West region and all four Final Four picks still surviving. Jon also got all four of the 7 vs. 10 games correct - correctly realizing that Texas was the only 7 seed that was going to survive - impressive.

Rounding out the top five is our returning champ, Sam Knisely, who is struggling a little bit. He also picked a perfect West region and still has his Final Four intact, but a rough Midwest bracket has got his score a little down. He may need Michigan State to make it to the Final Four to have a chance.

As I do almost every year, I also added a few "fake" competitors into the mix. For those of you who are in the A Thinking Man's Tourney Challenge and can actually see the standings and brackets of all of the players, "Joe Blow" is a made-up player whose games were picked via random coin flips at www.random.org/coins with "Heads" as the higher seed and "Tails" as the lower seed. (This mythical person would be in fifth place right now.) "Frank Republican (1)" is simply if all of the higher seeds won every game and "Frank Republican (2)" is if all of the lower seeds won every game. (The "Republican" in the name is because one year I made some mythical picks based on the way the states of the various teams had voted in the previous U.S. Presidential election.)

Here are the standings so far.

1. Josiah 178 points 28 correct picks
2. Frank 161 points 26 correct picks
3. Ron B. 140 points 25 correct picks
4. Jon K. 139 points 25 correct picks
Joe Blow 133 points 18 correct picks
5. Sam K. 123 points 23 correct picks
F. Repub2 118 points 10 correct picks
6. Andy R. 109 points 22 correct picks
7. Andy E. 107 points 21 correct picks
F. Repub1 104 points 22 correct picks
Frank Cheek 83 points 19 correct picks

Rounding out last place is a mysterious competitor listed on your score sheet as "Frank Cheek" - in reality, these are the picks of the President of the United States - Barak Obama, as copied from the ESPN.com website. Considering he is kind of considered a big basketball fan, I thought I would see how he would have done in The Thinking Man's Tourney Time. I am impressed with how our group is doing in comparison. He got clobbered pretty badly in the Midwest region (missing five of the eight games). To be fair, he actually has a prety decent bracket in later rounds (he still has all of his Final Four, all of his Elite Eight, and 14 of his Sweet 16 teams remaining), so he could still do fairly well, but right now he is in last place with less than half as many points as my 12-year old son.

Anyway this is the first round scoring update,

Frank


*Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I didn't just "wake up" - my wife woke me up because I was snoring too loudly.

Tourney Time ... 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Howdy, folks. "It's the most wonderful time of the year..." okay, maybe not quite, but it is definitely time for the greatest event in sports, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

It is almost time to make your picks for March Madness 2009. Tomorrow is Selection Sunday and after the teams and seeds have been announced, you should be able to log in and make your picks and fill in your brackets.

Like last year, each person is able to fill out two brackets if you so desire. This will enable you to make one bracket based on what you THINK will happen and one bracket based on what you HOPE would happen - or in other words, a set of picks from the head and a set of picks from the heart.

Anyway,you should be able to find the tourney information at A Thinking Man's Thoughts Tourney Time Picks located at http://athinkingmansthoughts.mayhem.cbssports.com.

If you have played last year, you should have gotten an email and all you should need to do is log in with your account from last year and fill in your brackets after the teams and seeds are announced.

If you did not participate last year, but you would like to join in, just send me an email at fcsansone - at - gmail . com.

Just for fun,

Frank Sansone