Monday, March 12, 2007

NCAA Tournament Picks?

Last year, while my wife was 7 months pregnant, she entered a bracket on behalf of the kid in my 10,000-entry pool I was running through my column.

On the strength of picking Florida all the way (naturally), Gabe's entry came in 30th out of 10,000. Not bad at all. (I think I ended up ranked in the 5000's...)

So: Do you go through NCAA bracket-picking with your kids? Any funny stories or techniques to share? Do any of your kids end up with crazy, eerie success rates or upsets picked?

By the way, feel free to enter this year's edition of my pool. Just go to's Tournament Challenge and find the group name "Daily Quickie Readers."


Lew said...

Gabe is obviously to young for this, but what about using the bracket as an educational tool.

You can use it to teach him geography and where places are on the US map. Even teaching him where cities are in relation to each other based on what team will have a better "home court" advantage.

This one might be a stretch, but you can also use the bracket to teach about history with different teams such as "George Washington," and "trojans."

Dan said...

My long-running pool has a tradition of not only kids but fetuses entering and in fact winning. This year's pool includes five kids aged two or younger; two are tied for fourteenth palce, not a particularly stellar showing.

I think many parents use their kid's picks -- especially for young kids like this -- as a comedic way to submit an extra bracket into a pool that otherwise doesn't allow multiple entries.

For my daughter, I made picks based on family loyalty (so she chose UNC, Wisconsin and Maryland to go deep) and her favorite numbers (3 and 12). Needless to say, she is in 38th place.

Steve said...

Ok, I know this is way out of season, but I was reading through some past entries to get a feel for your blog, saw this post and knew I had to share this story with you. (Great stuff, btw, I love the premise.)
In 1993, my dad introduced me to March Madness. Our pool was just us two, and done a little differently than most today...rather than fill out a bracket, we would sit down the night before each set of games and pick who would win each matchup. For every pick that you got right that the other person missed, you won a nickel...I was 8 at the time, so that was a big deal.
Anyway, it came down to the finals, and we were tied. Looking back, I imagine it must have driven him nuts to be tied in a bracket with his eight-year-old son. The final would be the tie-breaker. I choose North Carolina (because I knew Michael Jordan went there and was a huge MJ fan and by default and huge Bulls fan at the time), and Dad picked can probably see where this is going.
It was a school night, so I only got to stay up through the first half, and Dad was already gone for work when I left for school the next morning. He had taken the newspaper with him to stop me from finding out what had happened.
That afternoon, he asked if I had found out what had happened in the game. When I told him no, he refused to look at me as he explained how Chris Webber had called a timeout when his team had none left, earning a technical foul and effectively giving UNC the win.
Each year, we still have a pool, and it's changed over the years, bringing in my younger brother and other close friends. We also do it traditionally now, filling out brackets beforehand. Of course, each year is exciting, but nothing like that first time, when I managed to beat Dad thanks to Webber's mistake.
To this day, he roots emphatically against Webber.