Entry Fee: $75 Check payable to Tom Kutz upon receipt of your entry. ( $70 Entry Fee; $5 to cover expenses.)
Feel free to pass entry form along to a friend. Have your friend contact me for official entry to be mailed out on or around December 5.

Deadline: December 19, 2008 -- Friday (in my possession or postmarked by that date.)

E-mail: jtkutz51@yahoo.com

Veterans: A few things you should know. Exactly the same rules as last year. I have not had time to think great thoughts and try to improve things. The deadline is Friday, December 19. This way you get your picks done before you start fretting over last minute Christmas shopping.

The only thing you need to know to get started now are the sleeper teams, so here they are to be announced by December 5, 2008.

Rookies: It is as simple as picking the Final 16 teams standing in the NCAA tournament - in order! If you want in, email me with your address (and who you know in the pool), and I'll send the entry form in December.

Enjoy College Basketball? Enjoy a good bet? Like to take chances (like betting in 1992 on a Duke-Michigan Championship game four months in advance!)? Then this pool is for you. You will receive several status reports starting in mid-January that will let you know how you are doing and what it takes for you to win.

The last ten years there has been an average of 55 players, with a total pool of $3850. Over the 26 year history, 110 different people have won some part of the over $80,000 paid out. I anticipate 55-60 players this year, making the total pool worth nearly $4000. One person could win as much as 50% of the pool.

Dates to Remember:
Official Entry Form Mailed  December 5, 2008 (Friday)
Pool entry due December 19, 2008 (Friday)
NCAA Tournament Seedings March 15, 2008 (Sunday)
Regroups Due March 19, 2009 (Thursday)
NCAA Championship Game April 6, 2008 (Monday)

The Pool pays 15% of the money as of the Seedings, 81% of the money after the Championship Game, and 4% during the season.

This pool is as easy as picking the Sweet Sixteen NOW in order!! There are 29 different payouts, but almost all are directly related to picking the Sweet Sixteen NOW. DO IT NOW!! DUE DEC 19TH!!


  Percent payout by position
Sweet Sixteen % of Total When 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Weighted Points on March 15 seedings 10 As of seedings 5 3 2    
Weighted Points after Championship game 25 After tourney 7 6 5 4 3
Weighted Points -- Divisional Play 4 divisions
1st pays 2% in each division
8 After tourney 2        
Unweighted Points 12 After tourney 6 4 2    
Pacesetter 1st 2 Jan 19, 2009 2        
Pacesetter 2nd 2 Feb 16, 2009 2        
Most Correct teams (original) in Top 16 2 As of seedings 2        
Most Correct teams (original) in Top 16 8 After tourney 5 3      
Most Correct (original) teams in Final Four 3 After tourney 3        
Eventual Champion (original picks) 3 After tourney 3        
Regroup after seedings 15 After tourney 6 4 3 2  
Sleepers 10 After tourney 5 3 2    

How to Play -- Sweet Sixteen

The objective of the Sweet Sixteen category (forget for one moment all of the various payouts) is to identify the sixteen teams that will make the final round of sixteen during the NCAA tournament. That is where the great majority of the money can be won -- picking the final sixteen in order. There are intermediate payouts during the season (two Pacesetter payouts) and another, larger intermediate payout when the seedings are announced on March 15. However, this pool is as simple as picking the final sixteen teams -- in order -- come March Madness.

You fill out the Sweet Sixteen entry form as follows: Any Division One team -- all 310 of them -- can be selected.

Taxi Squad: These four teams have NO impact on your original Sweet Sixteen entry. You can use these four teams when you complete the REGROUP entry between March 15-19. See Regroup rules below. Hint: There is no benefit in putting any of your eight sleeper teams in Group 0. However, you can use any of the Sleeper teams in your top sixteen.

a. How to earn Unweighted Points

Every game played by one of your original Sweet Sixteen teams will earn points. Taxi squad teams earn no points in this category. Therefore, you will earn (or lose) unweighted points every day of the season. For example, if you pick Michigan as Group 5 (eventual runner-up), and their final record is 28-5, then you will earn 23 net wins times 5 points each = 115 unweighted points. If your strategy in the pool is to only win this Unweighted Points category, then you would pick the 16 teams that you think will have the best record (in order), regardless of their chances in the tourney.

b. How to earn Weighted Points

Weighted points are earned by having properly positioned each of your Sweet Sixteen teams in order to double the unweighted points you have earned (described above). Weighted points will be computed and money paid out for two Pacesetters (see below), after the March 15 seedings, and after the championship game.

For the two Pacesetter payouts and the final payout after the championship game, the following doubling rules apply:

  1. If your Group 6 team does win it all, then double. Else retain unweighted points.
  2. If your Group 5 team wins or finishes 2nd, then double. Else retain unweighted points.
  3. If your Group 4 team makes the final four, then double. Else retain unweighted points.
  4. If your Group 3 team makes the final eight, then double. Else retain unweighted points.
  5. If your Group 2 or Group 1 team makes the final 16, then double. Else retain unweighted points.

Unweighted example continued. If Michigan is a Group 5 and they win or finish second, you double the 115 points to 230. Else you retain your unweighted points. For the payout after the March 15 seedings, your top four teams (6,5,4,4) will be considered your guess of the four #1 seeds.

c. Pacesetter rules (this is a weighted points category)

As an indicator of how you are doing compared to the field, twice during the season a major weekly poll will be used as if it represents the final tourney results. I will use the records published in USA TODAY's conference standings during the week of the payout. If a game was played the night before that is NOT included in the standings, then that game will NOT count.

Pacesetter payoff schedule: Week of Jan 19 using USA TODAY Poll that week 2%(1st only) Week of Feb 16 using USA TODAY Power Rankings that week 2%(1st only)

d. Most correct teams in Sweet Sixteen

As of seedings, the tiebreaker will be 1) most correct #1 seeds, then 2) most correct in top eight (#1 and #2 seeds), then 3) split.  During tourney, Tiebreaker will be 1) correct champ, then 2) most in top 2, then 3) most in top 4, then 4) split.

e. Divisional play -- Original Weighted Points only

After all the entries have been submitted and received, I will create up to four divisions based on some ideas and secret formulas that ensure I win something. Each of the four division winners collects 2% of the pot. This would be in addition to any winnings in the overall rankings. If the division breakout does not develop the way I envision, I reserve the right to void this category and revise the percentage payouts for other categories. I also reserve the right to create a 5th division and reallocate Weighted percentage payouts.

f. Most correct (original) teams in the Final Four (pays out after tourney completed)

By properly filling out your form, your Group 6, 5, and 4 teams become your entry into this category. Tiebreaker is 1) correct #1, then 2) correct #2, then 3) split.

g. Eventual Champion

This category rewards the person(s) who put the most points on (had the most confidence in) the eventual NCAA champion. The best way to understand this category is to use an example. In 1988, Kansas was the champ. No one had KU in Groups 6, 5, or 4. Two people had KU in group 3 and went into the tiebreaker. Whichever of these two players had the most points on the runner-up (Oklahoma) would win the category. In case the NCAA champion is a team that NO ONE picked at all in their original Sweet Sixteen (like Villanova in 1985), then the category will be decided by the runner-up team . Just in case no one has the runner-up either (for example St. Louis beats Missouri in the championship game!), then whoever picked the two semi-final losers the best wins the category.

h. Regroup after March 11 seedings

You will submit a new entry form between March 11 (Sunday night) and March 15 (11 a.m.). This is a completely separate scoring and payout from your original Sweet Sixteen picks. This allows people who a) completely screwed up their original Sweet Sixteen picks or b) people who are really close except for that one misplaced team to have another chance to do it right. This means going into the tourney you will have TWO weighted points categories -- Original picked in December and Regrouped picked in March.

You will have 28 teams to pick from when your declare your Regrouped Sixteen:

Once your decide which sixteen teams (of the 28) that you want, you organize them into Groups 6 through 1 as you did for your original picks. After reviewing the NCAA bracket, you must submit your regrouped picks by 11 am March 19 or postmarked by midnight March 18. Failure to submit a valid entry form will result in your original Sweet Sixteen being also applied to Regrouped.

There are several situations you can address in this re-grouping:

  1. If you have a team that did not make the NCAA tourney at all, or has a lousy record, you can dump them.
  2. In December, you did not know the bracket. Now you do. So you can align your top picks along regional brackets and give yourself a chance to get four teams to the final four.
  3. If you have a somewhat unique pick and otherwise your teams look like everyone else's, then "shoot the moon" on that team.

Pick the Sleepers Scoring System -- see entry form for rules.  Teams for this year's sleeper category will be on the official entry form.