I’m in a basketball pool on the popular social networking website Facebook. This is for that big basketball game that ends up with the Final Four. As you can tell, I’m not much of a sports fan. I enjoyed the sports I was in, when I was in them, and I guess I don’t mind watching some sports on TV. Really, I’m the last person in the world qualified to predict who will win this big basketball thing. Maybe if I was psychic or watched basketball, then I would be able to rely on the sportmanship (or the psychic ether) to make my picks. As it is, I’m left to my own devices.
Back during football season, David enlisted me to help him make his weekly football picks for a similarly run football pool. Why he chose me, I’ll never know, as I am no more qualified to pick football teams than I am to pick basketball teams. However, I did my best to help him. The way that pool was set up, you pick which team would win a particular game (you can only pick one of the two teams who are playing, but I worked around that) and then a rating for them. The rating was generally a random number. Often I tried to give multiple teams the same number and would have to ask David what numbers were left. I’m sure this engendered his confidence in my scheme.
My method for picking the team that would win was slightly different. He would read me the town where the team was from. This was a good method, since I knew pretty much all the towns or states. I was then ask for the mascot, because a town isn’t enough to gauged a team’s physical worth. The mentality behind picking mascots is that a team named “The Killer Machines” will play better than a team named “The Delicate Rose Petals”. (NOTE: This method assumption doesn’t work if one team is “The Bears” and the other team is the “The Anti-Bears”. In this case, “The Anti-Bears” will probably play better, even if they sound like eco-friendlly panzies.) The method, while quite common sense, doesn’t appear to realy sports fans to be worthwhile (at least, no one’s ever said, “That’s a great method! I’m going to use that!”).
For the record, one week, we took first in the pool. This method works! (at least once)
This method can have it’s setbacks. What if the mascots are the same species? What if they have entirely different habitats? What if one is human; does human intelligence play a part? These are questions not easily answered, and it is really per game that one must make that call. I would spend wondrous hours, eyes closed, watching Titans (building-sized statue-monsters) battling waist-deep in the ocean against a rout of super-inteligent, lazer-armed dolphins.
I’m applying a similar method to this basketball pool. My first method of elimination between teams has been which has more fans in the Facebook group devoted to the sports team. If it’s 783 fans to 37,922 fans, then I have my winner. If the difference is less than 50% of the less popular team’s fans, then I go to the mascots. It had been going just fine. I quickly and easily (and happily) cranked out my picks for Midwest and East divisions. (By the by, a “terrapin” is a turtle.) It had been going just fine until I had Villanova Wildcats versus Kentucky Wildcats, with the fan base being approximately 3,200 versus 5,800.
UPDATE: I just ran into Standford Cardinal versus Louisville Cardinals in the South. This one is easy, though, because one cardinal is nothing against a flock of cardinals. Louisville gets the pick.
UPDATE: I just finished the pick process. Duke made it pretty far, not just because they’re a good team, but because the Devil can control the minds of animals. However, not knowing what a Tar Heel really is, and assuming it cannot be possessed by Satan, I had UNC for the big win.
I’m floored. I guess this is why they made coins. What are your methods for picking pools? Want to share your own tournament picks?