President Barack Obama has finally revealed his 2010 NCAA Brackets today in a much anticipated event. I know how anticipated it was. My posts on his similar actions last year has been getting lots of hits since Sunday from people searching for Obama’s picks this year.
Obama’s picks deserves to be highly anticipated, though! The Prez has had a great track record when it comes to picking winners of big American sporting events. He picked the Steelers to win the 2009 Super Bowl, North Carolina Tar Heels to win 2009 March Madness, and New Orleans Saints to win the 2010 Super Bowl. Obama did reasonably well in last year’s tournament, despite picking poorly in the first rounds and picking mostly favourites otherwise, since March Madness is traditionally a tournament of upsets. His track record suggests that you don’t bet against da Prez when all the money is on the line, though!
Looking at the Barackets this year, Obama has generally played it safe again. Where he has upsets, I can see reasons why like Sienna over Purdue with the Boilermakers not playing well right now. Obama has picked all the #1 seeds to go to the final four except Duke, despite the general opinion out there that Duke has the easiest road to the Final Four. I suspect that Duke elimination pick has something to do with Obama’s fondness for North Carolina, who he had rightly picked to win it all last year, and had played some hoops with them. Of course, Duke will be seeing Villanova for a third time if it comes to that, when the Prez has the Wildcats beating the Blue Devils this time around, so it’s not just some pick out of the blue. Still, not a lot of experts are picking Duke to lose to ‘Nova. Obama has also picked #1 overall Kansas Jayhawks to win, despite having played hoops with Kentucky on Jan 27 2010. Keep one thing in mind, though, playing it safe with the rankings in March Madness is a risky move because it’s not called March Sanity for a reason!
So, looking at Obama’s Barackets, I want to know if you think your brackets are better than his, or if you’ll be taking some advice from him? I’m going to assume that if you’ll take some advice from him, you’ll be intending to make your brackets better than his so don’t claim it as being better if you used some advice from his picks… unless you’ve already submitted and are now having second thoughts, hehehe.
Now, last year, I kept track of Obama’s performance through several popular point systems, each of which would cause you to pick very differently. I’m going to do the same after each round again so please do come back and see how you fared against da Prez, pending which scoring system you will be playing (if you play one of the systems below)!
We’ll see what you’ll be saying then!
Oh, btw, I’ll be making my picks soon and coming back to share. I’ll compare them to Obama’s Barackets to see if I’ll change anything.
Scoring System 1
(32 points per round like CBS Bracket Challenge, or 320 points per round like ESPN)
If you are in a betting pool with your NCAA brackets, chances are you are using this scoring system. This system rewards 1 point for a win in the first round, 2 in the second, 4 in the third, 8 in the fourth, 16 in the fifth and 32 to the ultimate winner. Upsets gives nothing extra. ESPN uses 10 points instead of 1 per game. I don’t know why. Maybe they think their audience is better at math or something???
The maximum points is 192 for CBS, and obviously 1920 for ESPN.
Scoring System 1 + 1
(scoring system 1 + 1 point for each upset)
Some pools reward upsets in a minimal sort of way with one point for each upset. It’s not much but it could make the difference between similar results of correct games picked.
Scoring System 1 or D
(scoring system 1 or ranking difference for upsets)
This system is used by the Canadian channel The Score in its pool. It allows you to get some separation in the first few rounds by picking the upsets because it’s not worth it to risk the upsets in the latter rounds, where the high seed teams tend to go through so their ranking difference is minimal, meaning you’d get the same points if you pick the higher or lower team.
Scoring System 2
(1 point per game)
This European style scoring system values the overall judgment and minimize fluke results of someone selecting the correct ultimate winner despite performing not so great otherwise.
The maximum points for the first four rounds is 63.