NCAA March Madness - Pool Scoring systems

It’s that time.

Does anyone know what the “fairest” scoring system is for running an NCAA basketball pool? Assume everyone is filling in the entire bracket ahead of time, and points are given for every correct winner chosen (the amount of points based on which round it is - the later in the bracket, the more you get).

I am in one where they are giving points at 1,3,5,7,9,11 (i.e., for each correct winner in round 1 you get 1 pt., round 2 you get 3 pts. etc.)

Another I’m in is 1,2,4,8,16,32.

The first one seems to weight too heavily to the early rounds, whereas the latter seems to weight too heavily to the later rounds.

Anyone know what the most equitable distribution of points is?


The second scheme (powers of 2) will be weighted equally across all the rounds. Meaning that each round will have the same number of total points available to win. First round, 1 pt * 32 games = 32 pts. Second round 2 pts * 16 games = 32 pts. And so on up to the final game which is worth the whole 32 points.

That makes sense…but correct me if I’m wrong here:

That’s really only equitable if everyone is entering new guesses after the previous round has ended. In the case of brackets run as above, where everyone is filling the entire thing out ahead of time, some people will have fewer chances at each subsequent round if they guessed wrong previously.

Of course, too bad for them.

But suppose someone guesses the correct champion - they are getting 63 pts. total for that guess, which could easily outweigh someone who guesses a whole bunch of correct winners, but doesn’t come up w/ say, anyone in the Final Four.

Whatever - I’m not a math person, and it’s late and I’m tired. Just a gut feeling that points shouldn’t be distributed that way.

But would love to hear from others on this.

Assuming the play-in winner doesn’t win the whole thing:

Round           Points per game*games guessed correctly
1               1
2               2
3               4
4               8
5               16
6               32

A person who correctly guesses the winner also correctly guesses five other games. So that is 63 points.

Round           Points per game*games guessed correctly
1               4
2               8
3               16
4               64

A person who correctly guesses the Final Four also correctly guesses nine more games. So that is 90 points. And they also have a 50 percent chance of getting one of the final four games right, and a 25 percent chance of getting the championship game winner right.

Someone who only guesses the finals winner has a really shoddy odds of getting 63 points; it’s a 1 in 65 chance they’ll get it right.

In order to get more than 63 points without guessing any Final Four teams correctly:

Round           Points per game*games guessed correctly
1               14
2               14
3               16
4               24

I was going to write about percentages needed to get that number of games correctly, but my brain hurts and I don’t remember the math. So someone who does can do it:)

I would think that the hardest rounds to pick are the second, third, and fourth rounds. Picking the whole Final Four correctly isn’t that hard considering that realistically that the low seeds (10-16) rarely if ever make it that far. The lowest seed to win was Villanova, a #8 in 1985.

Right, but who’s to say how many of the top seed (1-9) teams get knocked off by bottom seed (10-16) teams? That’s one thing that makes it harder to predict. I think it was last year in the Women’s NCAA Tournament that a #16 knocked off a #1 in the first round, for instance.

First round NCAA Upsets

Second Round NCAA Upsets

OT: “1990 – No. 11 Loyola Marymount 149, No. 3 Michigan 115” Was that game like triple-overtime, or did someone mistype, or what? That’s close to the record for highest-scoring NBA game.

Without bothering to look it up, I’d be pretty sure that Loyola team was the one w/ Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers coached by Paul Westhead…and they were a scoring machine. No mistyping there, and that was probably regulation time.

Hank died during the season - collapsed during a game. In his memory, Bo shot all his free throws left-handed during at least one game in the NCAA tournament.

iampunha: i think you’re on to something…but I’m not quite sure I know what it is :slight_smile:

You’d be right. I think they’re either 2nd or 1st in terms of points scored by two people in one NCAA Tournament game. The link I provided earlier should give you entry into that area of the central link. If that makes any sense.

This is a matter of opinion, of course, and as such will do better in IMHO. I’ll shoot it over there for you.

In fact, I think I’ll go for three!

He shoots…