March Madness Survivor Pool Coming Soon! Past Results Graph Shows Minefield of Upsets

Lucas Oil Stadium

March Madness is on tap! This year the Final Four and National Championship games are played April 4th and 6th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

It is almost March, which means the NCAA Division I college basketball tournament, better known as March Madness, is almost here! This of course also marks the return of one of our most anticipated annual pools, March Madness Survivor!

This year the Final Four and National Championship games are played April 4th and 6th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Roll that back and the 64-team field gets underway Thursday March 19th. That is technically the start of the Second Round, as the NCAA continues to grow their First Round play-in games, dubbed First Four, played March 17th and 18th. Check the full bracket for all of the dates and locations.

As with most March Madness pools, we will continue to focus on the 64-team field. That is more than enough to whittle down our members, survivor style, from early confidence and optimism through intense doubt and second guessing while trying to navigate a sometimes ridiculous minefield of upsets. Its a wild ride, often over much faster than you expect or certainly hope for. This graphs represents the steep cliff of alive entries by round from our March Madness Survivor Pools the past four years.

March Madness Survivor Pool Alive Entries By Round, 2011-2014.

March Madness Survivor Pool Alive Entries By Round, 2011-2014.

Last year we ran three separate pools for the first time. There was Pool I ($20 entry), Pool II ($40 entry) and Pool III (Free entry). The above graph shows the sum of entries for all three pools together for 2014. We started with 234 entries, and only three entries survived to the end to pick the winner of the National Championship, members colman, evan0202 and steelers. Member Mean Machine wasn’t fully tested, winning Pool II after the Elite Eight round.

We will likely offer three pools again this year given the demand. I am working on them currently and hope to have them up soon, so our members can secure their spots, even before the teams and seeds are known from Selection Sunday, March 15th.

March Madness is a ton of fun, even for non-true-basketball fans like myself, because it is such an exciting event with the wild finishes and upsets. To have a little money action on it is even better, whether betting on individual games, playing daily fantasy sports, or participating in our March Madness Survivor Pool.

A members email newsletter will go out when the pool is ready, and see you back here real soon!

Super Bowl Prediction – Seattle Seahawks 27, New England Patriots 20

A tougher match than last year, sure, but still expecting a repeat win, and wouldn't be surprised if it is another blowout.

A tougher match than last year, sure, but still expecting a repeat win, and wouldn’t be surprised if it is another blowout. The Seattle Seahawks are that good.

Prediction time… Seattle Seahawks 27, New England Patriots 20.

Even with just a 1 point betting line, the general public (plus media) seems very keen on the Patriots to win this game. Suddenly Tom Brady is getting the accolades for greatness that he was due all this time. The Pats cruised past the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks needed a miracle to defeat the Green Bay Packers.

Lets remember however that the Packers are far superior to the Colts. Heck, the Dallas Cowboys are far superior to the Colts. The NFC was a much better, tougher conference this season. In the AFC it was the Pats and little competition after the Broncos fizzled out. The Ravens were a tough test for the Pats, and it took some trickery to win a close contest against that team and their poor pass defense. The Seahawks are better nearly across the board – QB, RB, DEF – than the Ravens.

In terms of matchups, I question the stats indicating the Seahawks are weak defending the tight end, since LB Bobby Wagner missed a big chunk of the season. Darrelle Revis should lock down his opposing receiver, presumably Doug Baldwin, but given the mediocreness of the Seahawks receivers, this is not a big detriment to their offensive success. Russell Wilson no doubt had a bad game two weeks ago, probably the worst of his career. I don’t expect a repeat performance. LeGarrette Blount looks all-world against terrible run defenses, but does little otherwise. Marshawn Lynch doesn’t play favorites; he punishes defenses in the second half of games when he, inexplicably, looks stronger.

Transcending the stats and matchups, I distinctly remember after last year’s Super Bowl, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll commenting on the similarities between his Seahawks team and his USC teams that dominated college football, even in championship games. “And for the fans that have watched us over the years in Southern California, I would think they took great pride in what happened last night because they understand what they just watched.

The Seahawks are not only incredibly talented, but the character and makeup of this team is something to behold. Not that Bill Belichick isn’t a great football coach. In fact, I have no doubt he (Belichick) is the greatest football mind, ever, but Carroll has the pulse of his team with zero doubt they will win another championship. A tougher test than last year, sure, but this could easily be another game where we all start to sit back and, “understand what we just watched.”

Mike’s NFL Playoffs Picks and Super Bowl Winner

What typically happens to me when it comes to predicting the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl is I have a hard time balancing what I think should happen in the games versus what I want to happen (which teams I prefer to win).

This year is maybe less difficult than in the past, because other than the Green Bay Packers, there aren’t too many teams I really want to win. It would be sweet to see the Dallas Cowboys go all the way in response to all of the ridicule Tony Romo has endured over the years. Unfortunately, if the Cowboys can get past the Detroit Lions in their Wild-Card game, then the Packers and Cowboys will face one another in the Divisional Playoffs, meaning a quick exit for one of them.

Looking at the rest of the bracket, in the AFC I am anti-New England Patriots, don’t care too much about Cincinnati Bengals or Indianapolis Colts, somewhat despise Baltimore Ravens. I am pro-Denver Broncos thanks to Peyton Manning but they do not look like a contender the way they’ve struggled down the stretch. Pittsburgh Steelers then? Haven’t they already won the Super Bowl enough? If they don’t get Le’Veon Bell back soon it will be a tough road to hoe to get to the big game.

In the NFC I already said I am pro-Packers and somewhat pro-Cowboys. I don’t mind the Carolina Panthers or Arizona Cardinals as teams to cheer for. In fact I was very close to buying a discounted Cam Newton or Larry Fitzgerald jersey earlier this week. Ended up settling for Calvin Johnson, although the Detroit Lions are on my don’t care for them list. I told the shop owner he’s going to need to discount the Ndamukong Suh jerseys a lot more!

Seattle Seahawks? I am already tiring of them but damn, they are peaking at the right time and I’m not sure who can step up to stop them. I will be cheering for the Packers or Cowboys to do it, but without further adieu, here is how my picks settled in when I filled out my bracket:

Wild-Card Weekend
Steelers over Ravens
Bengals over Colts
Cowboys over Lions
Panthers over Cardinals

Divisional Playoffs
Steelers over Broncos
Patriots over Bengals
Cowboys over Packers
Seahawks over Panthers

Conference Championships
Steelers over Patriots
Seahawks over Cowboys

Super Bowl Winner
Seattle Seahawks

Who are you picking?