Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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NCAA Squares Game

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Want a GREAT game to play over the course of the entire NCAA tourney? It’s simple and I promise everyone will love it. Here’s how to play.

A grid is used similar to that of a NFL Super Bowl pool grid. There are 100 spots total on this grid, the range being 0-9 by 0-9, covering all the possible scoring combinations. For each entry fee you place into the pool, that owner receives one grid slot. An owner can buy as many slots as he or she wants, provided 100 is not exceeded. For every slot you will receive 2 numbers, 1 number indicates the last digit of the winner’s final score, and the other number will indicate the last digit of the loser’s final score.

For example, you may receive the numbers “6,2.” This indicates that you will win if a winning team’s final score ends in a “6”, and the last digit of the losing team’s score is a “2.” For example, if Kentucky beats UConn 76 to 72, you would win.

When you receive a combination of numbers for your entry fee, that combination is good for the entire tournament. So, if you don’t hit a single game in the first round, you still have many other chances to win a lot more money than you put into the pot, as the tourney progresses.

There are 64 teams in the tournament (skip the play-in-game), resulting in 63 winners when a champion is crowned. So, you have 63 chances to win money. Unlike a Superbowl pool using the grid system, where you have only 4 chances to win money (1 chance per quarter) and you know you have like no chance to win due to the possible combinations available in football scoring, this doesn’t happen in basketball. You know if you draw a “5,6” in the Superbowl pool, you won’t win a thing. But, in basketball, it is very easy for a team to win 75 to 66. If you draw “5,6” in the basketball pool, you can hit if the final score is 85 to 66, 95 to 76, 55 to 46, it doesn’t matter – as long as the winning score ends in 5 and loser score ends in 6, you will win!

You are also in it until the end of the 3 week tournament (not done in 3-4 hours like football), unlike any other grid systems I have seen. I did this pool last year and I loved it because it was so exciting to watch the end of every game. You also don’t have to root against your favorite team like you might in other pools, because the score is the only thing that matters, not which team wins the game.

The best part about this pool, is the money breakdown! You’ll want to organize this game early because the more notice you give people the better the chance they will be able to raise the money to enter. Last year, I originally wanted an entry fee of $100 (I know you think I am nuts), but since I know I wouldn’t get many people to do that, I asked for an entry fee of $50. The reason I say $50 to enter is due to the following breakdown (but any amount and breakdown will do)…Check this out:

There are 32 games that take place in the first round, 16 games in the 2nd round, 8 games in the 3rd round, 4 games in the 4th round, 2 games in the 5th round, then a championship game. There are 100 spots on the grid, at $50 apiece, that puts $5,000 total into the pot. The breakdown of the money goes as such:

32 winning outcomes in the 1st round, each hit is worth $25 = $800 total
16 winning outcomes in the 2nd round, each hit is worth $50 = $800 total
8 winning outcomes in the 3rd round, each hit is worth $100 = $800 total
4 winning outcomes in the 4th round, each hit is worth $200 = $800 total
2 winning outcomes in the 5th round, each hit is worth $400 = $800 total
Championship game winner gets $1,000!!!!!!

Total of all the rounds equals = $5,000

For example on the payout, here is an example. If you draw “8,5,” and that combination comes up just once in the 1st round ($25) and once again in the 4th round ($200) – you would win $225. Your entry would also be doubling as a lottery entry as well, you would be in the running for a shot at $1,000 in the title game. So, with this formula I believe the $50 is justified, which is the equivalent of most fantasy football league fees. Plus, football season is over, so you need a good pool to hold you over!!

This pool is really a blast to be involved with, a 3 pointer at the buzzer last year cut me out of $80 – but made another guy extremely happy!! There will always be a winner after the outcome of every single game. You will be on the edge of your seat at the bar watching all the games like I was last year I’m sure!!

It also doesn’t matter what combo of numbers you draw, each one is just as likely to hit as another. If you get the same number combo, like “0,0” for example, you would win if the winning team’s score ended in 0 and the losing team’s score ended in 0. No, I am not talking about a tie, because the combination that wins is the final score (OT if necessary), so there would never be a tie. You would win if a team won like 70-60 for example.

I tracked the different hits 2 years ago, and out of a possible 63 outcomes, I think close to 50 different hits came up. So, there are repeat winners, but also you get a wide spread of winning outcomes as well. Try it out….I know everyone will love it!!

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Good luck!!