Final results are in!!!

Virginia is the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion!

Virginia won their first national title by outlasting the Texas Tech defense to the tune of a 85-77 final score. It took an 11-0 scoring run in overtime to break the game open after 40 minutes of lead changes culminating in a 68-68 tie at the end of regulation. The sportsbooks’ over/under of about 118 proved far too pessimistic as the game outscored even our combined score average estimate from the pool!

As for our pool, congratulations to those who picked Virginia as champion and a special congratulations to our winners:

1st Place: Paul Schlenger – ESA, 174 points

2nd Place: Jerry Morrissette, 170 points

3rd Place: Bug Deagle, 138 points

In the Robinson Noble employees and family division, our winners are:

1st Place: *The King has been Overthrown, 148 points

2nd Place: *Emily Wills, 131 points

3rd Place: *Andrew, 128 points

You can review the final standings by clicking here.

We would like to once again thank this year’s sponsors whose support helps make this tournament possible: ACF West, Holt Services Inc., and The Watershed Company.

I would also like to thank everyone who participated who did not win. It’s okay. With 63 games to pick in a bracket, there are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 different possible brackets each year. That’s over nine billion billion ways to fill out a bracket. That’s over 60 times MORE options than there has been seconds since the formation of the Earth approximately 4.5 billion years ago! (Since we are geoscientists and engineers, we think in geologic terms!)  While seeding (usually) helps with the early rounds and your level of fandom can lend some other hunches as you sift through the options, nobody has ever picked a perfect bracket, and it’s unlikely anyone ever will. So regardless of how well your bracket performed, thanks for playing and following along. We look forward to our opportunities to work with you this year until next March comes along!

…and then there was 4

As predicted, the round of 8 broke our brackets.

Shoutout to the bracket “J. Harris”, which was the only bracket in our pool to even pick three teams moving on to the semifinals.  You can review the damage to your standings on the attached PDF.

It was a weekend of close games. Duke and Gonzaga, picked by a combined 61 out of 98 brackets to win the tournament, are out.  Duke lost 67-68 to Michigan State (2)—they indeed tempted luck one too many times.  Gonzaga got cold in the final minutes and couldn’t pull out the win against the suffocating Texas Tech (3) defense.

The lone 1-seed left, Virginia, was not our favorite.  Maybe it’s because last year, Virginia was the first 1-seed to ever lose in the first round to a 16-seed? 41 out of 98 of us picked Virginia to advance to the semifinals. Compare that to 78 for Duke, 59 for Gonzaga, and 53 for North Carolina. Only 7 of us picked Virginia to win the championship. However, with the favorites gone, only 12 of us have a pick for champion still in play (the other picks include 4 for Michigan State and 1 for Texas Tech).

Does that make Virginia the new favorite? To those of you that picked Virginia, I’d like to remind you that this missed-free-throw-tipped-back-court-offensive-rebound-passed-forward-unblocked-shot-buzzer-beater had to happen just to tie the game and force overtime. You can watch it here:

Still feeling confident about Virginia?  Or lucky?

Auburn, the 5-seed, pulled out the win against Kentucky (2) to claim their spot in the semifinals. Only 4 brackets picked Auburn to get this far. 5-seeds are now 7 of 9 advancing to the semifinals from the round of 8. Looking forward, half of the six 5-seeds to reach the semifinals have advanced, but none of the three 5-seeds to reach the championship ended up winning. Could Auburn notch the first championship for 5-seeds? None of us picked Auburn. Auburn now plays Virginia.

The other game, Michigan State vs. Texas Tech, will feature a Michigan State offense whose only weakness this season has been turnovers against a Texas Tech defense ranked top 5 in both defensive efficiency and forcing turnovers (no NCAA team has ever finished top-5 in both).

You can watch Michigan St (2) vs. Texas Tech (3) and Virginia (1) vs. Auburn (5) this Saturday, April 6. The championship will follow a week from today.

Current standings as of March 31st can be downloaded by clicking here.

1st place: Paul Schlenter – ESA is still out in front with 126 points

2nd place (tie): Jerry Morrissette and Max Berde are tied with 122 points

In the Robinson Noble staff and family division, the leaders are:

1st place: Rocinate is in the lead with 119 points

2nd place: Son of a ZAG  is in second place with 111 points

A special thanks to our sponsors:

Sweet 16

Basketball is back for the weekend!

With the first four games of the round of 16 behind us, we have seen two 1-seeds, Gonzaga and Virginia, as well as two 3-seeds, Texas Tech and Purdue, advance.  Purdue (3) was able to out-crazy Tennessee (2) in a high-scoring game with huge momentum shifts, more missed free throws than a youth basketball game, and overtime. And in a game that had more meaning for many of us with our Pac-12 allegiances, Oregon (12) fell in the last minutes in its bid to upset Virginia (1) last night!

Out of all 98 brackets, only 18 picked Purdue (3) and 23 picked Texas Tech (3). Only 5 of us picked all four games correctly, and all 5 are in the top 10 in the standings!  Congratulations to you if you are among those who made the right picks and had a great night last night!

In a typical year, we can still expect a 1-seed to lose this round.  Could it be North Carolina dealing with a surging Auburn (5), or will Duke, fresh out of a near-upset in the last round with UCF (final score 77-76), succumb to Virginia Tech (4)?  Even if they make it to the next round, the odds don’t get better. In the history of the tournament, all four 1-seeds have survived this weekend and made it to the semifinals only once (2008), so some 1-seed is very likely to fall before Monday.

You can check your standings by clicking here.  The remaining round of 16 games will be played today before the round of 8 is played this weekend!

1st place (tie): Paul Schlenter – ESA and Max Berde are tied with 106 points

2nd place: BC&Buds is not too far behind with 98 points

In the Robinson Noble staff and family division, the leaders are:

1st place (tie): Eat my dust! and Son of a ZAG are rocking first place with 91 points

2nd place (tie): Bryce Powell and Rocinate are close competition with with 88 points

A special thanks to our sponsors:

Second Round Results!

The round of 32 has concluded!

The trend from Saturday continued, with no more upsets.  After a wild first round, the second round has seemed to lack the (trademarked) namesake “madness” of the tournament.  Advancing to the round of 16 are only two teams lower than a 4-seed: Auburn (5) and Oregon (12).  In our pool, 27 brackets (27.6%) picked Oregon to reach the round of 16. The only other teams to advance that were picked by less than half of our pool are Purdue (3) and Auburn (5), both picked in 44% of brackets. Congratulations if you picked Oregon, Auburn, or Purdue to get this far!

Looking forward to the round of 16 (worth 4 points for each correct pick), our picks don’t anticipate many upsets.  In fact, none of the top 40 brackets dared to not pick Duke, and only 6 brackets picked a Duke upset overall (94% pick rate). The other 1-seeds have an over 70% pick rate to advance, and the 2-seeds all have an over 50% pick rate.  Those picks aren’t without warrant: historically over 80% of 1-seeds and over 70% of 2-seeds in the round of 16 have advanced.  Compare that to Oregon’s chances—only one 12-seed has ever advanced to the round of 8 (5% win rate).

You may be feeling like you’ve slipped too far in the standings, but from here on out the tournament shifts from a game of predicting which low seeds will have a surprise win or two to predicting the results of practically even matchups between teams with very comparable levels of coaching and talent. If (or rather when—the round of 8 is the classic round for felling giants) upsets return to this tournament, expect movement in the standings!

1st place (tie): Paul Schlenter – ESA and Max Berde are tied with 88 points

2nd place: BC&Buds is not too far behind with 85 points

In the Robinson Noble staff and family division, the leaders are:

1st place: Bryce Powell is rocking first place with 84 points

2nd place: Eat my dust! is not too far behind with 83 points

Be sure to check your standings by clicking here, and on to the round of 16 starting this Thursday, March 28!

A special thanks to our sponsors:

First Round Results!

The first round of games are all done! Washington and Oregon are both going on to the next round (even though the Huskies did have a higher score). Standings as of March 21st can be downloaded here.

1st place (three-way tie): BC&Buds, JD, and Thomas Keown are a slam dunk with 28 points

2nd place (three-way tie): Greg Guillen, Norm K, and  Max Berde are a close second with 27 points

In the Robinson Noble staff and family division, the leaders are:

1st place: The Waler is rocking first place with a total of 28 points

2nd place (tie): Son of a ZAG and Rocinate are very close behind with 27 points

Stay tuned for more updates!

A special thanks to our sponsors:

Photo provided via Creative Commons license by Robert Course-Baker.

It has begun, the 9th Annual Robinson Noble NCAA Basketball Tournament!

9th Annual Robinson Noble NCAA Basketball Tournament Contest

$500 in Prizes

The basketball madness has started once again! Come join the fun by submitting a bracket to Robinson Noble’s 9th annual tournament contest. It is free to play. Simply fill in a bracket and send it to Brayden at If you did not receive a bracket in your email, you can download one here. Please return your brackets by 9:00 AM, Thursday, March 21st.

We hope everybody can participate. If you are not allowed to receive prize money, please let us know your favorite charity and we will send your winnings to them instead!

A special thanks to our sponsors: 

Photo provided via Creative Commons license by eddie welker.

Final results are in!

Feel like your bracket was frozen after the third round…mine sure was! Villanova sifted through the madness and emerged victorious!  Full results can be downloaded here.

The winners are:

1st place: With a total of 125 points, Carl Spackler is our big winner

2nd place: Out of nowhere Tad Deshler zoomed into second with 119 points

3rd place: Not too far behind is JasonVG with 118 points

In the Robinson Noble staff and family division, the winners are:

1st place: A Brief history of Brackets RIP Stephen Hawking took home the prize with 131 points

2nd place: KATwoman rose through the ranks to finish second with a whopping 126 points

3rd place: Brayden Pittsenbarger finished strong with 119 points

Thank you everybody for participating this year! It was a very fun March Madness.

One last special thanks to our sponsor:

Photo provided by Creative Commons license by Steve Baker

Walk in the park?

Sometimes the going gets tough before things get easier. Soon our teams will have some time to relax in the sunshine! Current results can be downloaded here.

1st place: Cody Neal is soaking up the sun with 94 points

2nd place: Nathan Chapman might have the “oppawtunity” to steal that lead with 92 points

In the Robinson Noble staff and family division:

1st place: Angie had done the “im-paws-ible” and jumped into first with 97 points

2nd place: not too far behind on the trail is A Brief history of Brackets RIP Stephen Hawking (that’s a mouthful!) with 83 points

Out of the group it’s down to Villanova, Kansas, and Michigan!

A special thanks to our sponsor:

Photo provided via Creative Commons license by Alex Beattie

Practice winning every day!

Things can get difficult before they get easy. Let’s see who shines at the end of this weekend. Up-to-date results can be downloaded here.

1st place: Nathan Chapman has a blazing 92 points!

2nd place: not too far behind on the scoreboard is Cody Neal with 78 points.

In the Robinson Noble staff and family division:

1st place: drewemeister is sinking some three pointers with 81 points.

2nd place: Matthew did an alley-oop out of nowhere and has a whopping 74 points on the board.

“The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in or not.” – Charles Barkley

A special thanks to our sponsor:

Photo provided via Creative Commons license by Your Best Digs