Tourney Draft: Back to the drawing board

When last we convened to take stock of the standings in our 2013 Tourney Draft -- wherein myself and my colleagues Myron Medcalf, Jason King and John Gasaway get together, draft tournament teams and talk a fair deal of lighthearted smack -- we had just finished the First Four and the Rounds of 64 and 32, respectively. (Regrettably, I didn't have time to post an update after the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, because I happened to be a bit busy that weekend.) After the first weekend of the tournament, I wrote that we stood "on the precipice of destroying the game altogether."

While that may have been a little overheated, my concerns were valid: With all but 16 teams eliminated from the bracket, Myron had exactly one team left in his portfolio. That team was the Louisville Cardinals. And so our scoring system, which we didn't spend a ton of time auditing when we came up with this idea last year, would be put to the ultimate test: Could someone have an utterly dreadful all-around draft (don't worry, Myron agrees) and still win the game, provided they wielded the eventual national champion? Could you really be a one-trick Tourney Draft pony?

The answer, as it turns out, is a resounding and thoroughly unfortunate, yes:

  • Myron Medcalf: Louisville (63), Georgetown (0), New Mexico (0), Oklahoma State (0), UNLV (0), Colorado St (1), Bucknell (0), Temple (1), NC State (0), Minnesota (1), South Dakota State (0), Valpo (0), Akron (0), Iona (0), Northwestern State (0), Southern (0), James Madison (1) Total: 66 points

  • Jason King: Duke (7), Gonzaga (1), Miami (3), Saint Louis (0), VCU (1), Arizona (3), Kansas State (0), Colorado (0), Wichita State (15), Iowa State (1), Davidson (0), Villanova (0), Oklahoma (0), Montana (0), Florida Gulf Coast (3), LIU Brooklyn (0), NC A&T (1) Total: 35 points

  • John Gasaway: Indiana (3), Kansas (3), Michigan State (3), Syracuse (15), Pittsburgh (0), Creighton (1), Missouri (0), North Carolina (1), Notre Dame (0), Saint Mary's (1), Illinois (1), Middle Tennessee (0), Ole Miss (1), Boise State (0), New Mexico State (0), Western Kentucky (0), Liberty (0) Total: 29 points

  • Eamonn Brennan: Florida (7), Ohio State (7), Michigan (31), Wisconsin (0), Marquette (7), Memphis (1), San Diego State (1), UCLA (0), Cal (1), Belmont (0), Oregon (3), Butler (1), Cincinnati (0), La Salle (4), Harvard (1), Pacific (0), Albany (0) Total: 64 points

  • Scoring: Rounds 1 and 2: 1 point; Round 3: 2 points; Round 4: 4 points; Round 5: 8 points; Round 6: 16 points; Champion: 32 points. (Yes, we assigned a point to the winners of the play-in rounds. All part of the drafting strategy.)

I say this with all possible humility, which is not much: I put on a clinic! Despite drafting last, and passing on two No. 1 seeds (Kansas and Gonzaga), I placed four teams in the Elite Eight and six in the Sweet 16, and I had the national runner-up.

What I did not have was the No. 1 pick -- our teams are listed in the order we (snake) drafted; as you can see, Myron was No. 1 overall -- and therefore did not have the chance to draft resounding pre-tourney favorite Louisville. Myron did. Louisville won, and so did he ... despite getting just three total points from the other 15 teams in his portfolio. This is chaos, and the Joker lied. Chaos is not fair.

So, after finishing this post, I will be writing myself a calendar reminder for March of next year making sure I bring up the all-important topic of new tourney draft scoring rules. Winning and losing was never really the point of all this; it was more about the exercise of drafting a couple of days before the tournament, discussing teams going in, thinking about the bracket in a slightly different way, live-chatting for fun, and so on. But now that I have had such injustice foisted upon me, I have no choice but to act. In like 11 months. At least we have plenty of time.