NCAA Tournament Player Pool – The Basics and Cheat Sheet

For the last 5 or 6 years, I’ve been involved in an NCAA Tournament player pool. Basically a fantasy draft for the tournament. From the moment I first heard of it, I was sucked in and it has not disappointed despite my yearly flameouts. I’ve placed second and third a couple of times but our pool is winner take all.

Here are the basics: usually 6-8 teams, draft 8-12 guys, start them all, points only, try to pick guys who last a while and score a lot. If you are a college hoops fiend or a gambling addict (or God forbid both like me), you have to do yourself a favor and organize or find one of these leagues. There will never be enough ways to lose money in March.

I spent the past couple of days doing my research. Despite being a big college hoops fan, no one can walk off the street and seriously tackle one of these things. Basic preparation requires knowing the top 3-4 scorers on each of the top seeds (1-4 seeds) and then knowing a couple of high scorers on mid-range seeds (5-10 seeds) and then a couple of sleepers on lower seeds (11-13 seeds). Then you must determine who you think will advance and how far they will go. It is much more difficult than a regular fantasy draft where you just target the top players. You have to factor in games played. For instance last year’s best picks were Gordon Hayward from Butler, Durrell Summers from Michigan State and Omar Samhan from St. Mary’s, all late round picks that went much deeper than expected.

So that said, I put together a cheat sheet for my draft. Every cheat sheet will be different based on how confident you are in a particular team’s ability to make a deep run. The best draft will include a few picks from top seeds mixed with some big scorers on tournament sleepers (this year’s sleeper teams include Utah State, Richmond, Missouri… teams who’s top scorers can be picked up late in the draft).

If it helps you get started, here’s my cheat sheet:

Player Cheat Sheet

1. Kemba Walker

2. Nolan Smith

3. Jared Sullinger

4. Jimmer Fredette

5. Ashton Gibbs

6. Marcus Morris

7. Ben Hansbrough

8. Harrison Barnes

9. Kenny Boynton

10. Will Buford

11. Kawhi Leonard

12. JaJuan Johnson

13. Jordan Hamilton

14. Kyle Singler

15 Brandon Knight

16. Preston Knowles

17. Jon Diebler

18. Tim Abromatis

19. Erving Walker

20. Markieff Morris

21. Kris Joseph

22. Jon Leuer

23. Etwaun Moore

24. Jordan Taylor

25. Jacob Pullen

26. John Jenkins

27. Tristan Thompson

28. Tyler Zeller

29. Brad Wannamaker

30. Chandler Parsons

31. David Lighty

32. Scoop Jardine

33. Rick Jackson

34. Terrance Jones

35. Jeff Taylor

36. Billy White

37. Kevin Jones

38. Dwight Hardy

39. Tu Holloway

40. Austin Freeman

41 Derek Williams

42 Doron Lamb

43. Isaiah Thomas

44. Malcolm Thomas

45. Tyrel Reed

46. Gilbert Brown

47. Kyle Kuric

48. Jeremy Lamb

49. Brandon Triche

50. DJ Gay

51. Vernon Macklin

52. Carleton Scott

53. John Henson

54. Ramon Moore

55. Kyrie Irving

56. Darius Miller

57. Seth Curry

58. Tyrone Nash

59. Peyton Siva

60. Gary Johnson

61. Kevin Anderson

62. Alex Oriakhi

63. Steven Gray

64. Marcus Denmon

65. Curtis Kelly

66. Lavoy Allen

67. Jimmy Butler

68. Frank Hassell

69. Travon Willis

70. Scotty Hopson

71. Trey Thompkins

72. Jackson Emery

73. Terrance Jennings

74. Corey Joseph

75. Leslie McDonald

76. Tyshawn Taylor

77. Lewis Jackson

78. Corey Stokes

79. Kalin Lucas

80. Tobias Harris

81. Darius Johnson-Odom

82. Festus Ezeli

83. Travis Leslie

84. Reeves Nelson

85. Corey Fisher

86. Khaliff Wyatt

87. Matt Howard

88. Nikola Vucevic

89. Justin Harper

90. Tai Wesley

91. Justin Brownlee

92. Orlando Johnson

93. Mark Lyons

94. Demitri Mccamey

95. Darius Morris

96. Dion Dixon

97. David Loubeau

98. Cam Long

99. Keaton Nankivil

100. Casey Mitchell

My draft was tonight. I had the sixth pick in an 8 team league with 12 players on each team. I ended up with Ashton Gibbs, Kenny Boynton, Preston Knowles, Jordan Hamilton, Rick Jackson, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lamb, Darius Miller, Tyrone Nash, Kevin Anderson, Steven Gray and Darius Johnson-Odom. I ended up with two Gators, definitely not the plan heading in. But Parsons slipped and I had to take him. I was Big East heavy with a couple of nice late round, high upside picks in Anderson and Gray.

Good luck getting a league together and having some fun. It’s March Madness. Get to work!

 

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2 Responses to NCAA Tournament Player Pool – The Basics and Cheat Sheet

  1. Kevin says:

    You should save all that research time next year and just buy our cheat sheet.
    Good Luck!!

  2. Pingback: Bourbon Meyer | Can I Play With Madness? 2012 NCAA Tournament Player Pool Rankings

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