Sunday, March 14, 2010

Glimm 2010: Bigger and Better

OK, boys and girls. The brackets have been released, which means it's time to fill out your bracket for the 19th annual Glimm Memorial NCAA Basketball Tournament Pool, the only NCAA Tournament pool named for Alma Glimm.

If you've participated in the Glimm before, then you know that the Glimm Memorial is the best NCAA pool out there, where the low fee of $5 guarantees three weeks of entertainment. Click here to fill out your bracket.

Some nuts-and-bolts:

To enter, you must fill out a bracket by tipoff of the first game at noon ET Thursday. Remember that servers for these things tend to get bogged down at the last minute, so the sooner you fill out a bracket, the better. You can fill out a bracket here:

The Glimm follows a fairly standard NCAA tourney pool format. It uses a 1-2-4-8-12-16 scoring format with upset points. That means you get one point for picking a game correctly in the first round, two points in the second round, etc. Any time you correctly pick a team seeded 9 through 16 to win a game, you get bonus points (1 point for 9 seeds, 2 for 10, all the way up to 8 for a 16 seed). So remember, it pays to take risks.

The entry fee is $5 per bracket -- much less than a cost of a movie these days, and it'll bring much more entertainment value. Yes, you can submit multiple brackets. You can pay via cash or paypal (if paypaling, please send $5.50 to cover paypal fees).

The winner gets 70% of the pot, runner-up 20% and third place 10%. The last-place finisher gets their five bucks back as pity money (mom, try to stay out of the cellar this year). Thirty bucks comes out of the pot for the software I use (trust me, it's worth it), and I give myself two free entries.

I know some Glimm neophytes will be asking: Who is Alma Glimm? Mrs. Glimm was my 11th grade math teacher. She represents all that is good about NCAA basketball pools: She proved that anybody can win these things. Knowledge of college basketball means little. Everyone has a chance.

The story: Before math class one March day when I was in 11th grade, I was distributing brackets to fellow students (yes, back in the paper bracket days). Mrs. Glimm, ever the vigilant teacher, saw this and swooped in. "Gambling in school?" she said. "You can't do that." So I quickly explained to her that the pool was just for fun, and no money was involved. My lie must have been convincing, because Mrs. Glimm quickly changed her tune. "Can I try?" she asked. I handed her a bracket. Despite professing to knowing nothing about college basketball, three weeks later, she stood atop the pool standings. Since she thought it was just for fun, I couldn't give her the prize money -- the runner-up got the winner's share. But I did feel it necessary to honor her somehow. So I named the pool after her.

I don't know if her first name is actually Alma (in fact, I'm fairly certain it's something like Marion, now that I think about it), but it seems to fit. And I don't know that she's actually dead, so maybe it shouldn't be 'Memorial.' But she was pretty old back then, so I'm going with the odds.

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