Last year I detailed the greatest thing to happen to the NCAA tournament since, well, the NCAA Tournament, the Gunner Pool.
The idea behind the Gunner Pool is simple. You draft a team of 8-10 guys with the sole purpose of accumulating the most total points scored in the tournament. Rebounds, assists, turnover, phooey. Plain and simple you want guys that are going to score a lot of points and play a lot of games.
So the strategy isn't like Fantasy Football, Baseball or Basketball. In those you look for the guy who will score the most TDS, hit the most homeruns or drain the most threes during a season where everyone plays the same number of games. Since teams can get sent home on any day in the NCAA Tournament, in the Gunner, you want a combination of the most points scored plus the most games played.
So for example, the Morehead St. Eagles have already secured a bid to the tournament. Their leading scorer is Kenneth Faried who averages 17.6 ppg. Odds are that Morehead will be knocked out on the opening day, so if you draft Faried you will get his one game total, say 20 points.
Now if you think the Kansas Jayhawks will make it to the Final Four, it would be better to have a guy like Brady Morningstar, and his 6.5 ppg average than Faried's 17.6. See if KU loses in the Final Four, the Jayhawks would have played five games. If Morningstar gets six points a game over five games, he will have earned your team 30 points, compared to the 20 Faried will have gotten you in his lone game.
So obviously a guy like Marcus Morris, who averages 17.3 ppg, is far more valuable than a guy like Faried, even though Faried averages more per game.
Once you have that basic idea down. The rest is gravy.
It really doesn't matter how many people are in your Gunner Draft or how many players are on your team - though we've found around eight participants and 10 players to be about optimal.
It adds another layer to your rooting interest. A few years ago I had the first overall pick and chose a high-scoring freshman from the Texas Longhorns named Kevin Durant. You can only imagine how I felt when the Horns were knocked out in the first weekend.
We contribute a nominal sum to the pot, let second place get their money back and pay the winner the lion's share of the pot.
This year we decided to forgo the opening two days and begin accumulating points on the first Thursday of the tournament. That way each team would have an equal number of potential games. Seemed only fair.
So you have a little over a week. Get your teams formed and get your draft set. It really is the most fun you can have during the tournament.
Like last year I'll publish our draft after it happens a week from Wednesday and keep you up to speed during the tourney. I just wanted to give you a heads up so you can get your friends together and on board. You won't be disappointed.