March Madness 2011 Survivor Pool: Rules And How To Play

Now, I must make it clear that SB Nation New York does not condone or partake in any illegal activity (cough, cough) during the 2011 NCAA Tournament. However, when we hear of a good idea that could make March Madness better than it already is, we figure it's our duty to share it with our devoted audience.

So, if you're legal NCAA bracket pool just isn't cutting it like it used to, and you'd like a new idea to spice up the already exciting week. I'd suggest trying to put together a NCAA survivor pool. It's not that difficult to set up and can end as soon as Saturday (trust me, if it goes past that someone is a March Madness-predictions genius).

The rules and how to play will come after the jump...

March Madness Survivor Pool

Buy-in Fee: My friends and I like to use a friendly wagers of $5 (cough, cough) worth of Gatorade, but you can choose whatever starting tariff you feel is fitting. 

Rules: This pool will work somewhat like an NFL survivor pool, but instead of Week 1, Week 2 or Week 3; participates will use groups in Round 1, 2 and 3 (groupings are listed below). So, these basic rules apply:

(Quick writer note: Using the "First Four" games is not necessary. Feel free to wait until Thursday to start your pool).

1) Elect a commissioner who will keep track of every ones picks and can pair the round-three groupings (I suggest using game times as the default for round-three pairings).

2) Before each group (again, see groupings below) tips off, a participant must submit one winner out of a group (selection can be made whenever, as long as it comes before tip-off of that particular grouping).

Selections CAN be submitted ahead of time, but that strategy could backfire (read on to learn why).

3) Like an NFL survivor pool, a participant can only choose a team once. Once a participant chooses a team, he/she forfeits their right to use that team ever again.

However, no worries if you select a wrong team (read on to learn why).

4) If a participant selects a WRONG team, he/she can buy back-in for $2 worth of Gatorade.

a. Example -- Lets say, Bob is in your pool and decides to pick ahead of time (a common strategy) and selects: Arkansas-Little Rock (Group 1), USC (Group 2), West Virginia (Group 3)  and Princeton (Group 4), but, WVU and Princeton both lose. No problem, Bob just owes $4 (cough, cough) worth of Gatorade to the pot, and Bob continues to pick.

5) A participant has a (ENTER NUMBER HERE) amount of buy-ins for the first two rounds (Tues, Wed, Thurs, Friday).

6) Buy-ins are not allowed after the second round.

7) A participant can stop buying-in whenever he/she wants to, but a forfeit must be made before their picks become final. If this does not happen, then the participant is charged for a wrong pick; or forfeits their ability to win the pot.

8) The winner is determined by the participant who chooses the most games correctly.

TIEBREAKER 1: Participant with the least amount of buy-ins; TIEBREAKER 2: Participant who has the longest correct-pick streak; TIEBRAKER 3: Participant who has the most correct upsets.

Here are the round one and two pairings (selection one winner out of each group). The commissioner will need to make round-three groups when round-two contests are final.

Group 1: Tuesday

6:30 p.m.: (No. 16-seeded) UNC-Asheville vs.(16) AR-Little Rock
9 p.m.: (12) UAB vs. (12) Clemson

Group 2: Wednesday

6:30 p.m.: Tx-San Antonio vs. Alabama St.
9 p.m.: USC vs. VCU

Group 3: Thursday

12:15 p.m.: (12) TBA vs. (5) West Virginia on CBS
12:40 p.m.: (9) Old Dominion vs. (8) Butler on truTV
1:40 p.m. (13) Morehead St. vs. (4) Louisville on TBS
2:10 p.m.: (10) Penn st. vs. (7) Temple on TNT

Group 4: Thursday

2:45 p.m.: (13) Princeton vs. (4) Kentucky on CBS
3:10 p.m.: (16) TBA vs. Pittsburgh on truTV
4:10 p.m.: (12) Richmond vs. (5) Vanderbilt on TBS
4:40 p.m.: (15) N. Colorado vs. (2) San Diego St. on TNT

Group 5: Thursday

6:50 p.m.: (15) UC Santa Barbara vs. (2) Florida on TBS
7:15 p.m.: (14) Wofford vs. (3) BYU on CBS
7:20 p.m.: (14) Bucknell vs. (3) UConn on TNT
7:27 p.m.: (13) Belmont vs. (4) Wisconsin on truTV

Group 6: Thursday

9:20 p.m.: (10) Michigan St. vs. (7) UCLA
9:45 p.m.: (11) Gonzaga vs. St. John's
9:50 p.m.: (11) Mizzouri vs. (6) Cincinnati
9:57 p.m.: (12) Utah St. vs. Kansas St.

Group 7: Friday

12:15 p.m.: (13) Oakland vs. (4) Texas on CBS
12:40 p.m.: (9) Tennessee vs. (9) Michigan on truTV
1:40 p.m.: (15) Akron vs. (2) Notre Dame on TBS
2:10 p.m.: (9) Villanova vs. (8) George Mason on TNT

Group 8: Friday

2:45 p.m.: (12) Memphis vs. (5) Arizona on CBS
3:10 p.m.: (16) Hampton vs. (1) duke on truTV
4:10 p.m.: (10) Florida St. vs (7) Texas A&M on TBS
4:40 p.m.: (16) TBA vs. (1) Ohio St. on TNT

Group 9: Friday

6:50 p.m.: (16) Boston U. vs. (1) Kansas on TBS
7:15 p.m.: (15) Long Island vs. (2) North Carolina on CBS
7:20 p.m.: (14) St. Peter's vs. (3) Purdue on TNT
7:27 p.m.: (11) Marquette vs. (6) Xavier on truTV

Group 10: Friday

9:20 p.m.: (9) Illinois vs. (8) UNLC on TBS
9:45 p.m.: (10) Georgia vs. (7) Washington on CBS
9:50 p.m.: (11) TBA vs. (6) Georgetown on TNT
9:57 p.m.: (14) Indiana St. vs. (3) Syracuse on truTV

If you follow these rules, your pool will more than likely finish by Saturday. However, if it goes into Sunday then so be it. It just adds to the drama.

Any questions, just ask in the comments section and we'll help you out. Enjoy!

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