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Daily blurbs from the Guru
If this is your first visit to this site, you should first stop by my home page to find out what this site is all about. And please support this site's advertisers. They make free sites like this one possible.

Go forward to more recent blurbs.

3/28 - The NCAA toon-a-ment retakes center stage tonight, with four games. The late game features Wichita State vs La Salle, a #9 vs #13. For Market Madness scoring, that’s the one with the greatest potential, especially if the winner goes on to the Final Four.

In GuruGolf, Graham DeLaet is the carryover favorite in the Shell Houston Open. But once again, no single golfer dominates the landscape, and 115 different golfers are represented on at least one foursome.

The RIBC drafts are now all complete. I’ll be preparing a consolidated summary of all drafts shortly. Check the baseball forum later today.

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3/27 - Congrats to Louky2, who crushed the GuruGolf field by 6 strokes in claiming the top best ball score (-48) for last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitation, including a -17 in round 3. Worst ball honors were claimed by A Good Walk Spoiled (+58), highlighted by a +19 in the final round.

The Shell Houston Open tees off tomorrow morning as the PGA Tour heads to Texas for the two weeks preceding the Matsers. Get your GuruGolf foursomes set!

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3/25 - Only two teams were completely ignored – no longs, no shorts – in the Market Madness Contest: Western Kentucky, and Florida Gulf Coast. Western Kentucky (#16 seed) gave Kansas a good run, even leading at halftime. And Florida Gulf Coast? Well, we don’t yet know the rest of that story. Suffice it to say that they “blowed up” a lot of brackets.

Market Madness Standings are updated through round of 32 games, but they don’t begin to tell the story yet. Remember that all teams who make it into the Final 4 earn a bonus equal to 10 times the seed value. That bonus can really be the difference maker, especially so many large seed values still in play. We already know that one of the Elite 8 games will include either a #9 or a #13 seed (since Wichita St. meets La Salle in the Sweet 16 game). We could still end up with three #1s and a #2, but we could also get a really crazy Final Four. Should be fun.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational still has a lot of play left, after thunderstorms claim a lot of Sunday’s action. Hopefully they’ll finish this afternoon. I can’t open up roster selection in GuruGolf until the final processing (and repricing) is complete, so stay tuned there.

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3/22 - Davidson found an improbable way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But soon thereafter, Harvard upheld the honor of the #14 seeds by knocking off New Mexico. Too bad for Market Madness entrants, of which 32 had Davidson as a long, but only four longed Harvard. And the 15 who shorted the #14 seed basket dodged a bullet cannonball, at least temporarily. For a full recap of the long and short counts for all units, see this sortable report.

Contest standings are complete through the first day, which already include 25% of the entire tournament games. But they don’t really provide an accurate picture yet. Remember that because cash received on shorts is part of your net return, entries with large short imbalances will appear at the top of the rankings at the start of the contest. After several rounds, most of those will drift down, unless their shorts have worked out very well. It is typical that some entrants position their picks with the apparent objective of gaining an early lead. Everyone seeks their 15 minutes of fame, I guess.

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3/21 - Let the Madness begin!

As I write this blurb, the tournament is only a little more than 2 hours away. Be sure to get your Market Madness picks in by 12:15pm ET, when Valparaiso and Michigan State tip it off.

I’ll be updating Contest results throughout the day. And participating in 3 baseball league drafts. And tracking GuruGolf. My dog isn’t likely to get a lot of attention from me today! Then again, he’s a former Market Madness winner himself – in 2011 – when the final game was improbably between the Huskies and the Bulldogs. So maybe he’ll be glued to the TV as well.

Meanwhile, Graham DeLaet is the most popular GuruGolfer this week, on about 23% of active foursomes. Jeff Overton, Sang-Moon Bae and KJ Choi are in his shadow. Once again, roster diversity reigns.

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3/19 - If you are new to the Market Madness format, don’t despair when you read the scoring rules. Even if you don’t “get it”, fill out a set of picks and try it for a year. Once you’ve lived through a tournament, you’ll catch on, and be much better prepared next year. If you want a few simple tips, try these:

  • For your shorts, look for first round upsets, and short the loser. For example, if you think that Southern U.(16) will beat Gonzaga(1), then short the Zags. You might also try shorting one or two of the top seed baskets (1-3). For example, shorting the #1 seeds gives you plenty of opportunities to profit from an early upset - as long as the tournament doesn't go too “chalky”!
  • For longs, pick the 4 teams you expect to survive to the Final Four. In many instances, it's good to take those teams not only as single teams, but also in their basket forms - unless you think the other teams in those baskets are really overrated.
  • Pick one or two double-digit seeds as longs. These will pay off well if they make it to the Sweet 16.
Actually, my best advice is to use the scoring simulator. Pick each of the games as you would for a typical bracket, and then let the simulator calculate the returns under your scenario. Use those returns as a basis for your picks - picking your longs from the top of the listing, and your shorts from the bottom. Or let the simulator do that for you (if you're running it while logged in to the contest site).

Every year, there is a lot of attrition between the contest registrations and the actual entries. It's not unusual for as many as 25%-30% of the registrants to not submit a set of picks. I'm sure that some of that is simply forgetfulness, but I suspect a larger issue is the confusion factor. One of the dominant feedbacks that I get from people who play for the first year is that they felt pretty befuddled when making selections, but once they see how the tournament and the scoring play out, they can't wait for next year. The simulator was designed to help you get over that initial hump.

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3/18 - The Market Madness is loaded for bear. You’ve got until the Thursday tip-offs to submit and resubmit your entries, so get started. In a year for which there is no dominant favorite, it will be interesting to see how the contest picks shake out.

In GuruGolf, Sweeets[pot lived up to the team name, cruising to a 4 stroke margin in the GuruGolf best ball competition (-46) with a foursome that included tournament winner Kevin Streelman. Two teams shared the top worst ball score of +53.

RIBC draft rationales are now being posted. Hope you find them interesting/amusing/enjoyable.

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3/15 - The “Ides of March” marks the start of what is probably the busiest 2-3 weeks of the RotoGuru calendar. Production of daily hoops stats continues. GuruGolf is in full swing. Baseball drafting is taking place in five RIBC leagues, and the posting of draft rationales for the RIBC will soon commence. Preparations for baseball statistical production is underway, both at RotoGuru and at

And then there is Market Madness. The contest site has been launched for 2013. Of course, until the brackets are announced and loaded, there isn’t much to do there other than to revisit last year’s brackets and results. I hope to have the new brackets loaded by the wee hours of Monday morning. (I’ll be away from the office for much of Sunday afternoon-evening, so I won’t even get started on loading the new brackets until late Sunday night.)

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3/14 - Kevin Stadler is the most widely owned GuruGolfer this week, but he’s on just under 30% of all foursomes. 104 different golfers are represented, so there’s a lot more diversity this week compared to last week.

The RIBC draft started this morning, so all five RIBC league drafts are now in progress. See the links in yesterday’s blurb if you want to track them. Mike Trout was the top pick in four of the five drafts, with Miguel Cabrera going #1 in the other (and Trout going 2nd in that draft).

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3/13 - The four RIBC qualifying league drafts are all underway, and the RIBC draft will be activated on Thursday. If you want to follow these drafts, here are the links:

The draft grid (by position) appears at the top of each page, and a sequential list of picks follows below that. Be aware that these 5x5 leagues differ from traditional 5x5 leagues in that the hitting stats include OBP and SLG instead of BA and HR. As such, you should expect the hitter rankings to be somewhat different than many of the published generic rankings.

The Tampa Bay Championship tees off tomorrow morning. The field is potentially much stronger (and more expensive for GuruGolf) than for last week’s Puerto Rico Open, and that quality should persist into next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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3/11 - Tiger Woods got the lion’s share of the golfing attention over the weekend at Doral. But for GuruGolfers, the action was in Puerto Rico, where tournament winner Scott Brown was completely overlooked by GuruGolf managers. Two teams tied for the top best ball score (-51), while Slice of Bread took the worst ball honors with a +43.

Turning to baseball, one of the RIBC AA drafts is already underway, and I expect all five RIBC leagues to be in the swing of it by the end of the week.

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3/7 - The Puerto Rico Open is well underway, having teed off at 6am ET this morning. Kevin Stadler is the most popular GuruGolfer, although he’s only on about 30% of foursomes. Jeff Overton is a close second.

Only 69 different golfers are represented on at least one GuruGolf foursome this week. And of those, 25 are on just three foursomes or less. So while there is no single golfer who dominates foursomes this week, there are just ten golfers who comprise one-half of all roster spots. As such, it may be a difficult week to differentiate performance, unless one of those lightly owned golfers has an extraordinary week.

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3/6 - Most golf coverage this week will be focused on the WGC event at Doral. But GuruGolfers will be following the Puerto Rico Open, since it offers a cut after the second round, while the WGC events do not. So find your favorite lower-priced GuruGolfers and get your foursome set for Thursday morning’s early start (6am ET).

All of the five RIBC leagues have now been filled. Drafting activity will start next week.

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3/4 - Only one GuruGolf team had Honda Classic winner Michael Thompson, and that was former two-time GuruGolf champion Bill Miller. Unfortunately for that team, two of Thompson’s teammates missed the cut by one stroke, including first round leader Camilo Villegas, who blew up with a +7 in round #2.

So while Miller is the only GuruGolfer to earn the extra trade, two other GuruGolf teams stand tied for first, carding -41 in the first event. The early leader in worst ball competition is Smith32-WB (+56), whose team name suggests that his worst ball success wasn’t accidental.

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3/1 - Rory McIlroy walked off the course after shooting +7 through 8 holes this morning. There are rumors that wisdom tooth pain might be a factor, but you have to wonder whether his recent conversion to Nike – and his new Nike clubs – might have some bearing as well. Regardless, the seven GuruGolf teams that paid up for him this week got very little for their investment. Only two birdies. At least one of them was on #14, which was the second most difficult hole in the first round.

We continue to recruit for managers in the two RIBC AA baseball leagues. These leagues are likely to fill soon. If you are interested, please sign up (or ask questions) in either the RIBC AA league at Yahoo or the RIBC AA league at ESPN thread.

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2013: February . . . January

2012: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2011: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2010: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2009: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2008: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2007: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2006: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2005: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2004: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2003: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2002: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2001: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2000: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1999: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1998: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March

RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is neither employed by nor compensated by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed to Guru<>.

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