When NCAA Tournament time arrives, that means it’s time for the Buck Back — the greatest pool in the history of organized sports.
Well, okay — that may be an overstatement, but the Buck Back is a lot of fun. Just recruit seven friends who like college basketball and don’t take things too seriously, ask everybody kick 8 bucks into the kitty, and then have a serpentine draft of all of the teams on the 64 lines of the NCAA Tournament grid. The eight players will end up with eight teams (we don’t count the four play-in games). Each time one of your teams wins a tournament game you get a buck back — hence the pool’s name.
I’m not a gambler, and I never enter the standard NCAA pools or on-line bracket contests. But I can spare 8 bucks to participate in the draft session, where insults and self-deprecating humor rule the day, and then follow my teams as they try to make their way in the Big Dance. This year I drafted seventh and ended up with Missouri, Baylor, San Diego State, Gonzaga, Southern Mississippi, Ohio U., Davidson, and Loyola (Maryland). I’m a bit skeptical of my roster of teams, but by drafting Loyola I at least ensured that, if my beloved Buckeyes gag and lose their first-round game, I get a buck out of it.
Let the Buck Back begin!