The decision-making process varies according to player. Although he teaches in the humanities, Simpson's bids are "strictly rational," he says. He comes to each year's auction armed with a spreadsheet that shows what he believes is each team's "strict rational price." The spreadsheet can be updated on the fly -- so if Simpson is outbid on a team he wants, the updated spreadsheet provides him with the data he needs to choose the team that is statistically the next best option. "Sometimes I depart from the spreadsheet values in the heat of the draft," he says, "but I usually regret it."Because of the pricing and value propositions that underlie the Grinnell auction, the event yields a different kind of bracket. This year, for example, Simpson picked three teams each in the East and Midwest conferences, and one team each from the West and South conferences. Participants don't get the standard benefit of having a winner or loser in every tournament game.
A New Kind Of Madness: Grinnell College Basketball Pool Takes An Alternative Approach To The Bracket
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