IMO The ultimate manner in arranging a college basketball pool is to select teams out of a hat and then decide the winner based on the spreads that come out. The concept is simple and it wakes the tourney very exciting. See if you end up getting a late pick (see Central Florida, etc.) they only have to cover against a top team and then you steal that powerhouse team unless/until they get beat or don't cover.

Whoever gets outlasts the Championship game wins. Now, I've done this a few times and this year the format completely supported the Selection Committee's decision to deny St. Joes an invite by extending one to Northern Iowa. This year Northern Iowa opened by losing to Wisconsin but covering. If you had Northern Iowa you then stole Wisconsin, who in turn won and covered all the way up to a showdown with North Carolina. After Wisconsin covered against North Carolina you'd have had the Tar Heels thorughout the rest as they covered through the Championship game.

Therefore, spread-wise Northern Iowa was a pretty impressive selection by the Commmittee this year, although they would never admit to being thankful to the gambling community for giving them a gold star regarding their legitimacy.

Either way, this affirms the age-old adage: The Spread Doesn't Lie.