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The History of the 'Ganza

There once were two young college students named Gavin McCollam and Dan Sipes. They led the average, boring life of young college students. But one day, they sat down during a coffee break at their cushy part time job, and the more imaginative one (I think it was Gavin), suggested to the other that they make some predictions on the upcoming 1985 NCAA Basketball Tournament. The other, less imaginative one (I think it was Dan), said, "Uh... Okay."

So on a sheet of legal sized paper, they drew up a crude representation of the tournament pairings. In the privacy of their own cubicles, they filled out their bracket entirely, each choosing which team would win the tournament and the route it took to do so. The more mathematical of the two (I think it was Gavin), developed a point system to compare the accuracy of the picks based on the actual outcome of the tournament. When this system was presented, the less mathematical of the two (I think it was Dan), said, "Uh...Okay."

This competition continued in a similar fashion through the 1986 and 1987 NCAA Tournament, with one exception. For the 1986 Tournament, the more intelligent of the two (I think it was Gavin), came up with the idea of copying the tournament bracket out of the local paper. That way, they wouldn't have to draw up their own. This idea was presented to the less intelligent of the two (I think it was Dan), who said, "Uh...Okay."

In 1988, the Extravaganza went through it's first expansion. Steve Gaal came on board and promptly won the competition with 41 points compared to Gavin and Dan's 40. Gavin and Dan immediately regretted the decision to allow Steve in, and argued on whose idea it was (I think it was Dan's).

In 1990, the first ever written publication was sent out to all entrants. It also marked the first time the event had a title. In the pre-tournament letter, the competition was referred to as The NCAA Division 1 College Basketball Tournament Prediction Tournament. Granted, it was a bit redundant sounding, but it was an accurate title. In one letter, it was referred to as the NCAA Tournament Guessing Tournament, which is also redundant yet accurate. The hand written letters written in 1990 to all participants can be seen at The Basketball Tournament Prediction Extravaganza Hall-of-Fame located in Canton, ND.

1992 was the turning point in Extravaganza history. It went through it's largest expansion to date, more than doubling to 13 participants. In 1992, the letters to participants were done on a computer for the first time. It was the first time that a plaque was given to the winner (Rob Sipes for all you trivia buffs), and it follows that it was the first year an entry fee was collected (plaques don't grow on trees, you know.) 1992 was the first year in which Gavin was referred to as the Benevolent Grand Pooh-Bah (he's been hiding from Hanna-Barbera lawyers ever since), and, most importantly, 1992 marked the first year that the event was called The Basketball Tournament Prediction Extravaganza.

In 1993, the results and information entered a new phase with the publication of the first issue of The 'Ganza Gazette, referred to as The Official Publication of the Basketball Tournament Prediction Extravaganza. Coincidentally, it also happened to be the first year that the Pooh-Bah had a home computer. Volume 1, Number 1 of The 'Ganza Gazette has become a collector's item, and is located in a vacuum chamber in the Extravaganza Hall-of-Fame. 1993 was also historical in the fact that it was during the final four of that year when the Pooh-Bah dubbed the 'Ganza award plaque as The Ostertag Plaque.

In the Summer of 1995 Bill Berger was named Director of Operations of the newly formed Partnership, BGP (Benevolent Grand Pooh-Bah) Enterprises. Together, Gavin, Dan, and Bill embarked on the major task of bringing the 'Ganza to the world. The first step took place in 1996, when the 'Ganza went on-line, with prognosticators downloading the entry software and submitting their picks using e-mail.

In 1998, Ganza.com unveiled it's new snazzy logo, and following the 1999 'Ganza, the Pooh-Bah made an executive decision to drop the letters A, C, and N (not necessarily in that order or only one of each) from the 'Ganza's official name so as to not confuse prospective participants, advertisers, or casual web surfers.

In the early years of the 'Ganza, participants were required to pay a small membership fee to help the fine folks at BGP Enterprises cover their expenses. This membership fee, once as high as $5.00 per person, gradually was decreased by the Benevolent Grand Pooh-Bah to $1.00 for several years. Finally, in 2007 the Pooh-Bah made the executive decision to eliminate the membership fee -- thus opening up the 'Ganza to a whole new market of prognosticators.

In 2010 the 'Ganza celebrated it's SILVER ANNIVERSARY by talking the Pooh-Bah into joining facebook. Be a FFOP (Facebook Friend of Pooh) by clicking the link on the home page

We invite you to join us as we continue on our way to becoming the premier tournament prediction competition in North America.

Please contact us if you need any additional information.

Copyright 1996 - 2017, BGP Enterprises. The Basketball Tournament Prediction Extravaganza is not sanctioned by, sponsored by, a division of, or even remotely related to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.