|The Final @ North Texas (Arlington) (AT&T Stadium)|
(New York, NY)
Sunday, April 6, 2014 Issue # 14.5.2 "Our Vigintennial" [ Home | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Updates ]
ROSEMEAD/CERRITOS, CA (smt)-Two teams people would associate with titles made the final, but this year UConn was a #7 seed and Kentucky was a #8 seed. Both teams didn't win their conference title nor tournament (both were 12-6 in conference play). Yet they've outlasted an undefeated team, last year's champion and dark horse, curious seeding, high number of close games, and lengthy monitor replay delays. The Wildcats have not only had a difficult route to the final (beating 3 of last year's Final Four teams including undefeated Wichita St) but they have also closed out five straight close games, thanks to Aaron Harrison's clutch 3-point shooting in the final minute. The Huskies were nearly upset in overtime in their first game and then proceeded to knock off the #2, #3, and #4 seeds in the East before finally snapping #1 overall seed Florida's 30-game win streak thanks to incredible free throw shooting. Kentucky and their fab five starting freshmen are 3 point favorites. Interestingly, UConn was 2-0 vs Florida while Kentucky was 0-3.
We will have our 19th different champion in 20 years as a couple of second-year
players will battle for the title and get their first taste at money in our
pool. Bigtenfan2 hasn't picked up any points since last
Saturday but can win the 20th HWCI NCAA Pool title if Kentucky wins.
Otherwise, it will be Badzy and her
riding UConn to the title. The other six players are also
guaranteed a chance at money with the
tiebreaker knocking 2 of them out of the money. We know the order of the
next 3 spots as Hawkeye, Beyond Elite 8 (1st
'06), and ShivaBlast will finish either 2nd/3rd/4th (Kentucky
wins) or 3rd/4th/5th (UConn wins). Fabio (1st '04),
The Downtown Fiction (2nd '05, 5th '13), Wooden-Soldier,
and Badzy (if UConn loses) are all tied and the total points
will determine who finishes 5th/6th/7th/8th (Kentucky wins) or 6th/7th/8th (UConn
wins). I've been on the losing end of the tiebreaker and two will not win
money (though if the total points is 120 or 138, there would be a tie for 6th
and the prize would be split, and that would be our 100th money spot). Our
pool has been amazingly keen at distributing the money to different people and
this year is no exception as either 3, 4, or 5 will win money for the first time
(and we still have the Bonus!).
In 1995,the first year of the pool, just 12 people entered in a modest effort put forth by HW-UCLA and their close friends. Names like BAD ASS and LIVER BOY graced the pool. Of course, their interest was heightened because UCLA was favored to win it all. Indeed, 10 of 12 picked UCLA while 2 picked Kentucky. This pool featured the infamous LOSER WHO DIDN'T PICK UCLA (Dennis K) who set an all-time record (still stands today) with a 14-2 2nd Round to go from tied for 9th to tied for 1st before going 0-7 in the final 3 rounds to finish dead last (12th) with 98 points. TINA'S BOY (Mark C) became the first person to be eliminated when the 2nd round ended. He was, however, one of only 3 people (all in 1995) to correctly pick the two teams in the final and the champion prior to 1999. BIX PIX (Fernando B, 1st, 148) and MR. NELSON (Nelson B, 2nd, 146) were the other two and claimed the top two spots, winning $70 and $30, respectively. THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA (Dave F, 3rd, 141) claimed third prize worth $20. All but one finished with 110 points or more, the highest scoring pool ever (130.6 avg).
In 1996,19 people participated in the pool. Without the HW-UCLA guys picking nicknames, we had some boring stuff like JAMES, JOSEPH, and HEATHER. That year, the total points tiebreaker was first used to settle ties. A newcomer, JAYBIAN (Jason S, 1st, 144) rode Kentucky to a first place prize of $110. He also set a record going 8-0 for the 3rd round and never looked back. BIX PIX TWEY (Fernando B, 5th, 129), hoping to duplicate last year's effort, fell short of winning money thanks to his loyalty to UCLA. JOSEPH (Joseph K, 2nd, 140) and JAMES (James L, 3rd, 139) won $50 and $30, respectively. Six picked Kentucky that year with just as many picking UCLA (who lost to Princeton in the first round- ouch!). This was the first year someone entered twice (Dave F) and ended up 11th (REALISTIC MOBELFAKTA, 113) and 16th (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA, 106). MM and HATE THE DUCKS (Mark C, 12th, 112) became the 2nd and 3rd people to go 0-for-the- Final-Four. HATE THE DUCKS had a 64% chance of winning money heading into the 4th round, and 0% chance after. THE CHEF (Douglas H, 19th, 80) set an all-time low in points for a pool at the time.
In 1997, the first real debate on whether to raise the pool fee to $20 from $10 was raised. Fortunately, it was defeated in a vote. But, three people did plunk down $20 to enter twice as 22 entries were received in the third annual pool. Like Dave F before them, the three people went moneyless (Tuan H- RODERICK (15th, 97) and RHODES (14th, 97); Alvin K- BAD ASS I (4th, 111) and BAD ASS II (18th, 93); and Dennis K- LENNY (6th, 107) and DUKE (12th, 99)). This was also the first year no one picked the correct NCAA champion. Arizona, who usually bowed out in the first or second round, surprised everyone, including Kentucky, in winning the championship in overtime. The #4-SE seed beat three # 1 seeds, the first time that's happened. Twelve had picked Kansas and four North Carolina, neither which made the championship game. MAX (Sean D, 1st, 116) bounced back from a 15th place finish the year before to win the $125 top prize. The Selander brothers took 2nd (Brian S, THE FLYING ELVI, 115) and 3rd (Jason S, JAYBIAIN II, 113) for $60 and $35, respectively. Jason S became the first person to win money twice (1st in 1996). Todd S. (FRODO, 5th, 109) became the first person to lead going into the Final Four and end up with nothing. Just half (11 of 22) finished 100 points or higher.
In 1998, a record 28 entries tried their luck. ANNA COME LATELY (Anna C, 1st, 126), the last entry we received, seemed like the least likely to win, picking a Utah over UCLA final. Well, Utah surprised the 27 other entrants (no one else even had them in the Final Four) and gave ANNA COME LATELY the record top prize of $150. James L became the 2nd person to win twice taking the $70 second place prize (CAVEMAN, 2nd, 113) while THE FABONE (Scott T, 3rd, 110) won money for the first time in four tries to take home $40. For the first time, a 4th place prize was created and that went to SCOTTMAN (Scott H, 4th, 108), which was also the first time the tiebreaker played a part in the top spots as he won the 4-way tie for 4th place. With Kentucky's rally and win over Utah in the final, this was the 2nd straight year no one picked the champion. Sixteen pegged UNC while five hoped for an Arizona repeat. UTHOPE (Donald G, 24th, 92) became the 4th person to go 0-7 in the last three rounds. ANNA COME LATELY's 13-point win was the largest margin of victory ever (still stands today). Tuan H once again entered twice with the same results- no money (STRAIGHT BUTTER, 10th, 106 and EN FUEGO, 13th, 104) extending the drought for dual entries to 0-for-5.
In 1999, a record 36 entries (18 NCAA pool newcomers, 13 pool newcomers if you include those who participated in the World Cup Pool) were received with two dual entries (Scott T- THE FABONE V and FREE FABONE and Gareth M- CARSERONI and MAJERUS FOR SDSU). This was the first year the referral program was in effect (free entry for 5 referrals). Mark C (DARKSHARK) became the first person to go 0-for-7 in the Final Four twice (1996). SHARY BOBBINS (Lisa T, 1st, 146) and CARSERONI (Gareth M, 3rd, 120) became the 12th and 13th different people to win HWCI NCAA pool money. Scott T (FREE FABONE) and Gareth M (CARSERONI) broke a streak of winless dual entries with a 2nd and 3rd Place finish in one of their entries. James L (BIG GAME, 5th, 117) bid to go 3-for-3 in winning money came falling down with Duke's stunning loss. Three of four people who picked UConn (29 picked Duke) to win it all won money. Rob C (LUIS ENRIQUE'S ARMADA, 11th, 113) became the first person to pick the correct champion and lose out to someone who didn't (where the correct champion was picked). Fernando B (BIG SPIDER BECK, 4th, 118) had just a 4 in 132 chance to win money and took 4th, his second winning entry ever. Loretta A (TRUE BRUIN, 36th, 67) finished with all-time record low in points.
In 2000, a record-tying 36 entries once again tried their luck as 14 newcomers entered. Sam N (MORALES' MOUNDS, 122 pts) became the sixth different champion after finishing 26th and 31st in the previous two years. He became the first person to either be tied or in the lead after each of the six rounds. After a record breaking first round that saw two people get 30 of 32 first round games correct, the brackets started to fall apart as no one got more than 3 of 8 Sweet Sixteen games correct and eight people went go 0-7 in the Final Four (just six have done so before (117 entries)). Just one #1 and one #2 seed advanced to the Elite Eight. Dave F (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA) returns to the winner's circle with a 2nd Place finish. Scott T (THE FABONE VI) won money for a record third straight pool. Beth S (BETHEON, 36th, 62) shattered the all-time low in points. Fourteen people pegged Michigan St. as the correct champion. Craig E (CRAIGS99) won 4th place in his first pool.
In 2001, a record shattering 59 entries were received by 53 people (21 new people). Robinson C (TEAM SAMURAI) won the biggest prize ever of $280 after finishing 3rd to last (34th) last year. He entered three times and it worked. Three others (Scott T, Mike K, Fernando B) went winless in both of their entries after the last three people to enter twice won money (3-8 overall for those with 2 entries; Robinson is the first 3-time entry-er). Sam N (B-S FC), last year's pool champion, and Dylan R (DYLAN) become just the 3rd and 4th people to not get at least half the games correct. Four people went 0-7 in the Final Four (just 18 people have done so out of 212 entries) with Donald G (UTHPOPE) doing it for the second time (Mark C is the only other person with this dubious distinction). On the flip side, two people (BINGO and PEEPS) became the first-ever entries to predict all four Final Four teams correctly. Eleven different teams were picked to be the champion with 18 picking Stanford, 15 Duke, and 8 Arizona. In addition to Robinson C, Lisa F (ARMIN TAMZARIAN) won for the 2nd time. Bing F (BINGO) took 3rd in his second try and Sam P (JAYHAWK FC) took home 4th. The top 13 finishers all had Duke winning it all.
In 2002, a record breaking 80 entries were received. A hefty 80 entries from 71 people including 29 new people and 42 returnees. Seven people entered twice and one person entered 3 times but only Scott T managed to take home something, his first pool title in 8 years (THE FABON8ER) and largest take ever, $400, giving him a lifetime total of $590 and his 4th win (1st, 2nd, 2 3rd place finishes). Jeff H (RANDOM PICKS) had the largest 1st and 2nd round leads ever (4 and 7 pts) and most pts after 2 rounds (90) but had to settle for 2nd. Ann B. (LITTLE ANN) and Paul N. (KAIZEN) took 3rd and 4th, with the 4th Place prize of $70 matching our first ever 1st Place prize of $70 in 1995. In reference to quantity does not equal quality, Gabriel T (GOBAY) and Dan H (HENDO) shattered records for lowest point total (49) and worst 2nd round (3-13). Gabriel also set records for worst 2nd Round Saturday (1-7), worst record in 3rd round (0-8), worst record in last 4 rounds (0-15). HENDO set a record for least wins (22) and lowest point total after 2 rounds (45). Eight people failed to get half the games right (just 4 in previous 7 pools) and eight went 0-7 in the last 3 rounds (just 18 in previous 7 pools). 22 entries chose Duke to win it all but all four winners (out of 17) correctly chose Maryland.
In 2003, with the War in Iraq looming that week, 63 valid entries (including a record 47 returnees) from 58 people were received, our second highest total. With some complaints that four prizes weren't enough, we instituted our first-ever Bonus Prize of $40 to the entry who picked the Winningest Conference and number of wins correctly. This allowed 21 extra entries with a chance for money heading into the Final Four. Scott T (THE FABO9ERS) won the prize (11th, 110), his fifth win, pushing his lifetime total to $630 by winning the tiebreaker of those who had the Big 12 with 14 wins. Four people entered twice and none won anything. Cliff T became the first person to enter twice and have both of his entries eliminated after the 2nd Round. Darryn B (BIG LUTHER), in his second pool, took home the first place prize of $280, our 9th different pool champion. John S (MR. WIZARD) and Quang P (KRIMSONGUARD) took home 2nd and 3rd, respectively, their first-ever wins, and the 23rd and 24th different people to win money. Catrina B (BLUEBERRY) had a record-setting perfect first day (16-0) but eventually lost her last 14 games and 26 of the last 31 games to finish in 62nd place. John B (BLOOMERS123) also went 16-0 on the first day but finished 27th. Twelve teams were picked to win it all but the overwhelming choices were Kentucky (32 entries) and Arizona (13) but neither team made it to the Final Four. For the first time since the pool started, 3 #1 seeds lost in the Elite 8, and for the second time, no #1 seed was in the Final. With that disaster Elite 8 round, a record 26 entries went 0-for-the-Final Four, matching the previous eight-year combined total of 26 (in 292 entries). No one had more than 2 Final Four teams correctly picked. Robinson C (TEAM SAMURAI, 63rd, 72) became the 13th entry to not get more than half the games correct. Fern B (GALAXY, 5th, 117) missed money by one point and became just the 2nd entry to get the correct champion (Syracuse) and lose to someone who didn't pick the champion (in years where the correct champion was picked). To add insult to injury, Fern also picked the tiebreaker correctly (which means with one extra point he would have won 4th), just the third person to do so.
In 2004, our 10th anniversary, the pool bounced back and 79 entries were received from 70 people (7 dual entries, 1 3-entries), including a record 54 return entries. Once again, none of the 8 people who entered multiple entries won money. Six different people led after each of the first four days before Bing F (BINGO) took over after Rounds 3 and 4. However, after Round 5, Jeff H (RANDOM PICKS) took the lead pushing Bing F to no higher than 3rd and in the end, became just the second person to lead going into the Final Four and wind up moneyless. For the first-time ever, the pool champion was not crowned after Round 5 and we had to wait until after Monday's game to find out who our Pool champion would be. It was Rick F (FABIO) who took home the $370 top prize and became our 10th different champion. Rick F and Darius B (OMG), who took 2nd Place, were our 25th and 26th different persons to win money. Dave F (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA) took 3rd, his 3rd win ever (total: $230). Jeff H took the 4th place prize of $80, his second win, pushing his win total to $280. Jeff H was also just the third person to ever snatch a money spot away from someone who picked the correct champion (he had Kentucky) beating David S (SHRINER, 5th) by one point. After eight winless years, Mike B. (BUCKEYE MIKE) finally won something, taking home the $40 Bonus Prize as the ACC was the Winningest Conference with 14 wins. Fourteen different teams were picked to win it all, but 2 of the top 3 didn't make it to the Sweet 16 (Stanford (21) and Kentucky (12)). Duke (16) lost in the Semis but eventual champion UConn was picked by 11. Despite only one #1 seed making the Final Four, 17 entries got 3 of the 4 teams correct. Three entries got less than 32 games correct (16 overall). Twelve went 0-for-the-Final-Four (64 overall). A record 5 people got the tiebreaker exact (just happened three times before).
In 2005, the start of our second decade, 82 entries from 73 people (both records) were submitted, including a record 65 returnees. Of the eight who entered at least twice, two won money. Robinson C became the first two-time HWCI NCAA Pool champion ('01) winning with his FLIP FIGHTERS (140 pts) entry (his 2nd of 3 entries) and taking home a record-tying $400, giving him a grand total of $680 (record) over six years (16 total entries). Roy W entered twice and won with his first entry, KRISPY KREMER, finishing 3rd in his 4th try. First-time online entry Paul T (HOOPGURU) took home 2nd and Patrick N (KING KLITSCHKO) took home 4th, winning a 3-way tiebreaker, in his third try. All four entries (Robinson's 1st entry won last time) were first time winners (the last time this happened was in 1996) and all four correctly picked UNC. The three big teams from the ACC (UNC (19), Duke (11), and Wake Forest (8)) were picked by a combined 38 entries compared to the 27 who picked Illinois to win it all. Wake Forest was the only team picked unanimously to go to the Sweet 16, and of course, they failed to do so. With Duke losing in the Sweet 16, that allowed the Big 10 to have the most conference wins and for the first time, no one won the Bonus Prize. That allowed the top 4 prizes to increase, satisfying the winners. A record nine entries were still alive going into the Final and for the second straight year, the pool champ was undecided. Also, for the first time, not one entry was guaranteed money (only Chuck H's ACE OF SPADES could win in either case but could lose on a tiebreaker, which he did (lost 3-way tie for 4th) going into the Final). Despite just eight top seeds making the Sweet 16 and three making the Elite 8, a record 20 still managed to pick the final two teams (just 25 in 434 previous entries). Four entries were below .500 (20 overall) and four went 0-for-the-Final-Four (68 overall).
In 2006, our website was down for almost 21 hours but that didn't stop us from receiving a record 85 entries from a record 77 people (and a record 71 entries were returnees). The Big East had a record 8 teams in the tourney but only UConn (39) and Villanova (4) were picked to win it all. Duke (19) and hometown UCLA (9) also were favorites. For the second straight year, none of the record-tying nine entries were guaranteed to win money and for the third straight year, the champion was not crowned after the semifinals. Taking home a record $415 was Ken B (GATORS NEVER CHOKE) in his seventh try. Other first-time winners included Jake P (LORENZO MATA) and John C (JINX) who took home $200 and $140, respectively. Pat N (AGENT 86 OF CONTROL) won 4th place for the second straight year ($95) becoming just the 10th multiple winner in our pool (total: $185). No one won the Bonus for the second straight year as the SEC (13), not the Big East, won the most games. For the first time, no #1 seed made the Final Four but five still managed to pick 2 of the 4 teams. However, a record 41 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (just 68 previously) (all-time low average of 0.58 of 4 teams) and nine were below .500 (29 overall). An all-time low average of just 90.8 points were won by our players.
In 2007, travel interrupted Scott & Dave in not getting the site ready until early Monday, but a record 98 entries from a record 83 people (and a record 72 return entries) came pouring in, including 58 on Wednesday alone. This was the year of records as seven of the top 8 teams made the Elite 8. Van P (VAN&SAM) set records for most points (166) and wins (55) and just missed a perfect Last 15 (perfect Elite 8 onward). She is the rare champion who won despite not picking the NCAA winner because she had such a huge lead (the other three winners had Florida as their champ). She won the first place prize of $450 before the Final , snapping a streak of three years where the winner wasn't known before the Final. Ann B (THAI SPICE) took 2nd ($230) for her second win and has won a grand total of $360. Troy B (SNOOP'S DOGS) won for the first time (six years) in taking 3rd place ($155). Don C (DC944) returned for the first time in three years and won 4th ($105). A record-tying 17 entries were still alive going into the Final Four. Four entries had a perfect Elite 8 (just one before) and six had a perfect Final Four (just two before), and 17 had a perfect Final Two, but only VAN&SAM was perfect in all three. The top two picks were Ohio St. (31 picks) and Florida (13) and both made the Final. The pool entrants set records for the best 3rd (70.8%) and 4th rounds (56.6%) ever. For the first time since 1996, the average points went above 110 (121.9). On the other side, four went 0-for-the-Final-Four. The Bonus was tweaked to add a Bonus2, so that someone will win the Bonus Prize of $40 but for the first time in three years, someone correctly picked the Winningest Conference and wins (Wendy B (BUCKEYE23) which was the SEC with 11 wins.
In 2008, we didn't have a website for almost six months as we lost our free hosting and now had to pay for a server. We got the web up at the end of February and added a blog. We received a record 101 entries from a record-tying 83 people. Amazingly, 80 of the 101 entries were return entries. We had a record 3 people have triple entries and a record 12 dual entries. We started off strong with 39 entries at the end of Tuesday (including a record 19 on Monday) before slowing down to just beat last year's total of 98. Doug H (JUNO INO) became the first person to have a Perfect Final Four twice, and he did so in back-to-back years. With all 4 #1 seeds making the Final Four for the first time (which helped set a record of 2.52 wins in the 4th Round), a record 12 went 4-0 in the Elite 8 and 24 people were still in the running for money after the Elite 8. This was partially helped by the new addition of a 5th place prize (since we had 100+ entries). The top two #1 seeds were UCLA (44 picked to win it all) and UNC (30) but both lost in the semifinals. Kansas' amazing comeback win helped Cliff T (BELUCKY2) become the first person to ever get a perfect Last-7 (all four Final 4 teams + both finalists + champ). The overtime added 17 points (total: 143) which was enough to give Bob G (COBI'S DAD) the tiebreaker and 2nd place ($220) over Doug H (JUNO INO) who took 3rd ($150). The top 3 winners are all first-time winners (Cliff & Bob's 1st wins in 10 pools; Doug's 1st in five pools). Don C (DC944) won 4th place ($100) for the second straight year (total: $205 in 3 pools) winning the tiebreaker over Jeff H (U BETTA BELIEVE IT), who won for the 3rd time (total: $340 in 6 pools) in taking our first-ever 5th place prize ($60). Three of the 7 who picked Kansas won money. The Jayhawk win gave the Big 12 12 wins for the Winningest Conference title for the second time since 2003. Four people were eligible for the $40 Bonus Prize which was won by Robby D (ARBEDYTHREE), also a first-time winner (4th year). Jake P (QUICKPICK MCGRAW) became the 114th entry to go 0-for-the-Final-Four and is the only entry to ever tie or have the lowest win total in each of the six rounds. This was the third straight year the NCAA Champ has come out of the Midwest Regional.
In 2009,our 15th anniversary, we got a new look for the web, integrating our blog with our homepage, which delayed the brackets until just past midnight Sunday. We also created a HWCI NCAA Facebook group and a person to connect with, Hwci Ncaa. Despite the dour economy (or maybe because of it), we got 114 entries (91 return entries) from 98 people, all records. We started off slow with just 25 entries at the end of Tuesday but then we had a record 62 entries submitted on Wednesday and another record 27 on Thursday. The Big East got a record 3 #1 seeds and a record 5 in the Sweet 16 but none made it to the Final. However it was the non-Big East #1, UNC, which led the way with 36 picking the Tar Heels to win with 3 picking Michigan St. Twenty-one picked Louisville, 18 picked Pitt, and 14 picked Memphis as 3 of the 13 teams chosen to win it all. For the first time, at least one entry went perfect on the first day of the 1st Round (Buckeye Mike (Mike B)), the first day of the 2nd Round (21 tied), the first day of the 3rd Round (2 tied), and the first day of the 4th Round (5 tied). Also, two went 2-0 in the 5th Round and 36 picked the correct champ. Rainman (Ford R) became just the 6th entry to have a Perfect Elite 8 and Bizarro Larzby (Lawrence M) became just the 21st entry to have a perfect Final Four. Bizarro Larzby used a perfect Final Four to claim the HWCI NCAA Pool title (his first money spot in 6 tries) ($495) and our 14th different champion in the 15 years of the pool. He also won with his 2nd entry, just the third time this has happened. Buckeye23 (Wendy B) won 2nd, her 2nd win (Bonus in '07). AC (Adam C, 1st year) won 3rd ($170), Rainman (2 years) won 4th ($115), and Buckeye Mike (14 years, $40 bonus in '04) won 5th ($70). Shake N' Bake (Kevin T) won the $40 Bonus by guessing the Big East with 17 wins and being just two points off the total points in final (161) tiebreaker, his first time in the money in 4 tries. The average number of wins for the 2nd Round was 12.1 shattering the previous high of 11.1 in 1995.
In 2010, our Sweet 16th, thanks to people who found us on the web to amazingly increase our number of entries to 117 (91 return entries submitted by 93 people). We got an entry on Sunday for the first time since 2005 and got a record 23 entries on Tuesday and 33 on Thursday morning. The Big East got 8 teams in but only one made the Elite 8. Just four of eight top seeds made the Elite 8 (with overall #1 Kansas, picked by a record 64 entries, losing in the 2nd Round, #1 Kentucky, picked by 23, losing in the Elite 8, and #1 Syracuse, picked by 8, losing in the Sweet 16). Only #1S-Duke made the Final and just beat mid-major Horizon League champ #5W-Butler in the ultimate David vs. Goliath clash. No one picked more than 2 Final Four teams, only 22 picked Duke to make the Final, and only 4 correctly picked Duke to win it all with three of those winning money (sorry, Scott T). Blue Devil Blues (Kim B) won money for the first time in 9 years with Duke's victory and became our 4th female champion ($500). She was our 15th champion in 16 years. You're My Boy Blue (Joe D) won money (2nd, $255) for the first time in 7 years. Hummeless (Kevin J) won money (4th ($120)) for the first time in 8 years. Eros (Cynthia S) won money (3rd, $175) for the first time in 3 years and FOMI (Sam N) (1st '00, $260, 13 years) edged out Deemed to Win (Scott T) (3rd '98 ($40), 2nd '99 ($90), 3rd '00 ($60), 1st '02 ($400), Bonus '03 ($40), 16 years) in the tiebreaker to win 5th. Sam N is the only winner who submitted more than one entry (18 submitted 2 entries and 3 tried the max 3) . Has No Idea (Van P who won in '07) won the Bonus2 by exactly getting the total points in final as no one got the Winningest Conference (Big12/Big10/ACC with 9). A record 56 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (188 total). A record-low was set with the average number of wins (35.1) and points (89.3).
In 2011,the NCAA tried to throw a monkey wrench in the whole pool experience by expanding the the tourney to 68 teams and creating the First Four. So we kept the pool the same and created a First Four for Charity contest won by David A in which Scott personally donated $60 of the $100 to the American Red Cross to support the recovery efforts of the devastating South Asia earthquake and tsunami. Despite the dour economy for the third straight year, our number of entries jumped to a record 125 (a record 107 return entries (shattering the previous record by 16) submitted by 97 people). We got a record 25 entries on Tuesday and the pace continued. The Big East got a record 11 teams in but only one made the Elite 8. No #1 or #2 seeds made the Final Four for the first time ever with top picks Ohio St. (picked by 41) losing in the 3rd Round and Kansas (picked by 34) losing in the Sweet 16 (4th round). #3W-UConn beat #8SE-Butler who loses to a Goliath in the final for the second straight year. Krispy Kremer (Roy W) is our 16th different champion in 17 years for his 2nd win (3rd '05). The MM (David F) finished 2nd for his 4th win (3rd '95, 2nd '00, 3rd '04). Craig (Craig S), TheLakeShow (Sam S), and MB Camel Jockies (Ted J) won 3rd, 4th, and 5th for their first wins ever. BINLADEN (Charles D) won for the first time win taking our first-ever 6th place prize. This is the 6th time in the past 8 years that the Pool winner was decided in the final. As for the Bonus, the Big East won the Winningest Conference with 13 wins giving For Narnia (Blakeley H) his first-ever money spot. The Downtown Fiction (Paul T) tied a high set in 2000 by going 30-2 in the 2nd Round (used to be called the 1st Round). PFC Bradley Manning (Nelson P) tied a low set in '02 & '05 by going 0-for-the-Elite-8 and set a new record by losing his last 16 games (previous 15 done twice). Craig is the first person since '06 (when #3-Florida met #2-UCLA) to not get a Finalist correct and win money and the first-ever to go 0-for-the-Final-Four and win money. A record 94 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (282 total). A record-low was set with the average number of wins (34.5) and points (84.2).
In 2012, we had the 17th different champion in 18 years as Quinnsanity (Quinn D), a 12-year-old, took home the crown in his 5th year in the pool. For the 9th straight year we saw the number of entries increase starting off strong (record 21 by end of Monday) and ended strong (record 37 received on Thursday). We received a record 134 entries (a record 115 return entries) from a record 99 people. Lots of Losers (Bob G) took 2nd ($280), his second win (2nd in '08 -- same year as the previous Calipari vs Self matchup, $500) in 14 years. Nwspring 1 (Nicholas S) won 3rd ($190) in his first year of playing. SlackJaw (Jon J) won 4th ($135), his first win in 10 years (and took almost a year to collect his check!) and Vodka2-It's Not Real (Sam N) took 5th ($90) (1st '00, 5th '10, $350). Frumunda Mybalz (Andy F), The Wife's Picks (Megan J), Paint Crew (Kevin J, 4th '10), and Hendo (Dan H) all were tied for 6th with Andy (1st win in 15 years) & Megan (1st win in 3 years) winning the tiebreaker, our first-ever split prize (each getting $32.50, less than the Bonus!). Andy's win means Man V (15 years) is our longest playing member without a win. This is the 7th time in the past 9 years that the Pool winner was decided in the final. 60 people have won money in our pools. Larzby was just the second person to lead (or be tied for the lead) on the first six days but is the first to not finish in the money. EEChick1400 got the first 15 games correct. 52 picked Kentucky to win it all (a record for the number correct) and more would've picked the second-best team Syracuse, but their big man became ineligible and thus, only 3 ended up picking them. UNC was picked by 25 and Missouri was picked by 11, but Missouri flamed out in their first game. The second round saw just an average of 21.0 wins (of 32) (with the second day seeing four record record-lows of 5-11 and 6-10), the 2nd-worst ever (which is more amazing considering 3 went 15-1 on the first day). Eight went 8-0 on Day 3 while 45 went 4-0 on Day 6. Only 14 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (296 total) despite just #1 seed making the Final Four. As for the Bonus, the Big East wins the Winningest Conference with 13 wins (same as last year). SpAva (Linh T) took home the $40, her 1st win in 11 years, by nailing the correct total points. All in all, 6 first-time winners of the 8 money spots. We also had our second First Four for Charity contest entered by 26 people and won by Michael C (in the pool: Swerveman) with a donation of $83 ($52 personally by Scott) going to the Rice Around the Clock team participating in American Cancer Society's Relay for Life-Alhambra.
In 2014, we will have our 19th different champion in 20 years as either Bigtenfan2 (Benjamin D) (2 years) or Badzy (Karen F) (2 years) will win the record $555 first prize. This is the 8th time in the past 11 years our champion will be decided after the final game. The pool was like the tournament. The entries came in on a record pace (record 2 on Sunday, 42 on Tuesday, 60 after Tuesday) before fizzling toward the end but still surpassing the 134 entries in '12 by getting 138 (from a record 104 people), including our first 2 mail-in entries in eons. In the pool, two (Hawkeye and FC Nordsjaelland) went a perfect 16-0 on Day 1 (the former eventually winning the first 18) but in the end, only 3 people got one Final Four team on Sunday and just one person (Badzy) got a finalist. Our pool underwent change in that our java applet finally died, years past its end-of-life, as Dave F created the long-awaited new bracket web entry (you can even do it on your phone... and a Mac!) in less than one day, but procrastinating for years. Hawkeye became the 3rd person to lead (or tied for the lead) for the first six days and will be the 3rd person to not finish 1st. GoGoGodzilla went 8-0 on Day 3 while AirDingus went 0-8 on Day 4 (a record). First Four Out was just the 4th person to go 0-8 in Elite 8 and was one of 36 to go 0-for-the-Final-Four (370 total). We know the order of the next 3 spots as Hawkeye (Randy E) (1 year), Beyond Elite 8 (1st '06, 15 years), and ShivaBlast (Eric F) (4 years) will finish either 2nd/3rd/4th (Kentucky wins) or 3rd/4th/5th (UConn wins). Fabio (Rick F) (1st '04, 12 years), The Downtown Fiction (Paul T) (2nd '05, 5th '13, 10 years), Wooden-Soldier (Don M) (6 years), and Badzy (if UConn loses) are all tied and the total points will determine who finishes 5th/6th/7th/8th (Kentucky wins) or 6th/7th/8th (UConn wins). 66-68 people have won money in our pool. Only the #1 overall seed Florida made it to the Final Four but they lost to a #7 seed, UConn. Even more odd, UConn will face a #8 seed in Kentucky. Florida was the overwhelming favorite as 49 picked them, 17 #1 Arizona, 16 Louisville, and 15 Michigan St. The other #1 seeds Wichita St (the first team to be undefeated heading into the tourney since UNLV in '91) and Virginia only got 8 and 3, respectively. The SEC only got 2 teams in the first 64 but Tennessee played their way in winning their First Four game and those 3 teams made the Sweet 16 (along with 3 from the Pac 12 and Big 10 and just 2 of 7 teams from the Big 12) as the SEC went 12-2 (one game left). Only 11 of those games counted, still making the SEC the winningest conference. Unfortunately, no one got it right meaning the $40 Bonus will be won via the Bonus2, the total points in final. We also had our 4th First Four for Charity contest entered by 22 people and won by Giulio B (not in pool) with a donation of at least $69 ($44 personally by Scott and a few others chipping in $25) going to Friends of Renee, a committee to help bring awareness to Lyme Disease and raise money for Eric F's (ShivaBlast) friend, Renee, who suffers from the disease.
Here are the all-time records (not including the Final, of course):
|1st||THU||16-0, 32||Blueberry||2003||6-10, 12||Quickpick McGraw||2008|
|(32)||Bloomers123||2003||7-9, 14||9 tied||1999|
|15-1, 30||52 tied||1997|
|(last 2 tied)||2014|
|1st||FRI||15-1, 30||23 tied||2002||5-11, 10||Buccos 2||2012|
|(32)||(last 5 tied)||2011||6-10, 12||AsherPrancerVixen||2012|
|1st||RND||30-2, 60||Money, Morales' Mounds||2000||15-17, 30||Quickpick McGraw||2008|
|The Downtown Fiction||2011||AsherPrancerVixen||2012|
|(64)||29-3, 58||8 tied||2000||16-16, 32||Peeps||2001|
|2nd||SAT||8-0, 24||36 tied||1995||1-7, 3||GoBay||2002|
|Keebler's Three Sum||2011|
|2nd||SUN||8-0, 24||The Mighty Mobelfakta||1996||0-8, 0||AirDingus||2014|
|(24)||Lil' Saigon||1996||1-7, 3||8 tied||2002|
|(last 3 tied)||2014|
|7-1, 21||29 tied||2002|
|(last 3 tied)||2010|
|2nd||RND||14-2, 42||30 tied||1995||3-13, 9||GoBay||2002|
|(48)||(last 28 tied)||2009||Hendo||2002|
|13-3, 39||33 tied||1995||4-12, 12||7 tied||2003|
|(last 28 tied)||2009||(last AirDingus)||2014|
|2nd||-END-||98||Buckeye Mike||2009||42||Quickpick McGraw||2008|
|3rd||THU||4-0, 16||72 tied||1995||0-4, 0||140 tied||1999|
|(16)||(last Larzby)||2010||(last 3 tied)||2014|
|3rd||FRI||4-0, 16||128 tied||1996||0-4, 0||94 tied||1997|
|(16)||(last 9 tied)||2013||(last 26 tied)||2014|
|3rd||RND||8-0, 32||6 tied||1996||0-8, 0||GoBay||2002|
|7-1, 28||48 tied||1996||PFC Bradley Manning||2011|
|(last 10 tied)||2009||First Four Out||2014|
|1-7, 4||71 tied||1999|
|(last 8 tied)||2014|
|(144)||125||Thai Spice||2007||50||Quickpick McGraw||2008|
|4th||SAT||2-0, 12||175 tied||1995||0-2, 0||751 tied||1995|
|(12)||(last 16 tied)||2014||(last 36 tied)||2014|
|4th||SUN||2-0, 12||166 tied||1997||0-2, 0||716 tied||1995|
|(12)||(last 3 tied)||2013||(last 135 tied)||2014|
|4th||RND||4-0, 24||21 tied||2001||0-4, 0||370 tied||1995|
|(24)||(last Bizarro Larzby)||2009||(last 36 tied)||2014|
|(168)||142||Go 9ers!||2007||50||Quickpick McGraw||2008|
|138||The Rat Pack||2009|
|5th||SAT||2-0, 16||83 tied||1995||0-2, 0||931 tied||1995|
|(16)||(last 16 tied)||2012||(last 137 tied)||2014|
|(184)||158||Bizarro Larzby||2009||50||Quickpick McGraw||2008|
|150||SlackJaw||2007||58||Die With Gators||2002|
|6th||MON||1-0, 12||243 tied||1995||0-1, 0||1178 tied||1995|
|(12)||(last 32 tied)||2013||(last 99 tied)||2013|
|157||Thai Spice||2007||50||Quickpick McGraw||2008|
|58||Die With Gators||2002|
Celebrating the big 2-0; the 5th HWCI World Cup Pool begins in May...