Thursday, March 22, 2018
Issue # 7.3.1 "Rambling On"
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CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Once again, #7S-Nevada rallied from a double-digit second half deficit (this time 12 points with 16:45 left) to tie the game at 59... but left too much time on the clock with 4:06 remaining. In a tight battle the rest of the way, #11S-Loyola-Chicago's Marques Townes hit a clutch three with 6.3 seconds left to lead by 4 and eventually held on to win, 69-68. The Ramblers' three victories have been a total margin of just four points and they reach the Elite 8 for the first time since '63. Interestingly, Nevada was low on fouls to give and with a six second differential in shot to game clock, surprisingly did not try to foul (either to get their count up to a 1-on-1 or to just extend the game) and even if Townes would have missed the three, less than six seconds would have been left to go down the court. So after a quick layup with 3 seconds left, Nevada fouled three times, each taking 0.5-1.0 seconds, but could not get the ball back because Loyola-Chicago was not in a 1-on-1 situation. Game over. Maybe Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Loyola's 98-year-old team chaplain, put the prayer on big time to have Nevada reach such a poor decision.
#9S-Kansas St, despite three players fouling out, won for the first time ever against #5S-Kentucky (now 1-9 all-time) by scoring the last three points in a 61-58 win. In the Wildcat-Wildcat battle, Kentucky was on a 13-4 run and was up 57-56 with 1:32 left. #4W-Gonzaga has had a poor showing all tournament and it finally caught up them as #9W-Florida St found an opening and finished on a 22-11 run to reach the Elite 8 for the first time since '93, 75-60. #3W-Michigan's barrage of threes helped build a 29-point first half lead (52-23) en route to a thrashing of #7W-Texas A&M, 99-72. Michigan shot 61.9% (tournament high) from the field and made 14 of 24 threes (58.3%).
In the pool, SacKings4Ever and Alyonushka went 2-2 with the former taking over 1st place (87 pts) and the latter moving to a tie for 64th (69) from 114th. Wuk2 moved into 3rd (84) behind former leader M Star (84) but can't win the pool. SacKings4Ever was the only one to pick KSU and TVStevieJ (141st-T, 59), BallerDollarCashMoney (97th-T, 65) (the crazy person who picked UMBC got knocked out when the Zags lost), SacKings4Ever, and Alyonushka were the only ones to pick the Ramblers. No one picked FSU while 58 picked Michigan. How she picked Loyola and KSU but not Michigan is a mystery, but now she has a 28.7% to win the pool (no one else above 12%) and 70.1% chance to win money. M Star (49.5%), Larzby (5th-T, 79) (46.3%), Slamjam51-3 (5th-T) (45.6%), and Bob's Best Bets (4th, 80) (44.1%) all have better than 40% chance to win money. Overall, 23 can still win the pool and 60 entries are still alive to finish in the top 6.
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Tids & Bits - In the proper 64, the SEC finishes 8-8, the Big East is 5-5 (one team in Sweet 16), the Big 12 is 9-3 , the ACC is 10-5, the Big Ten is 7-2, the Missouri Valley (3-0), and the Mountain West and WCC each finished 2-1 and 2-2, respectively... in the Bonus1, the ACC will get at least 11 wins (Duke-Syracuse) and if they don't get a 12th, then the Big 12 will have to win twice (Kansas) to get to 11, so the top conference is at a minimum a tie between ACC and Big 12 with 11... thus, 8 were eliminated and 94 can still win the Bonus1... Michigan made the Elite 8 for the first time since '14 (but 3rd in 6 years) and Kansas St make it for the first time since '10... Loyola-Chicago started the 2nd half making its first 13 shots, yet only outscored Nevada 27-21 during that span (28-24 to 55-45) and ended up shooting 55.8%... Nevada stayed in the game hitting 13/14 free throws.... there were 51 fouls in the KSU-Kentucky match with KSU committing 30 of those; both teams shot under 39% from the field, 41% from long range, and 64% from the charity stripe... iWillLose and Gators Ragnarok (92nd-T, 66) have just 1 of 8 Elite 8 teams remaining while 56 have just one Final Four team left... 13 have 5 of 8 Elite 8 teams alive and 56 have 3 of 4 Final Four teams in the field... Gonzaga's 16-game win streak was snapped... SacKings4Ever and Larzby can each get a max of 141 pts while iWillLose can only get a max of 62 pts... Wuk2 is 3rd but can't win the pool... The Gambler 2, The Swami, and AlexMorganFan are tied for 22nd (74) but can't win money... Zippy is tied for 113th (63) but can still win the pool... New Market Mallers is 148th (57) but can still win money (3rd)... Team TED (80th-T, 67) has the longest odds to win money, just 0.098% (2 in 2,048)... CryingJordans and Full Metal Bracket tried to get back in as they had a family issue but they sent it via Money Order which is not preferred, so an offer to fix the past was given, if they PayPal or Google Pay by 4 pm PDT Thursday, then I'd reinstate both (and last year's debt paid as well), but the deadline came and went...
The following takes place between 9 am Thursday and 9 am Friday. Events occur in real time.
Nevada and Gonzaga were the last Western USA teams