2018 HWCI NCAA Pool

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  • Gonzaga v UNC- Live Pool Updates

    Posted on April 3rd, 2017 - 7:38 pm Scott No comments

    If you’re watching on the March Madness App, you get to see some behind the scenes coverage and pre-recorded segments as they wait to go live after commercials.

    Game over!  UNC 71-65.  Bigtenfan thankful UNC only made 1 of 2 as 136 still gives the $40 bonus.  If he made both, Bamag2 would’ve gotten it.

    All but over besides total points in final.  135 now.  Bigtenfan would win… 7 seconds left but 2 free throws to UNC.

    UNC 68-65 21.9 seconds left.  Jump shot gives UNC a 3-pt lead after Zags again fail to get a defensive rebound (tied up, possession UNC).  134 pt projection.

    UNC 66-65 1:25 left. Both teams have missed 19 free throws.  That same corner has played havoc with Gonzaga with a couple slips and a sprained ankle.  136 pt projection would give Bigtenfan bonus.

    UNC 62-60 3:08 left.  Dboyz17, MarchMindlessness, and Alternative Picks are guaranteed money but they would love to get the maximum placement with UNC winning. 132 pt projection would give ChasCroix1 (if Zags win) or Harbaugh’s Khakis (if UNC wins) bonus.

    UNC 59-57 5:03 left.  Zags last 9 pts off free throws before jumper at 6:07 first basket in over 8:27 then a three-point banking in.  Zag’s Collins fouls out going for defensive rebound.  133 pt projection SlumDawg would win bonus.

    UNC 54-52 7:21 left.  Zags over 7 minutes without a basket (and not doing that well from free throw line).  130 pts would give FV LOCALS bonus.

    UNC 52-50 8:02 left.  This tourney will be known for endlessly long delays with refs going to monitors too long.  Ticky tack flagrant 1 against Gonzaga’s Karnowski even though he got fouled.

    50-50 9 minutes left.  Most of the last points via free throws thus far.  129 pts give And Mich. Still Sucks bonus.

    UNC 47-46 10:50 left.  Boy, lots of missed shots (some badly), turnovers, and fouls (16 this half already).  Gonzaga already in Bonus and UNC in the 1-and-1.  Injured Joel Berry leading UNC. 128 projected pts would give Zippy bonus.

    Zags 41-40, 15:53 minutes left.  Interesting seeing the Zags road uniforms for the first time (“ZAGS”).  One of Zags big men Collins picked up 4th foul.  Projection of 137 pts would give Bamag2 Bonus.

    UNC 40-35.  8-0 run thanks to a couple Zag turnovers and an airball.  UNC shooting better 3/5 this half.

    Halftime:  Gonzaga 35, UNC 32.  UNC offensive rebounding keeping them in since they are shooting 30%.  67 points at half -> 134 at end.  That would give Hendo bonus.  But game is close so mid-major still in it.  Over under is 153.5 points which would put John Galt or 16 Chumps (Zags win)/EEChick1400 (UNC wins) in position for Bonus.

  • Issue # 13.5.2 “23 Paths to Success” (History of our Pool)

    Posted on April 3rd, 2017 - 5:48 pm Scott No comments



    2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
    The Final at University of Phoenix Stadium
    San Jose, CA
    vs. #1-South
    Memphis, TN
    Gonzaga University Bulldogs University of North Carolina Tar Heels
    Gonzaga University
    Bulldogs (37-1) 
    University of North Carolina
    Tar Heels (32-7)
    West Coast Conference
    Spokane, WA
    First Final (est. 1958)
    def. #16 South Dakota St. 66-46
    #8 Northwestern 79-73
    #4 West Virginia 61-58
    #11 Xavier 83-59
    #7E-South Carolina 77-73
    Atlantic Coast Conference
    Chapel Hill, NC
    11th Final (’46,
    ’57, ‘ 68, ’77,
    ’81, ‘
    82, ’93, ’05, ’09, ’16)
    def. #16 Texas So. 103-64
    #8 Arkansas 72-65
    #4 Butler 92-80
    #2 Kentucky 75-73
    #3MW-Oregon 77-76

    Sunday, April 2, 2017 

    11 can finish in top 7 and 65 can win Bonus

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- Gonzaga has only lost one time all year and some blame the weak West Coast Conference but has beaten a Big Ten, a Big East, a Big 12, and an SEC team en route to the finals.  North Carolina is representing the so-called best conference, the mighty ACC, who got 9 teams in but only they survived into the Sweet 16.  While the Bulldogs are making their first-ever finals appearance, the Tar Heels are making their 11th and second straight.  UNC is a slight 1.5 point favorite with an over/under of 153.5 points.

    In our 23rd year, there are 11 people still alive (once again, no one has more than one entry in the running) with 8 trying to win money for the first time with the Brian S (Flying Elvi) last winning in ’97, a span of 19 pools (17 years in the pool).  John W (Jbwsaijo) is the only person who is playing for the first time.  Nelson P (Alternative Picks) last played in ’12 being winless in all 10 years but his return will net him at least 6th place.  Andy F (Anges Schweizhoffer) has played 20 years and his only win was a share of 6th place in ’12 ($32.50 which was less than the $40 Bonus!).  Michael G (Spermicidal State) will try to win money in his 10th try.  John W (Jbwsaijo) will try to become the 24th person to win money in the first year of playing (just the 14th since ’99).  65 entries have a chance at the $40 Bonus.  Since final pool placement counts, it means that although 16 entries picked 144 as their total points in final tiebreaker, if the total ends up being 144, Jason R (Buccos 3) will win (finish with 119 pts) if Gonzaga wins or Greg Z (Dboyz17-2) will win if UNC wins (finish with 128 pts) (and would be the first person to get more than one entry in the money in the same year).

    If Gonzaga wins… If UNC wins…
    Place Amount Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won) Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won)
    1st $690 Parched Fatness (Mike M) (3) Dboyz17 (Greg Z) (4)
    2nd $355 Spermicidal State (Michael G) (10) MarchMindlessness (Eric F) (7-5th ’14)
    3rd $240 Dboyz17 (Greg Z) (4) Alternative Picks (Nelson P) (11)
    4th $180 GonzagaGirl (Angelina K) (5) Agnes Schweitzhofer (Andy F) (20-6th(Tied) ’12)
    5th $130 MarchMindlessness (Eric F) (7-5th ’14) Flying Elvi (Brian S) (21-2nd ’97)
    6th $ 85 Alternative Picks (Nelson P) (11) ChasCroix1 (Chuck D) (9)
    7th $ 60 Jbwsaijo (John W) (1) The Juggernaut (Alex K) (2)
    Bonus $ 40 TBD TBD

    A little history of our humble pool…
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 12.5.1 “#1 vs #1”

    Posted on April 2nd, 2017 - 4:57 am Scott No comments


    Saturday, April 1, 2017 

    Dboyz17 takes lead and only Parched Fatness can dethone

    SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA (smt)- #1W-Gonzaga had a 14-point second-half lead only to see #7E-South Carolina score 16 straight points in 3 1/2 minutes to lead by 2 with 7:06 left.  The Zags then responded with a 7-0 run of their own in the next 3 1/2 minutes and then held on to a 77-73 win to advance to their first Final.  Up by 3 with 13 seconds left and playing defense, the Zags did what every person always yells at the TV, FOUL to give two free throws instead of allowing a game-tying three.  Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins did thisperfectly leaving just three seconds left (of course, USC helped by taking their time for the shot).  As expected, South Carolina made the first, missed the second but couldn’t get the rebound and the Zags sealed the game with two free throws.

    Trying to get the rebound off a missed free throw, however, was no problem for #1S-North Carolina.  The Tar Heels were comfortable with a six-point lead with under a minute left only to see #3MW-Oregon cut it to one.  UNC missed two free throws but they got the offensive rebound so Oregon fouled again.  Incredibly, UNC missed both free throws again, and more incredibly, UNC got the offensive rebound again running out the final four seconds for a 77-76 victory to return to the final for the second consecutive year and 11th overall (5-5).

    Dboyz17 was one of 11 to get both teams correct to take a five-point lead with 136 points.  If UNC wins he will be our 21st different champion of our pool.  But if Gonzaga wins, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 11.4.3 “Carolinas vs Pacific Northwest”

    Posted on March 31st, 2017 - 2:45 am Scott No comments


    2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
    First Semifinal Second Semifinal
    New York, NY
    2017 New York
    San Jose, CA
    2017 San Jose
    Kansas City, MO
    2017 Kansas City
    Memphis, TN
    2017 Memphis
    University of South Caroina Gamecocks Gonzaga University Bulldogs University of Oregon Ducks University of North Carolina Tar Heels
    University of South Carolina
    Gamecocks (26-10) 
    Gonzaga University
    Bulldogs (36-1) 
    University of Oregon
    Ducks (33-5)
    University of North Carolina
    Tar Heels (31-7)
    Southeastern Conference
    Columbia, SC
    First Final Four (est. 1908)
    def. #10 Marquette 93-73
    #2 Duke 88-81
    #3 Baylor 70-50
    #4 Florida 77-70
    West Coast Conference
    Spokane, WA
    First Final Four (est. 1958)
    def. #16 South Dakota St. 66-46
    #8 Northwestern 79-73
    #4 West Virginia 61-58
    #11 Xavier 83-59
    Pac-12 Conference
    Eugene, OR
    2nd Final Four (
    1-time champion
    def. #14 Iona 93-77
    #11 Rhode Island 75-72
    #7 Michigan 69-68
    #1 Kansas 74-60
    Atlantic Coast Conference
    Chapel Hill, NC
    20th Final Four (’46,
    ’57, ’67’ 68, ’69, ’72, ’77, ’81, ‘82, ’91, ’93, ’95, ’97, ’98, 00, ’05, ’08, ’09, ’16)
    5-time champions
    def. #16 Texas So. 103-64
    #8 Arkansas 72-65
    #4 Butler 92-80
    #2 Kentucky 75-73

    Thursday, March 30, 2017 

    21 battle for 7 spots; More than $85 raised for GHTC

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- North Carolina is making its record 20th appearance in the NCAA Final Four which is 18 more than the other three schools combined.  Both Gonzaga and South Carolina are making their first Final Four appearance and Oregon is making its first since the very first year the NCAA tournament was held, 1939.  Each team has had a close call while each team has had a double-digit win in the Regional semifinal or final.  South Carolina and Gonzaga have had a pair of 20+ point wins while UNC has broken 90 points twice.  South Carolina, a 7 seed is representing the strength of the SEC who have the most wins in the tournament while North Carolina is representing the last vestige of the powerful ACC which had 9 teams to start and are down to one.

    Twenty-one entries still have a chance to finish in the top 7 money spots and we won’t know who the pool champion is unless Oregon and South Carolina win.  After the semifinals, the Bonus scenarios will be listed for the total points in final tiebreaker.

    Craig H (who didn’t participate in the main pool) was the only person to get all four First Four games correct (Mt. St. Mary’s, Kansas St, UC Davis, USC) to win the 7th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity.  With 16 entries I will donate $32 and since we got more than 161 entries (new record 178), I will donate another $25.  Generous donations by Charles D, Bob S, and Jeff2 H has brought the total to $85.10 that I will donate to the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference as a Beginner Patron.  More money could still trickle in and the donation will be made when registration opens in June.  In total, the 7 years has raised $593.98.

    [Twitter]We are now on Twitter (@HWCI_Pools).  Please follow!  I will post using #hwcincaa mini-updates during the day so you can follow without being on Twitter (and if you are, please use #hwcincaa).  Please join our Facebook HWCI NCAA Pool Groupor post comments on our blog

       Tids & Bits – South Carolina has set a school record with 26 wins and won their first tourney game since ’73… This is the first time Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 10.4.2 “The Vet and the Other SEC Team”

    Posted on March 27th, 2017 - 1:49 pm Scott No comments


    The Amazing Race is back!  Season 29 starts Thursday March 30 10/9c

    Sunday, March 26, 2017 

    Jbwsaijo jumps to 1st but it’s Dboyz17 who is guaranteed money

    ROSEMEAD, CA (smt)- The Carolinas are in.  The battle of the SEC saw rivals #7E-South Carolina (the other USC) and #4E-Florida play for more than 14 minutes with neither side taking more than a 3-point lead (from 44-41 Florida to 65-63 South Carolina).  But Maik Kotsar ended that with a jump shot to give the Gamecocks a four-point lead with 1:57 left.  The last minute saw Florida still down by four but they had their chances as South Carolina missed four free throws but the only thing the Gators could come up with were two painful turnovers in losing 77-70.  South Carolina joins #1W-Gonzaga in making their first Final Four and one of these teams will make their first Final as they will face off in the early game Saturday.

    The battle of the blue bloods, part 2 (after #2S-Kentucky beat #3S-UCLA two days ago) proved to live up to its billing in the first part and the last ten minutes.  #1S-North Carolina and Kentucky battled early with the Tar Heels holding on to a 34-30 lead with 4:30 left.  But then the game turned out to be a slog to watch, one of the poorest performances for the tournament, as the middle 20 minutes (4:30 1st half to 9:30 2nd half) saw both teams grind out to a partly 19 points each (15 of those 38 points on free throws).  Kentucky missed all six three-point attempts and made just 7 of 27 shots overall while committing two turnovers.  UNC turned the ball over eight times and was just 2 of 8 from three-point range and made just 5 of 17 shots.  Imagine taking just 17 shots in 20 minutes?  Ugly.

    But luckily for us, the teams turned it up sprinting to a 24-22 (Wildcat advantage) finish in the last 9:30.  Kentucky got on track outscoring UNC 17-6 to take a 64-59 lead with under 5 minutes left.   But then UNC went on a 12-0 run to take a 71-64 lead with 53 seconds left.  After missing 8 straight three-pointers, the Wildcats hit 3 threes in the final minute (two in 8 seconds aided by an inbound 5-second violation and the last aided by UNC missing the front end of a 1-and-1), with Malik Monk somehow shooting over two defenders to tie the game at 73 with 8 seconds left.  But instead of a timeout, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 9.4.1 “The Other #1 and the Other Pac 12 Team”

    Posted on March 26th, 2017 - 10:57 am Scott No comments


    Saturday, March 25, 2017 

    Dagny Taggart takes lead and is one of 7 who can win pool

    CERRITOS APT (smt)- #1W-Gonzaga hit 7 three-pointers in the first half and never looked back in beating #11W-Xavier, 83-59.  It was the Zags 23rd win by 20 or more points (yes, most in the WCC, of course).  Of the four #1 seeds, the Zags were the least likely to survive with hot #2W-Arizona in the region.  Speaking of Arizona, the Pac 12 had two popular picks to make it far and it would’ve been three if Oregon didn’t suffer the season-ending injury to Chris Boucher.  But Boucher or not, #3MW-Oregon scored the last 8 points in the first half to build an 11-point halftime lead and held off #1MW-Kansas, 74-60 and remains the last Pac 12 team standing.

    Dboyz17 was one of eight to get both games correct to move into 1st place (118 pts) with GonzagaGirl and Jbwsaijo tied for 2nd (115).  97 went 0-2.

    19 lost Kansas as their champ and 82 more lost them in their Final Four.  No one will get all four Final Four teams while at least 31 will go 0-for-the-Final-Four.

    There are still 33 entries that can finish in the top 7 and just 7 can still win the pool.  Danny Taggart has the best chance to win the pool (31.3%) with GonzagaGirl right behind (25.0%). However, it’s GonzagaGirl who has the best chance for money (75.0%) with four others with at least a 50/50 chance.

    Despite being 5th (110), Sisyphus86 can’t finish higher Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 8.3.2 “Ball’s Out & Buzzer Beater”

    Posted on March 25th, 2017 - 2:29 pm Scott No comments


    Friday, March 24, 2017 

    Five-way tie for first while 58 are still alive

    Chris Chiozza buzzer beater (AP)CERRITOS APT/LONG BEACH, CA (smt)- Was just about to write all four teams winning by double-digits and then #4E-Florida decided to change things up.  Up by 12 with 4 and a half minutes left, #8E-Wisconsin battled back with some help from the Gators.  Florida missed four shots, two free throws, and committed two turnovers, and failed to foul while up by 3 leading to Zak Showalter’s off-balance running three-pointer to tie the game at 72 with 2 seconds left.  With our first overtime of the tourney, the momentum continued with the Badgers building a 5-point led with a minute left.  But it was the Badgers’ turn to help out, missing two free throws, committing a dumb early foul, Khalil Iverson mis-timing a breakaway dunk that was partially blocked, and inexplicably allowing Florida to run the down the court with four seconds to give Chris Chiozza an open look, albeit a stop-jump floater, buzzer-beating three-pointer to stun Wisconsin, 84-83.  Crazy.

    #1S-North Carolina, #7E-South Carolina, and #2S-Kentucky easily won in double-digits.  In the latter, the most-annoying dad of Lonzo Ball must have been a distraction as #3S-UCLA’s Ball was held to 10 points and four turnovers while Kentucky freshman De’aaron Fox scored a tourney-record 39 points for a freshman.  In a touch of non-class, Ball actually declared for the NBA draft while in the locker room.

    There is now a crazy five-way tie for first with King Kobra, Dboyz17, Hrosen2, Thai Spice, and SlumDawg at 108 points.  Alternative Picks (18th-Tied, 102), Biggie’s Back (12th-T, 103), ChasCroix1(78th-T, 92) and En Fuego (56th-T, 95) went 3-1 while 8 went 0-4.

    16 lost UCLA as their champ and 27 more lost them in their Final Four.  Alley Loop (71st-T, 93) lost Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 7.3.1 “Blanked in the Final Minutes”

    Posted on March 24th, 2017 - 11:26 am Scott No comments


    Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD - Season Finale Saturday!

    Thursday, March 23, 2017 

    King Kobra maintains 4 point lead with six tied for 2nd

    CERRITOS APT (smt)- All four winning teams ended their games scoring the last few points in the final minutes.  #11W-Xavier stunned #2W-Arizona ending the game on a 9-0 run to win 73-71.  The Wildcats had a 7-point lead with 2:40 left and didn’t attempt one free throw while missing five shots and committing one turnover.  Arizona also had no timeouts and looked lost on their last few possessions.  The other Pac 12 team, #3MW-Oregon ended the game scoring the last four points in the last 1:48 to stop the incredible run of #7MW-Michigan, winning 69-68.  #1W-Gonzaga closed the game on a 6-0 run in the last 1:31 to hold off #4W-West Virginia, 61-58.  For some reason, WVU, with no timeouts, had 38 seconds, barely getting rim on two shots, grabbing both offensive rebounds, and then ran out the clock not getting a shot off as time expired.  This was a painful game to watch as WVU went on a slow 15-4 run in over 7 minutes with a ton of fouls called in between (WVU shot 27% and yet were still in the game because the Zags weren’t much better, missing a lot of free throws).  #1MW-Kansas also ended their game on a 5-0 in the last 2:11… difference was Kansas was already up by 27, routing #4MW-Purdue 98-66.  Purdue did have an 8-point first half lead at one point.

    King Kobra maintained the 4-point lead (104) with Dboyz17, 9ers in ’18, Hrosen2, Thai Spice, SlumDawg, and EEChick1400 tied for 2nd at 100 points.  37 went 3-1 while six went 0-4.  BTW, who is King Kobra?  The Who’s Who has been up for a while on the homepage — see who is who.

    19 lost Arizona as their champ and 71 more lost them in their Final Four. Bigtenfan2 (125th-T, 81) lost Purdue and Jackson’s Picks (101st-T, 84) lost WVU as their champ.

    There are still 91 entries that can finish in the top 7 and 35 can still win the pool.  Russian Trolls (8th-Tied, 99) has the best chance to Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 6.2.3 “Six Conferences Battle it Out for Supremacy”

    Posted on March 22nd, 2017 - 11:07 am Scott No comments


    Foreign Figures - Listen to "Fire"

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

    ACC implosion means just 7 eliminated entries can win $40 Bonus

    CERRITOS APT/EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- The top overall seed Villanova and 2 seeds Duke and Louisville are no more in somewhat of a chalk tournament thus far.  12 of the top 16 seeds are in the Sweet 16.  While there have been no buzzer beaters or overtime games, there has been a lot of drama watching teams make clutch play after play (while you are taking a breather, take a listen to one of the unsigned bands Paul T (Poolrider) helps promote, Foreign Figures).  Our 23rd year saw a record number of entries (178) from a record number of people (124), some making their appearance for the first time since 2002.  For the first time, we will have SEVEN money spots as we have $1,780 to divvy out. The top prize will be $690, $95 more than last year. The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all fee money goes into prizes. So we have those top seven spots plus the Bonus. What’s the Bonus? Read on…

    As it has been for the past 13 years, the Conference Wins is the Bonus Prize (as detailed below) (aka, Bonus1). However, if no one wins it, the Bonus2 takes effect and the entry who is closest to the Total Points in Final tiebreaker gets the Bonus Prize. We have used this Bonus to give hope to those who get eliminated early as only those who do not finish in the top 7 will be eligible to win. Rules follow below…

    Bonus1 – Winningest Conference

    When you completed your online entry and saw your picks (to print out), some of you might have been wondering what the heck “Winningest Conference(s): ?? | Wins: #” meant. And thus, subliminally, you were also picking which conference would get the most wins in the tournament and how many wins that conference would get via your direct picks. Neat, eh? So that output, which in my case (Air Fabone 23), says Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 5.2.2 “Finish Strong”

    Posted on March 20th, 2017 - 2:15 pm Scott No comments


    Sunday, March 19, 2017 

    King Kobra remains in the lead by 4 points as 45 entries are eliminated

    CERRITOS APT (smt)- No single play to discuss today (i.e., no dumb foul, no dumb flagrant-1, no dumb technical), just pure basketball drama.  #1S-UNC and #3MW-Oregon went on a doughnut run with the Tar Heels rallying from 5 down with 2:56 left to score the last 12 points and the Ducks rallying from 4 down with 2:01 left to score the last 7 points to knock off hopefuls #8S-Arkansas and #11MW-Rhode Island, respectively.

    Other teams turned it on as well with #3S-UCLA down by one finishing the game on a 33-20 run in the last 13:32, #7MW-Michigan down by two finishing the game on a 24-18 run in the last 9:16, #1MW-Kansas up by one finishing the game on a 36-17 run in the last 12:00, #3E-Baylor down two finishing the game on a 17-11 run in the last 4:42 (a sequence that began with Manu Lecomte scoring 8 points in 45 seconds), and #8E-South Carolina down two finishing on a 42-33 run in the last 12:03. #2S-Kentucky narrowly won the ’14 rematch vs. #10S-Wichita St taking a tie game with 12:15 left and holding on to a three-point win thanks to two gutsy blocks on the final two Shocker possessions.  On the last one, it looked like the Wichita St. player could’ve leaned in to draw a foul on the three-point shot but didn’t.

    Comeback kids #11E-USC never trailed by their magic number of 10 (just 9) and took the lead with under 5 minutes to go but couldn’t hold on against Baylor.  #11MW-Rhode Island played well but scored just 26 points in the second half allowing Oregon to rally.  Playing in their home state, South Carolina scored 65 points in the second half against #2E-Duke.

    King Kobra increased the lead to four points (96) over Hrosen2 and EEChick1400.  Five went 7-1 for the day with only 9ers in’18 (7th-Tied, 88) getting at least five right the previous day.  Ten went 12-4 for the round.  On the flip side, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 4.2.1 “Badgered & T’d”

    Posted on March 19th, 2017 - 4:41 am Scott No comments


    Saturday, March 18, 2017 

    King Kobra leads by a point over Hrosen2 while Air Fabone 23 deflates to 5th

    CERRITOS APT/NORWALK, CA (smt)- #8E-Wisconsin rallied from a 7-point deficit with six minutes left to stun the top overall seed #1E-Villanova, 65-62.  If you notice at the end, Wisconsin put players on the life for the free throw and after the miss, Villanova had trouble getting the ball out for a buzzer beating shot.  I never understood why coaches sometimes empty the foul line giving the opponent a free rebound if there’s a miss.  #4MW-Purdue blew a 19-point second half lead but rebounded their way to victory.  #2W-Arizona and #4S-Butler struggled to put their opponent away with each holding on for a 9-point win while #4W-West Virginia, #11W-Xavier, and #4E-Florida rolled to easy victories.

    Gonzaga goaltendingSeems like every day there is one big play that is debated.  #8W-Northwestern trailed by 20 early and rallied to cut it to three… oh, wait, no goaltending after all.  And add a dumb coach Chris Collins technical.  Momentum killed and now down by 7.  Collins said it should’ve been a 3-point game, well, without his running onto the court while the ball was live, it would’ve still been a 5-point game.  He made it a 7-point game with under 5 minutes left.  Congrats.

    Hrosen2 (2nd, 77 pts) and Biggie’s Back (3rd-Tied, 75) went 7-1 but it is King Kobra(78) who leads the pool by one.  The air went out of Air Fabone 23 (5th-T, 74) as he went 4-4 after a 31-1 first round.  Six picked Wisconsin and 17 picked Xavier in only two upsets of the day.  Fourteen (14) went 2-6 and Samurai Jack was one of them and is last with 46 points.  In fact Robinson C has the bottom two entries with Flip Fighters in 177th at 48 points.

    With Villanova out, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 3.1.2 “Rolling 11s”

    Posted on March 18th, 2017 - 1:24 pm Scott No comments


    Friday, March 17, 2017 

    Air Fabone 23 sets record by winning 30 straight games; goes 31-1 for round

    Round 1 - RecordsCERRITOS APT/CYPRESS, CA (smt)- If not for the 11 seeds, the tournament has produced very few surprises, and even some of the 11s were not surprises to our pool participants.  For the second time in the tourney and 13th time overall, #11E-USC rallied from a double-digit deficit to win, stunning #6E-SMU.  SMU led 53-43 before losing 66-65 missing a last second buzzer-beating floater.  #11MW-Rhode Island won making it 3-for-3 for the 11 seeds but #6S-Cincy prevented the sweep beating #11S-Kansas St. #10S-Wichita St, by far the most popular upset pick, struggled but won as did #9MW-Michigan St.  #7MW-Michigan St squeaked by while #2S-Kentucky, #3S-UCLA, and #7E-South Carolina used late game spurts to prevent an upset.  #3E-Baylor, #3MW-Oregon, #2MW-Louisville, #1S-UNC, #1MW-Kansas, and #2E-Duke advanced as well.

    Another so-called controversial ending as #9S-Seton Hall intentionally fouled #8S-Arkansas in the final with 18.3 seconds left except, the player pushed instead of trying for ball resulting in a flagrant-1 giving the Pirates two shots and the ball.  While most of twitter and TNT host Casey Stern is a complete idiot, ignoring the experts repeatedly stating the trip was NOT part of call (it’s like those political pundits who only focus on a small part of the issue, not the real or big issue, just to make their point), if the player only TRIED for the ball (hit the arm), there is no issue here, even if the Arkansas player tripped and fell hard.  He had plenty of time to adjust and didn’t.  IMHO, this was worse than the intentional foul Vandy committed yesterday since it put Arkansas up two possessions with the ball while the former left a lot of time and still down by one basket.  And as the experts also stated which idiot Stern continued to ignore, the reason the officials called the common foul is that they can change a common foul to a flagrant-1 but they CAN’T change a flagrant-1 to a common foul, so in a game this important, the refs wanted to make sure they got the call right.

    Air Fabone 23 kept on winning, eventually getting the first 30 games correct before South Carolina turned up the D and the O turning a close 3-point game into a 20-point blowout in the last ten minutes.  The original records were the first 22 games (Buckeye Mike ’09) and 23 games in a row (The Flying Elvi ’15) (Edit to add: The Swami (4th-Tied, 58) also won the first 23 28 games).  He also went 31-1 for the round breaking the previous reocrd of 30-2 shared by two and leads with 62 pointsSandit and King Kobra are second with 60 points.  With most favorites winning, Quinnsanity (8th-T, 56) went a perfect 16-0 (was tied for 100th yesterday) with 7 others going 15-1.  But three did go 9-7 and three are tied for last with 40 points.

    With most favorites winning, only the two who had Maryland lost their champ(picked by locals).  It was worse for Read the rest of this entry »

  • New record set

    Posted on March 17th, 2017 - 3:55 pm Scott No comments

    After 24 games, we have only four upsets, with three of them picked by at least 68 of 178 entries.  Given that, there is only one entry left on top, as Air Fabone 23 (Scott T) has set a record by winning the first 24 games.  The Swami (Rick M) also set the record before Rhode Island’s win with 23 straight (previous was the first 22 wins by Buckeye Mike (Mike B) in 2009).  The 24 straight wins broke The Flying Elvi‘s (Brian S) record of 23 straight during the First Round in 2015.  Blind loyalty to his ala mater USC is the only reason he is still perfect.  USC’s win also kept intact a First Four winner winning a 1st Round game for the 7th straight year.

    To root against or for him, his next 8 picks are:  Kansas, Wichita St, Duke, Cincinnati, Michigan St, Kentucky, Marquette, and UCLA (so 3 upsets on deck).

  • Issue # 2.1.1 “Luck of the Irish”

    Posted on March 17th, 2017 - 3:40 pm Scott No comments


    CBS's Survivor's 34th season is a Game Changers one with all returning players. Wednesdays 9/8c.

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    A record 6 entries are perfect as a record 178 entries vie for 2017 title

    Day 1 - 6 perfectCERRITOS APT, CA (smt)- The day started off exciting with #12E-UNC Wilmington up by 15 and #12W-Princeton in a close game but in the end, #5E-Virginia woke up to win easily and the luck of the Irish was there a day early as the Tiger’s lined up for an open three at the buzzer that just went long to give #5W-Notre Dame the victory  After that everything continued to either go chalk with the exception of the consensus upset pick #12S-Middle Tennessee and #11W-Xavier.  There were struggles as #1E-Villanova (only led by a point at halftime) and #1W-Gonzaga didn’t get the routs they thought.  #4S-Butler, #7W-St. Mary’s, #3W-Florida St., and #4W-West Virginia won close games while #4E-Florida, #4MW-Purdue, #8E-Wisconsin, #2W-Arizona, and #5MW-Iowa St. won in double-digits.

    The most bizarre ending was after going up by 1, #9W-Vandy’s Matthew Fisher-Davis thought they were down 1 and intentionally fouled #8W-Northwestern giving them two free throws with 15 seconds left.  Though a huge brain fart, that didn’t lose the game for them.  Northwestern still had to make two free throws which they did and Vandy had 15 seconds left.  A badly drawn three-pointer missed badly and Northwestern, who waited 78 years to play their first tournament game, is now 1-for-1.  NW won the game like the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl.  Atlanta made dumb mistakes but NE still had to go down the field twice and convert two two-point plays.  Vandy had 15 seconds left and took a bad shot.  That’s what lost the game.

    PerfectionThe ho-hum day meant that we had a record six entries go a perfect 16-0.  We only had six in the previous 22 pools. and only two of those ended up winning money.  Air Fabone 23, Bobby Cee Racer, Hrosen2, Nwspring1, The Gambler, and The Swami go into the history books.  Scott T has done it back-to-back years and is the first person to do it twice.  Of course, last year, he finished 7th which was out of the money so a strong start is not indicative of success, money-wise.  There 15 others right behind at 15-1.  Fefe had a bad day, going 9-7.

    We unofficially have a record 178 entries, topping 2015’s record by 17.  By going Read the rest of this entry »

  • Team Distribution

    Posted on March 16th, 2017 - 12:07 pm Scott No comments

    Unofficially, we set a new record with 176 entries.  Will be vetting throughout the day but all look good to go.  If have at least 175 entries, we will add our first 7th place prize.  In the meantime, you’ll notice a new menu item above “Team Dist“.  This will show what team everyone picked to make each round.  In our pool, there are 17 teams that could win the pool led by North Carolina with 30, Villanova with 27, and the Zags with 25.  There are 7 1st round games where it was unanimous the underdog would lose.  Locally, UCLA was picked by 16 to win the title, 7 have St. Mary’s reaching the Elite 8, and 9 have USC making the Sweet 16.

    Other oddities include one picking St. Mary’s to win it all, 23 having Oregon in the Final Four despite injuries, one having Seton Hall in the final, two having Vermont in the Final Four, and one picking Florida to win it all.  Oh, wait, that last one is Ken B (Gators Resurgence) so that is not odd 🙂

  • Admin picks

    Posted on March 16th, 2017 - 4:40 am Scott No comments

    Less than 5 hours until the 9 AM PDT deadline.  We have over 153+ entries so far.  In the meantime, here are Dave F’s pick (The Mighty Mobelfakta), my first entry (Air Fabone 23), and my second entry (Brackexit).  No laughing, please.

  • The century mark

    Posted on March 15th, 2017 - 4:18 pm Scott No comments

    We just hit another milestone (by 4 pm, or Hour 67), getting our 100th entry courtesy of Alex J’s third entry Jackson’s Picks 3.  The earliest we have ever hit 100 was at 9 pm.  With 100 entries, that is above the pace of our record year in 2016 when we had 74 at this time.  We have received entries from 70 people, though only 8 are new players (welcome!).  It might be that there is no consensus team to win the title but we have already had 10 people submit the maximum of three entries (record:  11 in 2015) while 10 have submitted two entries (record: 26 in 2015).

    Though I won’t discourage it (it increases the pot with these extra entries), but in the last 5 years there have 36 37 money spots and only 4 of those winners have won on their 2nd or 3rd entry.  And of the seven winners last year (top 6 + Bonus), all won on their first entry.  So you’re gut instinct is usually the one with the best chance.

    Edit – it’s 37 money spots because we also had a tie for the Bonus in 2015 (I already accounted for the tie for 6th in 2012).

  • Hungry for more?

    Posted on March 15th, 2017 - 12:27 pm Scott No comments

    Jason R (Buccos 1), who is participating in our 9th pool, is also running NCAA pool of his own.  So I could vouch for him and I know we have some serial paid players out there who play in multiple paid pools (or in Paul T’s (Poolraider) case, every pool ;-)).  Let Jason know you play in our pool so he knows he can trust you!

    The details are: Read the rest of this entry »

  • How do you pick a good nickname?

    Posted on March 15th, 2017 - 12:14 pm Scott No comments

    I used to do a whole update, usually before the Final Four, incorporating all the nicknames in our pool.  Was hard enough when there were 80 but now that we’re regularly above 130, I’m not that clever anymore.  2010 was the last time I tried it and I had 117 nicknames to mention in that one.  So early on, I am always intrigued and usually smile as I see the nicknames that come through.  Sometimes it’s because it a familiar nickname, a 10+ year veteran of the pool and always glad that person has been loyal to us all these years (ah, Indy, Zippy, Flying Elvi… it’s like comfort food).  Sometimes it’s a slight change in the usual nickname I see (was chucking at our two-time champ Darryn B (Big Luther is his main handle) when his second entry was nicknamed Little Luther).  And sometimes, it’s just too bizarre (Harbaugh’s Khakis).

    One thing that isn’t mentioned is that our system is limited to 21 characters in the nickname.  Thus, for example, SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE had to be reduced to So There’s A Chance and If Trump Can Win, So Can I had to be reduced to IfTrumpCanWin-SoCanI (this is Man V’s nickname this year, and interesting story: he had been using Yellow Monkey for 13 straight years with nothing to show for it, changed it to Will I Ever Win This in 2015 and finally won 5th place; but last year he switched back to Yellow Monkey and finished 52nd).  BTW, people have been really good selecting nicknames that don’t offend, curse, or belittle others so we have a tasteful group out there.  The only personal preference for nicknames in the pool is that first letter is always capitalized as it looks better in the standings (so every year I have to keep changning Suzanne M’s suznana to Suznana, much to her chagrin, I’m sure).  I also at times will downgrade an ALL CAPS nickname (again, looks better in standings), especially if the other info is in all caps (forgot to turn it off) but for now, I’m leaving FV LOCALS alone but changing FRANKFROMSEATTLE, PRIDE OF TROY, and MROSEN1 to FrankFromSeattle, Pride Of Troy, and MRosen1.  Unnecessary symbols are usually removed, especially incompatible ones (So Swallow, Bob is now Swallow Bob).

    Defending champ Jonna J is making her presence known, choosing the proud nickname 2016 Champs while 57th-place Ted J (husband?) chose 16 Chumps.  Ingenuity is alive as we have nicknames Tim and Tom (no these are two people Tim T and Tom C; yes, it would have been a great nickname if it was one person named Tim and Tom).

    I’ll likely go with either The Fabone XXIII or Air Fabone 23 (in honor of Air Jordan #23) for my primary entry as this is our 23rd year.  With Star Wars movies every year now, I’m probably going to lay off the Star Wars-themed nickname for my second entry (though it’s well-represented with Elizabeth W’s ANewHope and Joe D’s Darth Vader).  A lot of extremely improbable stuff happened in the past 12 months from Brexit to the U.S. Presidential Election to Oscar fail to Suicide Squad not being a bad movie (wait, did I say that out loud?) to crazy endings for sport championships (started with Villanova’s 3-point buzzer beater to win the NCAA title last year; then we had the Cavs becoming the first team to come back from being down 3-games-to-1 to win their first NBA title, the Cubs coming down 3-games-to- to win in extra innings in Game 7 for their first title since ’08 (1908 that is), the barely qualifying-for-playoffs Seattle Sounders winning in a dramatic shootout in the MLS Cup, Clemson’s rallying twice with the latter touchdown to beat Alabama coming with just one second left to win in the College Football National Championship, and then the New England Patriots somehow coming from 25-points down to win Super Bowl LI in overtime).  Wow.  That was an extremely long and unnecessary parenthetical.  Only the NHL had a relatively lackluster final series with Pittsburgh winning 4-games-to-2 and I missed the USC crazy rally in the Rose Bowl.  Of that, I am leaning on choosing Brackexit so no one choose that!

    As always, Dave (The Mighty Mobelfakta) and my picks will be posted on the blog before 9 am on Thursday as I look to extend my winless streak to 14 years (25 entries or $250 down the drain).

  • First Four Tipoff

    Posted on March 14th, 2017 - 4:24 pm Scott No comments

    It’s 3:40 pm and the first First Four match has tipped off, more than 42 hours after the earliest we have ever got the web entry up (9 pm Sunday).  At this time, we have 54 entries, which is 17 more than our previous best, 37 in 2014.  In our record-setting year of 2016 (161 entries), we had just 27 so we’ve doubled that.   The graph is time-based so, for example, you can see most people are sleeping between hours 25 and 33 (10 pm – 6 am).  The biggest increase in entries will be tomorrow from 9 am until 3 am Thursday (Hours 60 to 78) so that will be a better indication if we will top the 161 entries we had in 2016.

    Speaking of topping the record number of entries, if we do that, I’ll donate another $25 to the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, this year’s HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity choice (charity meaning any non-profit).  We did get 16 entries so that’s at least $32 that will go to the conference.  I already got a good lead from Neil O (Dagger) for next year’s charity of choice so I can’t wait.

    Also, if you want to see your bracket, you can click on “Your Picks” in the top menu.  These are all unofficial.

  • Record Monday

    Posted on March 14th, 2017 - 2:33 am Scott No comments

    The online web entry was delayed until Monday morning but that hasn’t stopped people from entering in record numbers.  A total of 26 entries was received today breaking the record of 20 set in 2013 and 2016.  26 also breaks the record of 21 combined for Sunday-Monday.  On the flip side, all 18 people have entered have participated before (so no new players… yet).

    Not sure what has prompted the revival but we have some people back after a long hiatus.  Eric P (last participated in 2002), Jake P (2008), Robert E (2009), and Corey S (2011) are hoping 2017 is their triumphant return.

    Don’t forget to send a quick email to ncaa<at>hwci.com with your First Four winners (and margin of victory) and I’ll donate $2/entry.  Deadline is Tuesday 3:40 pm PDT!

  • Issue # 1.0.1 “23 is Legendary”

    Posted on March 13th, 2017 - 9:21 am Scott No comments


    IEEE Global Humitarian Technology Conference - GHTC is the flagship IEEE Conference focusing on innovation, deployment and adaptation of Technology for Humanitarian Goals and Sustainable Development.

    Monday, March 13, 2017  **HELP support innovation, deployment and adaptation of Technology for Humanitarian Goals (deadline Tue 3:40 pm PDT **

    Our HWCI Pool wears the legendary #23

    2017 Seed ListSALT LAKE CITY, UT/CARSON, CA (smt)- Defending champion E-Villanova earned the top overall seed while MW-Kansas and S-North Carolina (7 losses) got one seeds despite losing in their conference tournament.  For the second time, W-Gonzaga (32-1) got a #1 seed though last time they got ousted in the second round.  W-Duke had an up-and-down season but won four games in four days to win the ACC tournament and moved from a 4 seed to a 2 seed (7th overall team) while MW-Michigan had their plane slide off the runway, played their first tournament game in practice jerseys, and won four games in four days but only moved to a 7 seed.  The ACC got 9 of its 15 teams in the tourney while the Big East got 7 of its 10 in (70%).  The Big 10 also got half its 14 teams in and the Big 12 got 6 of its 10 in.  Only four at-large spots went to non-major conferences with the Atlantic 10 (2), The American, and the West Coast getting more than one team in.  Despite being ranked 20th in the country, S-Wichita St got dumped to a 10 seed and is actually a 6.5-point favorite over #7S-Dayton.  Not much controversy over the at-large teams or seeding for the most part and no leak of the bracket early like last year.

    Locally, #11bE-USC (Southern Cal, not to be confused with the other 7E-USC, South Carolina) snuck into as one of the last four in but Read the rest of this entry »

  • Web Entry is up!

    Posted on March 13th, 2017 - 7:48 am Scott No comments

    #hwciNCAA We are live! You can enter now. Email blast in a couple hours!

  • 7th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity (Due: 3:40 pm PDT Tuesday)

    Posted on March 12th, 2017 - 8:11 pm Scott No comments

    While you decide who will win the tourney, for the 7th year I’m doing the HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity, where I will donate $2 per entry to a charity, this year to IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, which is the flagship IEEE Conference focusing on innovation, deployment and adaptation of Technology for Humanitarian Goals and Sustainable Development.  This First Four for Charity is free and you just have to submit (you can comment on this post to enter, email, post to Facebook, tweet @HWCI_Pools) who the four First Four winners will be and by what point margin. For example: Wake Forest by 8, New Orleans by 3, UC Davis by 1, and Providence by 4.   The four games are Kansas St vs Wake Forest, Mt. St. Mary’s vs New Orleans, NC Central vs UC Davis, and Providence vs Southern Cal.  Get your entry by 3:40 pm PDT Tuesday.  As a bonus, in the end, if we top our record of 161 entries this year, I’ll donate an additional $25.  Also, invite your friends and people can enter this charity contest but not our main pool.

  • Our Generosity

    Posted on March 8th, 2017 - 7:45 pm Scott No comments

    A few new things this year in the tournament in general — the NCAA released an early projection of the top 16 teams back on February 11 for the first-time ever and the Ivy League now has a conference tournament (though just 4 teams qualify).  It’s interesting that much has changed in the top 4 seeds but hopefully UCLA improves on their four seed and hoping USC sneaks in as a First Four team, as they have done well from that position.  Now, instead of the Ivy League regular season champion being the first automatic bid in the tournament (if there’s no extra game tiebreaker) to one of the last, as the final is on Sunday (though next year it will move up in the week).

    This is an early heads-up as after the brackets are released, we will have our 7th HWCI First Four for Charity contest.  This is where we took the headache of having 68 teams (instead of 65) and made it into a fundraiser.  More than $556 has been donated to six various charities or efforts.  There is no fee to enter and you just pick the four First Four winners and margin of victory of each.  I will donate $2 per entry (remember, the entry is free and you don’t have to play in our normal $10 pool so friends and family are welcome!) and usually by the end of the tournament, my fellow players will donate a matching set or more!  Luckily, no major disasters this season so I’m open to suggestions for charity options.

    My fallback will be a donation to the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference — the flagship IEEE Conference focusing on innovation, deployment and adaptation of Technology for Humanitarian Goals and Sustainable Development.  For nearly all technical conferences, you have to pay to access papers, sometimes even your own!  At this conference, it’s Open Access — that means the papers are free to anyone so that the ideas can be shared with the most people because the goal is IMPLEMENTING the technology to those in need in the fastest way possible (boots on the ground).

    Until then, Sunday is coming up fast!

  • Fat Tuesday

    Posted on March 7th, 2017 - 12:33 pm Scott No comments

    Seven teams are in with Jacksonville St making their first-ever tournament appearance after winning the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.  Today, two other teams can make their first tournament (Omaha (Summit) and Northern Kentucky (Horizon)) and St. Francis (PA) can make their first tourney since 1991 (NEC).  And with an above .500 Big 10 record, Northwestern is poised to make their first tournament ever (last from a major conference) leaving just four original-160 teams still looking for their first (Army, St. Francis (NY), The Citidel, and William & Mary).  Since our pool started in 1995, we have at least one team make their first appearance in our pool era.  Last year we had the long-awaited Yale team finally win the Ivy League title after several tries breaking a 54-year drought, second-longest (Dartmouth has been waiting the longest – since ’59), and major Oregon St. make the tourney (last 1990).

    We will once again be doing our pool, our 23rd year with hopefully a red-hot UCLA team to follow.  Same rules, same format.  Look for changes in the site towards the end of the week.  Tell your friends now, and study up!

  • Issue # 12.5.1 “High Scoring Affair”

    Posted on April 4th, 2016 - 4:00 pm Scott No comments


    (Note: This is recap for Saturday’s games)

    Watch the best animated show on TV, Star Wars Rebels!
    Saturday, April 2, 2016 [Published 4/4]

    For the first time since the end of the 1st round, Buccos 1 back on top

    CERRITOS, CA (smt)- #2S-Villanova had a 21-4 run in the first half but #2W-Oklahoma chipped away and cut it to 9 with 16:22 left.  Cut to the Wildcats going crazy with a 33-4 run in just over 9 minutes to demolish Buddy Hield and the Sooners, 95-51, in the biggest Final Four blowout ever.  ‘Nova shot 71.4% and missed just five shots in the explosive second half.  #1E-UNC missed their first 12 three-point shots but it didn’t matter as the Tar Heels scored 50 in the paint in holding off #10MW-Syracuse, 83-66.  The Orange 2/3 zone couldn’t prevent UNC from scoring at will within the arc shooting 64.6% from 2-point range.

    Resistance is futile as The Resistance watches from the sidelines as three pass him putting him in a tie for 4th (122 pts)Buccos 1, who led after Round 1, leads again with 128 pts with JJ in second with 126.  It will be one of these two who will win our 22nd pool, and each would pick up their first ever money prize as well.  Ten can still finish in the top 6.  Those two and Honey Badger have a 100% chance at money, although the latter would have to win a tiebreaker for 6th if Villanova wins the title.  JJ, Honey Badger, and The Hip-Hopopotamus (10th-T, 119) got both teams correct while 108 missed both.

    For the Bonus, if Villanova wins the championship, Ito (129th-T, 84) wins Read the rest of this entry »