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  • Issue # 15.6.1 “Nova Nation” (4/2)

    Posted on April 3rd, 2018 - 2:10 pm Scott No comments

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    2018 NCAA Champions
    Villanova U. Wildcats#1-East
    Boston, MA

    Hosted by Boston College (ACC)
    TD Garden
    Villanova University Wildcats
    (36-4)

    3rd Title: ’85, ’16
    2018 Winningest Conference
    The Big 12 Conference
    (12-7)

    4th Time: ’03, ’08, ’10

    SLOW START BUT VILLANOVA HEATS UP TO WIN 2ND TITLE IN 3 YEARS
    Billiam, BamaG 2, and ChasCroix-1 join four winners who clinched Saturday

    Nova NationGOODLAND HOTEL IN GOLETA, CA (smt)- Nine minutes into Monday’s game, #3W-Michigan actually had more three-pointers than #1E-Villanova (2 to 1) and built a 21-14 lead but then couldn’t hit a shot.  Villanova found their rhythm, hitting 3 of their next 4 three-point attempts and went on a 23-7 run to close the half en route to another double-digit win, 79-62.  After allowing Michigan to get a quick basket after the break, Villanova scored the next 7 points and never looked back.  The Wolverines tried to get back, cutting the lead to 12 but consecutive threes by Donte DiVencenzo (who had a record 31 points off the bench which was 24 more than Michigan’s whole bench) had the Wildcats back up by 18 with 7:55 left.  In the end, Villanova won their 3rd title and second in three years, hitting 10 more threes to extend their record of 28 threes in the Final Four and 76 in the tournament.

    Villanova’s rout moved Billy T (Billiam), Greg J (BamaG 2), and Chuck D (ChasCroix-1) into the 4th, 5th, and 6th money spots.  The garbage time scoring in the end pushed the total points to 141 which gave Greg J 5th place over Chuck D.  Last year, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 14.5.2 “24 Ticking Down” (4/1) (History of the Pool)

    Posted on April 2nd, 2018 - 3:06 am Scott No comments

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    Our HWCI World Cup Pool begins in May...

    2018 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ San Antonio, Texas
    The Final at the Alamodome
    #3-West
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hosted by Pepperdine U. (WCC)
    Staples Center
    vs. #1-East
    Boston, MA

    Hosted by Boston College (ACC)
    TD Garden
    U. of Michigan Wolverines Villanova U. Wildcats
    University of Michigan Wolverines (33-7) Villanova University Wildcats (35-4)
    Big Ten Conference – Champs (Reg – 4th)
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

    7th Final (’65, ’76, ’89, ’92, ’93, ’13)
    1-time champion
    def #14 Montana 61-47
    #6 Houston 64-63
    #7 Texas A&M 99-72
    #9 Florida St 58-54
    #11S Loyola-Chicago 69-57
    Big East Conference – Champs (Reg – 2nd)
    Villanova, Pennsylvania

    4th Final (’71, ’85, ‘16
    )
    2-time champions
    def #16b Radford 87-61
    #9 Alabama 81-58
    #5 West Virginia 90-78
    #3 Texas Tech 71-59
    #1MW Kansas 95-79

    Sunday, April 1, 2018  *** HAPPY EASTER *** or ***APRIL FOOLS! ***

    TWO CONFERENCE CHAMPS BUT VILLANOVA HEAVILY FAVORED
    Six battling for final 3 money spots as 3 have clinched and Bonus has been won

    CERRITOS, CA (smt)- If #1E-Villanova can hit 13+ three-pointers like they have been doing, it will be a very long night for #3W-Michigan.  But if the Wildcats shoot like they did against Texas Tech, hitting just 4 of 24, a quality team like Michigan can easily take advantage.  So which Villanova team will show up?  Michigan has alternated between double-digit wins and close games while Villanova has won all by at least 12 points.  Michigan faced a #14 and then started facing worse and worse seeds, going from 6 to 7 to 9 to 11.  Villanova has been facing and dominating better competition, going from a 16 seed to 9 to 5 to 3 to 1.  As such, Villanova is favored by 7 points which for a single-elimination game, is pretty high.  The over/under is 145 points which will matter for the tie-breaker for 5th place (regardless who wins).

    In our 24th year, for the fourth time we have our pool champion before the final and the first since 2013.  Bob G (Philly Eagles Again), after finishing as the bridesmaid in 2008 and 2012, will finally finish on top.  With the first place prize, he is now our top earner with $1,020 in 20 years.  That puts him ahead of Darryn B (Big Luther), one of only two 2-time pool champions, who has won $920.  Ron E (Slamjam51-3) will win money for the first time in his 11 years playing the pool (either 2nd or 3rd) and Janette H (SacKings4Ever) will win money in her first pool (either 3rd, 5th, or 6th).  Sam S (SamerTime) will win the $40 Bonus and be his second prize in 10 years.  The other three spots will either go to repeat wealthy winners Sam N (STORMY Fever-Catch It) (3 wins, $350), Jeff H (We Fam!) (3 wins, $340) and Lawrence M (Larzby) (2 wins, $605) or low earners Billy T (Billiam)(1st time in pool), Chuck D (ChasCroix-1) (just 6th ($85) in 2017), and Greg J (BamaG 2) (only has won $40 Bonus in 2013).  Ron E wins on his 3rd entry and Greg J would win on his 2nd entry, once again showing multiple entries usually do not have good showings in the pool.  Although Bob G was close, we still haven’t had a person place two entries in the money (including the Bonus).

    If Michigan wins… If Villanova wins…
    Place Amount Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won) Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won)
    1st $620 Philly Eagles Again (Bob G) (20-2 (2nd ’08, 2nd ’12)) Philly Eagles Again
    2nd $320 STORMY Fever-Catch It (Sam N) (21-3 (1st ’00, 5th ’10, 5th ’12)) Slamjam51-3
    3rd $220 Slamjam51-3 (Ron E) (11) SacKings4Ever
    4th $165 We Fam! (Jeff H) (15-3 (2nd ’02, 4th ’04, 5th ’08)) Billiam (Billy T) (1)
    5th (or 6th) $120 SacKings4Ever (Janette H) (1) -or- ChasCroix-1 (Chuck D) (10-1 (6th ’17)) -or-
    6th (or 5th) $ 75 Larzby (Lawrence M) (15-2 (1st ’09, 5th ’16)) BamaG 2 (Greg J) (13-1 (Bns ’13))
    Bonus $ 40 SamerTime (Sam S) (10-1 (3rd ’11)) SamerTime

    A little history on our Zlatan-ic pool… Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 13.5.1 “Barrage of Threes” (3/31)

    Posted on April 1st, 2018 - 8:54 pm Scott No comments

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    MICHIGAN RALLIES WHILE VILLANOVA DRILLS THE THREES
    Philly Eagles Again clinches the 24th pool title and SamerTime clinches the Bonus

    ZLATANLAND IN CARSON, CA (smt)- #3W-Michigan was behind by 10 with 14 minutes left but went on a 30-10 run aided by four 3-pointers (#11S-Loyola-Chicago only hit one the whole game) ending the Ramblers’ run, 69-57 in the first semifinal.  The Big Ten champs have not lost since Feb 6th (14 straight wins).  In the second semifinal, #1E-Villanova led 6-4 before… oh wait, they had 6 three-pointers to #1MW-Kansas’ four total points, building a 22-4 lead in out-gunning the Jayhawks, 95-79.  The Wildcats tied a Final Four record with 13 three-pointers made after just 17 minutes en route to shattering the record with 18.

    For the first time since 2013 and just fourth time ever, we have our pool champion before the final.  Philly Eagles Again (125 pts) is ahead just enough to blunt a Michigan title challenge by STORMY Fever-Catch It (5th, 111).  Slamjam51-3 (2nd, 121) will get 2nd or 3rd, and SacKings4Ever (3rd-Tied, 115) will get either 3rd, 5th, or 6th.  We Fam! (12th, 105) and Larzby (3rd-T) need a Wolverine win and Billiam (6th-T, 110), ChasCroix-1 (8th-T, 107), and BamaG 2 (8th-T) need a Wildcat win.  While Bob G will win the pool he did lose a chance to become the first person to place two entries in the prize money (Bob’s Best Bets (35th-T, 98) missing out thanks to Kansas’s loss).  iWillLose (152nd, 62) got Villanova right and finally left last place, leaving Balls Dropped! and Paint Crew there instead (60).

    Here are the final two scenarios:

    If MICHIGAN beats VILLANOVA in the final, then the possible winners are...
                 Philly Eagles Again Score:125 (place 1 winner)
               STORMY Fever-Catch It Score:123 (place 2 winner)
                         Slamjam51-3 Score:121 (place 3 winner)
                             We Fam! Score:117 (place 4 winner)
                       SacKings4Ever Score:115 (tiebreak=101 | 5th if <=122 | 6th if >=123)
                              Larzby Score:115 (tiebreak=144 | 6th if <=122 | 5th if >=123)
    If VILLANOVA beats MICHIGAN in the final, then the possible winners are...
                 Philly Eagles Again Score:137 (place 1 winner)
                         Slamjam51-3 Score:133 (place 2 winner)
                       SacKings4Ever Score:127 (place 3 winner)
                             Billiam Score:122 (place 4 winner)
                         ChasCroix-1 Score:119 (tiebreak=128 | 5th if <=135 | 6th if >=136)
                             BamaG 2 Score:119 (tiebreak=143 | 6th if <=135 | 5th if >=136)

    For the $40 Bonus, Kansas’s loss means the Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 12.4.4 “Two 1-Time Champs and Two #1s Battle It Out” (3/30)

    Posted on March 31st, 2018 - 3:47 am Scott No comments

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    1st ever matchup: LAFC v LA Galaxy

    2018 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ San Antonio, Texas
    [Alamodome]
    First Semifinal Second Semifinal
    #11-South
    Atlanta, GA

    Hosted by Georgia Tech (ACC)
    Phillips Arena
    #3-West
    Los Angeles, CA

    Hosted by Pepperdine U. (WCC)
    Staples Center
    #1-East
    Boston, MA

    Hosted by Boston College (ACC)
    TD Garden
    #1-Midwest
    Omaha, NE

    Hosted by Creighton U. (Big East)
    CenturyLink Center
    Loyola U. Chicago Ramblers U. of Michigan Wolverines Villanova U. Wildcats Kansas U. Jayhawks
    Loyola University Chicago Ramblers (32-5) University of Michigan Wolverines (32-7) Villanova University Wildcats (34-4) Kansas University Jayhawks (31-7)
    Missouri Valley Conference – Champs
    Chicago, Illinois

    2nd Final Four (’63
    )
    1-time champion
    def #6 Miami (Fla) 64-62
    #3 Tennessee 63-62
    #7 Nevada 69-68
    #9 Kansas St. 78-62

    Big Ten Conference – Champs
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

    8th Final Four (’64, ’65, ’76, ’89, ’92, ’93, ’13)
    1-time champion
    def #14 Montana 61-47
    #6 Houston 64-63
    #7 Texas A&M 99-72
    #9 Florida St 58-54
     
    Big East Conference – Champs
    Villanova, Pennsylvania

    6th Final Four (’39, ’71, ’85, ’09, ‘16
    )
    2-time champions
    def #16b Radford 87-61
    #9 Alabama 81-58
    #5 West Virginia 90-78
    #3 Texas Tech 71-59
     
    Big 12 Conference – Champs
    Lawrence, Kansas

    15th Final Four (’40, ‘52, ’53, ’57, ’71, ’74, ’86, ’88, ’91, ’93, 02, ’03, ’08, ’12)
    3-time champions
    def #16 Penn 76-60
    #8 Seton Hall 83-79
    #5 Clemson 80-76
    #2 Duke 85-81 (OT)

    ALL FOUR TEAMS WON THEIR CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT EN ROUTE TO FINAL FOUR
    Five can win pool and 18 are still alive in race to finish

    LEGOLAND IN CARLSBAD, CA (smt)- On the road to San Antonio, all four teams managed to get the automatic bid as their conference tournament champion.  Coincidentally, Loyola-Chicago and Michigan both won their tournaments a week before Selection Sunday and face each other in the first semifinal.  The Big Ten, in an effort to get their tournament at Madison Square Garden, held their tourney a week earlier than usual.  That’s because Madison Square Garden hosts the Big East tournament, which was won by Villanova.  Both Villanova and Kansas won the day before Selection Sunday, earned #1 seeds, and will face each other in the second semifinal.  This left only the SEC with their championship on Selection Sunday (oh yeah, the Pac 12 final was also on Saturday though it’s debatable if they are still one of the Big Five conferences after their poor showing) as more one-bid leagues have the championship on Selection Sunday.

    Both Loyola-Chicago and Michigan faced their expected seeded teams in the first weekend but then faced #7 and #9 seeds in the second weekend.  Both have also won just one championship and are in the midwest United States.  Both Villanova and Kansas have faced their expected seeded teams within one rank (2/3, 4/5, 8/9) and will face each other, the best possible matchup.  Villanova has won all four games in double-digits while Kansas has won their last three games by four points, needing overtime vs. Duke.

    As we look forward to crowning our 22nd different champion in 24 years, 18 entries are still hoping to finish in the top 6.  The difference between 1st and 6th is $545.  No one picked Loyola-Chicago but Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 11.4.3 “First Four Unkind to Pac 12” (First Four Recap) (3/27)

    Posted on March 27th, 2018 - 7:38 pm Scott No comments

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    We are a Christian organization working to help communities lift themselves out of poverty. For good.

    RECAP OF FIRST FOUR, THE GREATEST UPSET, AND SISTER JEAN
    At least $56 will be donated to World Vision; over $705 donated in 8 years

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- Apparently the Selection Committee did watch Pac 12 basketball because they shafted one of the big 5 conferences for a good reason — they suck.  With any respect, USC would be easily in, UCLA and Arizona St would be 8/9 seeds, and Arizona, as the conference and tournament champ, would be at least a 3 seed.  Nope.  No USC, UCLA and Arizona St relegated to the First Four games, and champ Arizona dropped to a 4 seed and not in the West.  Well, the committee knew what it was doing as #11bE-UCLA choked down the stretch against #11aE-St. Bonaventure, 65-58, and #11aMW-Arizona St lost a close one to #11bMW-Syracuse, 60-56.  This was the first time a conference had two teams in the First Four and now have the distinction as the only conference to have two losers in the First Four in the same year.  UCLA’s Aaron Holiday was a turnover machine (10 of UCLA’s 20 total) including three in the last 30 seconds after the Bruins had rallied to tie the game at 58.  Arizona St had a 7 point lead with 7 minutes left before Syracuse, the last team in, went on an 8-0 run.  Certainly, the Pac 12 basketball teams matched the horrible post-season Pac 12 football had.

    #16bE-Radford slowly outscored #16aE-LIU Brooklyn 12-3 in the final five minutes to get their first tournament win, 71-61.  There were 42 fouls and 30 turnovers in this grudge fest.  #16bW-Texas Southern broke open a 10-10 game and never looked back in routing #16aW-NC Central, 64-46.  Like a few of the Southwestern Athletic (SWA) Conference teams, Texas Southern played their first 13 games on the road against top teams and went 0-13 to start but won when it mattered, in the SWAC championship game and in the First Four game, their first ever tournament win.  Texas Southern’s 0-13 start was the worst ever for a tournament team and they became the first sub .500 team (15-19) to win a tournament game.  NC Central lost their second straight First Four game (last year).

    The greatest upset is one of those “where were you when it happened” and I’ll always remember being at the Black Angus in Buena Park with my family and watching the game on the NCAA March Madness app on my iPad Air 2.  Stunned.  I even tweeted a cryptic message:  Watch TV now.  History in making? for anyone who didn’t bother to watch another #1 seed trash a #16 seed.  The way #16S-UMBC played was fun to watch, they never took the gas off the accelerator that most big programs do when they have a double-digit lead with 10 minutes left.  Kept the pressure and #1S-Virigina never responded.  Virginia wasn’t a #1 seed, they were the #1 overall seed, and despite losing a bench player who was just 4th on the team in scoring, were still heavily favored to make the Sweet 16 before they had to worry about not having De’Andre Hunter on the bench.  In fact, I compiled a few of the predictions below from all over the spectrum, post-Hunter injury.  The most interesting was the swarm concept as a bunch of people individually moved a token toward the most likely scenario, in this case Virginia – High Confidence. The concept here as that as everyone is moving their token to that spot, some will Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 10.4.2 “It Was the Worst of Games, It Was the Best of Games” (3/25)

    Posted on March 26th, 2018 - 3:14 am Scott No comments

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    Solo - A Star Wars Story coming soon

    VILLANOVA PLAYS POORLY BUT EASILY WINS; KANSAS OUTLASTS DUKE IN OVERTIME CLASSIC
    Philly Eagles Again jumps into lead and can win in 6 of 8 scenarios; Bonus2 might be in play

    Grayson Allen buzzer beater attempt just missesALHAMBRA/LA MIRADA, CA (smt)- #1E-Villanova was uncharacteristically bad, hitting just 33% of their shots and making just 4 threes on 4 of 24 (16.7%) shooting but still won their fourth straight double-digit game in the tournament, downing #3E-Texas Tech, 71-59.  The Wildcats kept themselves in the game by collecting 20 offensive rebounds (of their season-high 51 rebounds) as Texas Tech played just as poorly shooting 33% as well and missing layup after layup and could not build the momentum needed for an extended run.  At one point in the telecast, CBS put up a graphic that the Red Raiders had missed 15 of 21 layups (with 6:35 to go), a crazy stat that showed the Villanova was very beatable with a competent team.  The slow claw saw Texas Tech within five (52-47) and the ball with 6:01 left but, you guessed it, Texas Tech missed a layup (blocked) and it was soon 7 points.  Villanova hit their last 12 free throws in icing the game.

    In the Midwest, a typical blue blood matchup turned into a classic heavyweight fight with #1MW-Kansas getting the game-tying three to send the game into overtime where Malik Newman scored all 13 points in knocking out #2MW-Duke, 85-81.  No team had more than a 7 point lead and there were 11 ties and 18 lead changes, most of them in the second half.  After Duke hit a 3 to go ahead 64-62 with 5:55 left, there were six more lead changes and then the final tie at the end of regulation.  In the first 3:09 of overtime there were five lead changes and two ties.  Incredible game.  Only blemish was a poor block call on Duke’s Wednel Carter Jr who was set for what seemed like seconds but was still called for his fifth foul with 2:57 left with Duke up by 1.  Duke star Grayson Allen nearly ended the game on a buzzer beater but his bank shot rolled in and out and he ended his career with no field goals in the last 33 minutes.  Kansas finally won an Elite 8 game after losing the past two year’s Elite 8 games.

    In the pool, 29 went 2-0 including Philly Eagles Again who jumps into the lead with 109 pts.  SacKings4Ever and Larzby remain tied for 2nd (107) while Slamam51-3 moved into 4th (105).  Five went 3-1 for the round with only Walkure Ga Tomaranai (31st-Tied, 92) not having a chance at money.  Kona Coast Sliders 1 rose to 10th (T, 98) and STORMY Fever-Catch It moved into a tie for 22nd (95).  26 went 0-2 and 18 went 0-for-the-Final-Four.  iWillLose got Villanova but still in last with 54 points.  He could finish 152nd if Villanova over Kansas.

    Bob G has locked up at least a tie for first in 7 of 8 Final Four scenarios.  His Philly Eagles Again wins outright if Villanova beats Kansas (4 scenarios) or Michigan beats Kansas in the title game (1 scenario) and his  Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 9.4.1 “No Doubt This Time” (3/24)

    Posted on March 25th, 2018 - 3:30 am Scott No comments

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    The Expanse Season 3 starts April 11 on SyFy

    FOR ONCE, LOYOLA-CHICAGO CRUISES; MICHIGAN HANGS ON
    Larzby finally in front by 4 points with 81.3% chance to win money

    Why no foul?ROSEMEAD, CA (smt)- After winning their first three games by a combined total of four points, #11S-Loyola-Chicago made sure to secure their Final Four berth routing #9S-Kansas St, 78-62.  In pushing the pace, the Ramblers had 15 turnovers and K-State converted on a lot of them, but Loyola-Chicago helped themselves by shooting 57.4% from the field and 50% behind the stripe (9/18) while the Wildcats shot 34.8% from the field.  Sister Jean and the Missouri Valley Conference tournament winners will go to San Antonio as the fourth #11 seed to make it.

    #3W-Michigan was only pretty in short bursts but it was enough to hold off #9W-Florida St, 88-84.  The Wolverines went on a 11-1 run in 4:52 early in the second half to turn a one-point deficit into a 10-point lead and then a 7-0 run in 1:49 to build back a 10-point lead with 2:26 left.  But the rest of the time Michigan was sloppy (same for Florida St) and the Seminoles took advantage late to quickly score 8 of the next 9 points in 1:09 but could not get closer than 2 in the final seconds.  However, in the most bizarre sequence,  down by 2 with 24 seconds left, the Seminoles prevented Michigan’s poorest free throw shooter Zavier Simpson from getting the in-bound pass and allowed near 90% free throw shooter Duncan Robinson to get the ball instead and was fouled.  Simpson had already missed the front end of a 1-on-1 and missed 1 of 2 the last trip (why Michigan kept giving him the ball was a gift that kept on giving to FSU) and, so of course, Robinson easily nailed both free throws to put Michigan up 58-54.  After a missed 3-point attempt, Michigan got the rebound but the Seminoles did NOT foul, essentially giving up with 10.6 seconds left.  Maybe because it was Robinson who got the rebound and Florida St had no timeouts, the Seminoles felt they’d automatically be down by 6 with a foul but still, anything can happen.  At least try to steal the ball.

    The second half was mostly ugly with FSU going without a FG for 5:44 early in the half then without a FG for 7:53 (staying in the game with 8 free throws) from 10 minutes to 2:07.  Michigan went 5 minutes without a FG midway through and none in the last 2:26.  Both teams shot under 39% from the field (Michigan 38.8%, FSU 31.4%) and under 24% from long range (FSU 23.5%, Michigan 18.2% (4 of 22 after making 14 of 24 their last game)).  In the last 1:38, Michigan missed twice on the front end of a 1-on-1 and made just 2 of 4 in their other free throw attempts (before Robinson coolly nailed 2 with 21 seconds left).

    In the pool, Larzby was one of 33 to pick Michigan and moved into first place, topping the century mark (101 pts).  Philly Eagles Again moved into 2nd (97) and Billiam and Lady Chocoholic moved into a tie for Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 7.3.1 “Rambling On” (3/22)

    Posted on March 23rd, 2018 - 1:33 pm Scott No comments

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    LOYOLA-CHICAGO STOPS NEVADA COMEBACK, TWO #9S ARE IN
    SacKings4Ever back in the lead with 60 still in the running for money

    Loyola-Chicago's Sister JeanCERRITOS, 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 Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 6.2.3 “Winners and Losers” (3/21) **Prize Distribution & Bonus Details”

    Posted on March 23rd, 2018 - 8:58 am Scott No comments

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    Cinema for the Blind

    TOP 6 AND BONUS WINNERS WILL SHARE $1,560 POT
    52 eliminated entries can now win the Bonus

    EL SEGUNDO/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- The #1 most expected not to last fell in the 2nd round (W-Xavier) but the overall #1 who became the first #1 seed to lose to a #16 seed was a shocker (S-Virginia).  The two #1 seeds (E-Villanova and MW-Duke) don’t have much elite company as they are only joined by five other teams in the top 16 (last time in the pool era was 2000).  Incredibly two #7s, two #9s, and two #11s are in the Sweet 16.  Three #5 seeds fill up the remaining spots.  There has been one buzzer beater (#3W-Michigan over #6W-Houston) and a few near buzzer beaters in one of the more exciting tournaments in recent years.  #11S-Loyola-Chicago has won on two shots in the final seconds (0.3 and 3.6 seconds left) to win by a combined total of 3 points while #7S-Nevada has twice rallied from 14-point second half deficits (14 to #10S-Texas and 22 to #2S-Cincy).  #11MW-Syracuse became the eighth straight First Four team to win 1st Round and the fourth to win in 2nd Round.  Eleven games have gone to overtime (2) or decided by 3 points or less.  Whew.

    While you are taking a breather, take a listen to She’s Forever” from one of the unsigned bands Paul T (Poolrider (102nd-T, 63 pts) helps promote and always his 3rd entry, Cinema for the Blind (25th-T, 73), a young brother-sister duo).  Our 24th year saw a 156 entries (and our first removed entries (4) since 2002) from 108 people, some making their appearance for the first time since 2014.  We will have six money spots as we have $1,560 to divvy out. The top prize will be $620, $70 less than last year when we had a record 178 entries. The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all fee money goes into prizes. So we have those top six spots plus the Bonus. What’s the Bonus? Read on…

    As it has been for the past 14 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 6 will be eligible to win. Rules follow below…

    Bonus1 – Winningest Conference

    When you completed your online entry and saw your picks (to print out), Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 5.2.2 “Comeback Madness” (3/18)

    Posted on March 21st, 2018 - 5:20 pm Scott No comments

    Archive

    NEVADA ARE THE COMEBACK KIDS; ONLY PURDUE SURVIVES
    M Star holds onto lead but ChasCroix-2 gets 5 of 8 correct and are 2 of 75 still alive

    Cincy had 99.9% win probabilityCERRITOS/GOLETA, CA (smt)- #7S-Nevada was out of gas and down by 22 with 11:36 left but quickly scored 16 straight points in 2:54 en route to a closing 32-8 run to stun #2S-Cincinnati, 75-73.  What did I say in my last update?  Watch out Cincy.  Now the South is without its top 4 seeds in the Sweet 16, the first time a region has done that.  Nevada rallied from 14 down in its first round victory over #10-Texas.  #1W-Xavier had a 12-point lead with 9:50 left and a 9-point lead with 5:37 left but couldn’t hold on as #9W-Florida St 18 of the final 22 points as another #1 seed fell.  #11MW-Syracuse held #3MW-Michigan St without a FG in the last 5:43 (missing 13 shots) to rally from five down to become the fourth First Four team to reach the Sweet 16.  In the battle of low seeds, #9S-Kansas St managed to beat darling #16S-UMBC despite scoring just 50 points.  In this ugly game, the score was 34-33 Kansas St for 3:19 (11:07 to 7:48) and in one 7:15 stretch each team scored just 2 points.  In other games, #2E-Purdue, the only top 4 seed to win today, held off #10E-Butler while #7W-Texas A&M (over #2W-UNC), #5MW-Clemson (led by 41 pts over #4MW-Auburn), and #5E-West Virginia (over #13E-Marshall) rolled to easy wins.

    There are the same number of 11 seeds left as 1 seeds (2) and the Sweet 16 will feature two 9 seeds, two 7 seeds, and three 5 seeds.  There are 4 ACC teams (3 in the MW) and 4 Big 12 teams with the SEC and Big Ten getting two each in the Sweet 16.

    For the first time since 2012, we had to remove a few entries due to blatant non-payment.  So Bsarty31 (was 65th-T, new and also didn’t pay Jason R’s pool), SK (was 154th-T, referred by Greg P but never responded), CryingJordans (was 8th-T, veteran but second year of not paying), and Full Metal Bracket (was 104th-T, veteran but second year of not paying) are no more.  No one’s fortunes really changed that much though CryingJordans really did have a shot at the title. So our official tally is 156 entries (3rd highest) from 108 people (4th largest).

    Despite only one top 4 seed winning today, ChasCroix-2 managed to get 5 of 8 games correct (Purdue, #5E-WVU, #7S-Nevada, #9W-FSU, #11MW-Syracuse), two more than the 23 who got 3 of 8 correct.  He moved from a tie for 58th to a tie for 4th (78 pts).  But M Star (84) still leads Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 4.2.1 “Buzzer Beater Madness” (3/17)

    Posted on March 18th, 2018 - 11:35 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    **HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY**

    TENN AND HOUSTON SHOCKED BY LAST MINUTE BASKETS
    M Star shoots back to top as 18 go 7-1

    Houston-Michigan Buzzer BeaterCERRITOS (smt)- We got our first true buzzer-beater as a great designed play got the ball to Jordan Poole who fired off a spread-eagled three before the buzzer and nailed it to give #3W-Michigan a one-point 64-63 victory over #6W-Houston.  Houston missed both free throws before the play and couldn’t extend a two-point lead with 3.6 seconds left and they did not guard the inbound pass (I thought the famous ’92 Duke buzzer-beater made teams start to guard the inbound pass).  that wasn’t the only late-game drama as #11S-Loyola-Chicago blew a 10 point lead with 4 minutes left and trailed by 1 with 21 seconds left.  Clayton Custer took an off balanced jumper that hit the front of the rim, then the backboard, and then into the rim with 3.6 seconds left to give the Ramblers a 63-62 win over #3S-Tennessee.  The Vols, with no timeouts, took the inbound and actually had a great look at a 3 that was just long.  The South has now lost its #1, #3, and #4 teams.  Watch out #2S-Cincinnati.

    #5S-Kentucky (ending game on 21-6 run after #13S-Buffalo got within 3), #1E-Villanova, and #2MW-Duke dominated second half for an easy win while #1MW-Kansas, #4W-Gonzaga, and #3E-Texas Tech all held on to narrow wins.  Six top seeds won today.

    M Star was one of 18 to go 7-1 today to take the lead with 75 pts.  Wuk2 and Bwakewey 1 are Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 3.1.2 “We are UMBC” (3/16)

    Posted on March 17th, 2018 - 3:50 am Scott No comments

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    FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER, A 16 BEATS A 1
    4-way tie for first in crazy day with six upsets

    Headline - UMBC v VirginiaEL SEGUNDO/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- It was bound to happen but never like this.  With top teams losing players year after year to the pros and smaller conference teams keeping and maturing their players, something had to give.  It was supposed to be MW-Penn catching Kansas off-guard (with Vegas money moving toward the underdog) or the fourth #1 seed W-Xavier to come short against Texas Southern.  Not the #1 overall team in the tourney.  Not in a blowout.  Losing by 20 when you were favored by 20?  I’m trying to figure out which is the more improbable scoreline:  S-UMBC 74, Virginia 54 or recently Albany 83, UMBC 39?  How does losing your 6th man (De’Andre Hunter) rattle a team’s psyche so much?  If this were soccer, Virginia coach Tony Bennett would be sacked for inexcusably not preparing his team and suffering the most embarrassing defeat ever as the first #1 seed to lose in 136 tries.  But oh, what a historical moment it was.  Starting with UMBC’s (that’s University of Maryland-Baltimore County) Jairus Lyles who seemed to make everything, even ones after the whistle in jest.  And he was cramping which will add to his legend to go with his 28 points on 9/11 shooting.  It was bad enough for the Cavs that game was tied at 21 at the half but Bennett’s halftime pep talk was probably piss-pour as well as UMBC came out blazing with a 17-3 run to start the half.  And amazingly, Virginia never did it back down to single digits for that one hope and a prayer.  The top team in the country had no answer and kept shooting threes, at one point missing 13 straight.

    So the two biggest hits to our pool were a #1 that lost by 20 points and #4S-Arizona team that lost by 21.  Sheesh.  Well, 15 other games were played and up to that historic upset, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 2.1.1 “Buffalo Roams, Pac 12 Moans” (3/15)

    Posted on March 17th, 2018 - 1:04 am Scott No comments

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    DARK HORSE ‘ZONA OUT, TOP SEEDS STRUGGLE
    In our 24th pool, we have 160 entries, our 3rd highest total

    Loyola-Chicago near buzzer beaterCERRITOS, CA (smt)- With #1S-Virginia down a top player, it seemed like the journey was made for #4S-Arizona to play with a chip on its shoulder to the Final Four.  But Arizona is a Pac 12 team and with that curse, fell to#13S-Buffalo who won their first tourney game ever.  Just like that, the Pac 12 fizzled 0-3 and matched the horrible post-season showing of its football teams who went 1-8 in bowl games.  Buffalo’s win overshadowed #11S-Loyola-Chicago nailing a 3-pt near buzzer-beater (they put 0.3 sec back on clock) to advance to the Round of 32.  Top seeds had lots of trouble but eventually #4W-Gonzaga, #1MW-Kansas (#16MW-Penn led 21-11 at one point), #5W-Ohio St, #8MW-Seton Hall, #5S-Kentucky, #6W-Houston, #3E-Texas Tech (holding #14E-Stephen F Austin to no FGs in last 5 minutes), and #3W-Michigan were victorious.  #3S-Tennessee, #2MW-Duke, #1E-Villanova, and #6E-Florida had easy wins.  The tourney started with a riveting match that #7MW-Rhode Island pulled out in overtime over a #10MW-Oklahoma team that Trae Young that singlehandedly kept  them in the game.  The other mild upset was #9E-Alabama, despite 15 losses as an at-large pick, winning by 3 over #8E-Virginia Tech.

    For our 24th pool, we unofficially have 160 entries from 112 people.  The is our third highest total (behind ’17‘s 178 and ’15‘s 161) and third-highest participation (behind ’17’s 124 and ’15’s 113).  We tied a record with 72 entries (’15) on Wednesday.  We also discovered that the comment section on our form doesn’t go anywhere and that ncaa<at>hwci.com has a very aggressive spam filter this year.  Growing pains.

    Kds911SacKings4Ever, and M Star started off 13-0 but Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 14.6.1 “Ugly Redemption”

    Posted on April 4th, 2017 - 3:09 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    2017 NCAA Champions
    University of North Carolina Tar Heels
    #1-South (Memphis, TN)
    University of North Carolina
    Tar Heels
    (33-7)

    6th Title: ’57, ’82, ’93, ’05, ’09, ’17
    2017 Winningest Conference
    SEC Conference

    ACC Conference

    The Southeastern Conference
    (11-5)

    4th Time: ’06, ’07, ’14, ’17
    &
    The Atlantic Coast Conference
    (11-8)

    6th Time: ’04, ’05, ’10, ’15, ’16, ’17

    Monday, April 3, 2017 

    UNC WINS 6TH TITLE DESPITE POOR SHOOTING; ZAGS 2ND HALF FUNK
    Dboyz17 holds on to win pool while ChasCroix1 wins tiebreaker for 6th

    CERRITOS APT, CA (smt)- #1S-North Carolina shot 35.6%, only made 4 of 27 from long range (14.8%), and missed 11 free throws (57.7%) yet were able to hold off #1W-Gonzaga, 71-66, in a foul-marred game (22 fouls on each team).  With two injured ankles, Joel Berry made four threes (the rest of the team was 0 for 14) and scored 22 points (second straight final with 20+ points) to lead UNC to redemption after last year’s final loss to Villanova.  It was an ugly contest with UNC shooting 30% in the 1st half and Gonzaga shooting 28% in the second half and the refs plagued the game with fouls, a ticky tack flagrant 1 at a key point in the game, and missing an out-of-bounds hand by a UNC player in a tie-up that was possession UNC with under a minute left.  Despite the poor shooting all-around the teams did manage to combine to score 136 points which is more than the other mid-major finals involving Butler (120 and 94 points in back-to-back finals).

    UNC’s win gave Dboyz17 the 2017 HWCI NCAA Pool title and record $690 win (out of a record $1,780 pot), finishing with 148 points followed by MarchMindlessness (143), Alternative Picks (142), Agnes Scheweizhofer (135), and Flying Elvi (133).  The 136 total points gave ChasCroix1 the tiebreaker over The Juggernaut to win 6th.  Bigtenfan was in position to win the Bonus but a late foul put that in jeopardy; luckily UNC made just one of two free throws and he finished off by one point and was still the best finisher (32nd) among the 12 entries who were one off.

    Place Amount Winner Nickname Pts (Place) Yrs in Pool (#Ent) # Times Won (Total $)
    1st $690 Greg Z Dboyz17 148 (1st) 4 (5) 1st win
    2nd $355 Eric F MarchMindlessness  143 (2nd) 7 (9) 2 ($450; 5th ’14 )
    3rd $240 Nelson P  Alternative Picks 142 (3rd) 11 (14) 1st win
    4th $180 Andy F  Agnes Schweitzhofer 135 (4th) 20 (20) 2 ($212.50; 6th(Tied) ’12)
    5th $130 Brian S  Flying Elvi 133 (5th) 21 (21) 2 ($190; 2nd ’97)
    6th $ 85 Chuck D  ChasCroix1 132 (6th) 9 (16) 1st win
    7th $ 60 Alex K  The Juggernaut 132 (7th) 2 (2) 1st win
    Bonus $ 40 Benjamin D  Bigtenfan 116 (32nd) 6 (11) 2 ($330; 2nd ’14)

    [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 Group or post comments on our blog Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

    Archive

     

    2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
    The Final at University of Phoenix Stadium
    #1-West
    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 

    CLASSIC BATTLE OF MAJOR VS MID-MAJOR #1’S
    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

    Archive

    Saturday, April 1, 2017 

    SMART FOUL BY ZAGS AND SMART REBOUNDING BY UNC
    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

    Archive

    2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
    First Semifinal Second Semifinal
    #7-East
    New York, NY
    2017 New York
    #1-West
    San Jose, CA
    2017 San Jose
    #3-Midwest
    Kansas City, MO
    2017 Kansas City
    #1-South
    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 (
    ’39)
    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 

    UNC BACK IN FINAL FOUR WHILE OTHER THREE TEAMS IT’S A NEW EXPERIENCE
    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

    Archive

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

    Sunday, March 26, 2017 

    UNC WINS BATTLE OF BLUE BLOODS, USC WINS BATTLE OF SEC TEAMS
    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

    Archive

    Saturday, March 25, 2017 

    LEAST LIKELY #1 ZAGS AND INJURED OREGON MAKE FINAL FOUR
    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

    Archive

    Friday, March 24, 2017 

    BALL OUT”FOX”ED IN FROSH BATTLE; GATORS GIVE AND THEN TAKE
    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

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    Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD - Season Finale Saturday!

    Thursday, March 23, 2017 

    XAVIER STUNS ‘ZONA WITH 9-0 RUN
    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

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    Foreign Figures - Listen to "Fire"

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

    RECORD NUMBER OF ENTRIES ADD 7TH MONEY SPOT
    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

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    Sunday, March 19, 2017 

    LATE RALLIES AND HEART PROVIDE DRAMA
    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

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    Saturday, March 18, 2017 

    DEFENDING CHAMPS DETHRONED WHILE ZAGS GET LUCKY
    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

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    Friday, March 17, 2017 

    COMEBACK KIDS USC ADVANCE; THREE 11’S IN SECOND ROUND
    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 »

  • Issue # 2.1.1 “Luck of the Irish”

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

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

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    IRISH HOLDS ON, LEADS CHALK DOMINANCE
    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 »

  • Issue # 1.0.1 “23 is Legendary”

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

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    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 **

    DEFENDING CHAMP VILLANOVA TOP OVERALL SEED WHILE ACC NETS NINE TEAMS
    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 »