The 16th HWCI NCAA Tournament Pool

HW Basketball Logo 2010 HWCI NCAA Pool Update
[, the funniest truths in life ][, the funniest truths in life ]
2010 NCAA Champions
[Duke U. Blue Devils]
(Houston, TX)
Duke University
Blue Devils

2010 Winningest Conferences
[ Big 10 ][ Big 12 ][ ACC ] The Big 10 Conference (9-5),
The Big 12 Conference (9-7),
and the
Atlantic Coast Conference (9-5)
Friday, April 9, 2010
Issue # 17.6.2 "It Pays to Be a Blue Devil Fan"
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Final thoughts on our Sweet 16th pool

TEMPE, AZ (smt) - The tournament started without normal mainstays such as UCLA, North Carolina (defending champ), UConn, Indiana, and Arizona.  Add in an early loss by heavy favorite Kansas and Villanova plus having Syracuse and Kentucky failing to make the Final Four, and the door was open for both Duke (considered the most likely #1 seed to fall) and one of the smallest schools in the tourney, Butler.  In a very competitive but sloppy final, Butler and Duke traded misses (how can this be one of the best of all-time when no one can make a shot?) and Butler nearly banked home the winner at the buzzer.  Like Utah and Memphis before them, they came up short of being the first mid-major to win since UNLV in 1990.  So will next year bring back some Bruins, Tar Heels, et al to give the tourney back its gravitas?

Congrats to true Blue Devil fan, Kim B ($500) who became our 15th different champion, 4th female champion, and winner of the largest prize in our history.  She finally hit pay dirt in her 9th year (6 times picking Duke to win it all) and now she tops her husband Troy's take of $155 over 9 years.  The key?  Troy did not use her usual nickname, QueenB, and thus became Blue Devil Blues.  Also, congrats to other first-time winners Joe D ($255 in his 7th year), Cynthia S ($175 in her 3rd year), and Kevin J ($120 in his 8th year) and two-time winners Sam N ($80, $260 total over 11 years) and Bonus winner Van P ($490 over 8 years).  Below is the prize distribution over the 16 years.

[ HWCI NCAA Pool Prize Distribution ]

This was one very entertaining tournament although a true bracket-buster.  What was entertaining?

BEST GAME:  Duke-Butler.  Just kidding.  Xavier-Kansas St.  This thriller not only went to double overtime but they combined to score 197 points.  With an odd number we can't get half, but 59 chose Oklahoma St. while 58 chose Georgia Tech (who won).

BEST ENDING:  Duke-Butler.  Just kidding (that close to being it though).  Michigan St.-Maryland.  There were four lead changes in the last 39 seconds and the best part, the last three happened with no interruptions (no time outs!) ending in a Spartan buzzer beater.  Blue Devil Blues is only the third person to only lead once in the whole tournament - at the end (Belucky2 in 2008 and Fabio in 2004).

BEST UPSET:  Duke-Butler.  Just kidding (seriously, this game is remembered only for the shot that didn't go in, not the game itself, which was for the most part poorly played by both teams, especially the last few minutes).  Northern Iowa-Kansas.  Not only did they knock of the heavy favorite in the 2nd round, no less, just when the Panthers were fumbling away the game, a fearless/wreckless three-point attempt stopped the Jayhawk momentum.  Honorable mention to Murray St. over Vandy, which was the only other buzzer beater of the tourney, and gives the Commodores a 2-game losing streak when playing a #13 seed as a #4 seed.  The Pride of Troy! is the fifth person to lead heading into the Final Four and end up with no money.

GET A LITTLE CLOSER:  Nineteen games were decided by 3 points or less or went to overtime.  There were five overtime games including 2 double-OT games.  This was the first time a tiebreaker knocked someone out of the money (myself, Deemed to Win) since 2006 when Belucky1 lost the tiebreaker, who just happens to be my dad.

GET A LITTLE FARTHER:  Kentucky won its first three games (turns out, only 3 games) by a combined 76 points.  Blue Devil Blues won the pool by 10 points, the largest since Anna Come Lately won the 1998 pool by 13 points.  HowardZinn failed to pick up points after the first day of the 3rd round, the first time that has happened since Betheon did that in 2000.

SPREAD THE WEALTH:  Eleven conferences were represented in the Sweet 16 including 5 mid-majors.  The casualty?  The Big East which saw 6 of its 8 teams fail to make the Sweet 16.  Four of the six pool winners were first-time winners, making it them the 46th, 47th, 48th, and 49th people to win money in our pool.

DREAD THE HEALTH:  Syracuse and Purdue were hit with major injuries prior to the tourney but both made the Sweet 16.  West Virginia and Michigan St. suffered blows during the tournament but both made the Final Four.  Twenty-one entered more than one pick, hoping to hedge their bets, but only FOMI won money, and it was on his first entry anyway.

AMBITIOUS PICKS:  Jonna Rocks was the only one to pick Northern Iowa over Kansas, Suznana the only one putting Michigan St. in the Elite 8, and Larzby and Cnollfan were the only ones to pick Butler in the Final Four.

TOO AMBITIOUS PICKS:  These almost came true.  David's Lighter's Sam Houston St. were tied with Baylor at 55 before falling, Cmurder's Montana were down by just one before New Mexico ended the game on a 9-5 run, Marty the Greek nearly pegged Xavier (who lost in double OT) over Kansas St., and Another Two-Peat had its Tennessee Final Four pick lose by just a single point.

Now I gotta prepare for our World Cup Pool!..


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