The 18th HWCI NCAA Tournament Pool
Four @ new orlenas
(ST. LOUIS, MO)
Friday, March 30, 2012 Issue # 8.5.3 "The Amazing Pool" [ Home | Blog | Facebook | Updates ]
Previous Sweet 16 Themes: [ 11 - Year-by-Year | 10 - Health Care | 09 - American Cancer Society | 08 - Who Is The Mole? | 07 - TV Shows | 06 - Awards ]
CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Television shows are numbered with production numbers. But sometimes the production number is aired out of order due to schedule timing, special effects delays, actor availability, etc. Thus, that is what happened here. This was the 8th issue(8.2.4) that was started last week but it will be published 12th and keep the same "production number" with a slight change (8.5.3). And like airing later and using the extra time to make adjustments, this issue incorporates last week's info in addition to the usual Sweet 16 timeframe. Speaking of TV, while we are in our 18th year, The Amazing Race is in its 20th season and has a lot of drama, like our pool this year. Here are the Sweet 16 thoughts based on TAR as its affectingly known as to us die-hards...
START LINE: This is where host Phil Keoghan says "The world is waiting for you. Good luck. Travel safe. Go!". I guess our phrase would be "The pool is waiting for you. Good luck. Pick wisely. Go!". At our start line, we had a record 134 entries from a record 99 people. Most impressive considering the dour economy. But like the biggest lottery jackpot, tjhe big money draws people and hopefully they are having fun and hoping for that certain luck to win the record jackpot of $540.
TEAMS: In TAR, the teams compete as pairs (except for the lackluster Family Edition season which had teams of 4). Married couple Larzby and Suznana were near the top 5 nearly every day for the first six days while newcomers Bigtenfan and Nwspring 1 are now paired at the top.
ROUTE INFO: Info clues instruct teams where to go next. Syracuse losing Fab Melo before the tourney created some adjustments as despite being a #1 seed, only 3 picked them to win it all. Sixty-one (61) knew Purdue hasn't lost a 2nd round game in forever and got it right while 22 who got Louisville to the Sweet 16 advanced them one more game because coach Pitino hasn't lost that game in forever.
ROADBLOCK: A task that only one person may perform. In this case, blocks have been prominent. From Kansas' Jeff Withey's 10 blocks vs UNC to Syracuse lacking the big man when Fab Melo was ineligible, swats were everywhere.
YIELD: One team can force another team to stop playing for a predetermined amount of time. We had several games where teams have gone cold, allowing a team to come back such as UNC being blitzed by Kansas 12-0 in the last 3 minutes. Seems like a lot of teams lack the killer instinct, changing up their game plan to slow things down which allows the other team to capitalize off their tepidness. Larzby was on a roll, leading for six straight days before going 0-for-2 on Day 7 and falling out of the money picture.
EXPRESS PASS: Allows a team to skip one task. Florida and Xavier lucked out by being able to play a #15 team instead of a #2 team in the 3rd round making easy passage to the Sweet 16.
CBS: TAR is on CBS airing Sundays at 8 pm E/P. The tourney airs on CBS as well and with its partners TBS, TNT, and TruTV, every game is televised which is well worth the hassle of going from 65 to 68 teams.
DETOUR: A team must decide between two paths, each with its own pros and cons. Do you win your conference tournament or rest for the real tournament? Louisville is the second Big East team to win the grueling 4 or 5 day tournament and made the Final Four. Losing the tourney did not hurt Kansas (Big 12), Ohio St (Big 10), or Kentucky (SEC).
FAST FORWARD: Once completed, allows a team to bypass all remaining tasks. Kentucky certainly played like it, winning all four games by double-digits and being the only team to score more than 100 points.
SPEED BUMP: Penalty for finishing last in a non-elimination leg and must perform an extra task. The last four teams were not left out but had to play, for the second straight year, the First Four game (1st Round) to get into the proper 64 bracket. BYU and South Florida successfully won their First Four games with the latter advancing to the 3rd round.
MONEY: Each team gets money at the start of each leg of the race. In our case, we have to collect money before the start of the pool. With new options like Discover Money Messenger or Chase QuickPay, sending money is more convenient. Of course, PayPal hates people paying for pools and that's a hassle every few years when they catch you at it (like this year).
U-TURN: After completing one half of the detour, a team is made to complete the other half. We had an unusually high number of updated brackets (thanks to the Syracuse situation) so we manually delete the original brackets. No big deal. Unless I forget to enter a bracket, like TheBuckeye23's. Had to do a 180 on that one!
FINISH LINE: On Monday we will find out who is the 2012 NCAA Champion and also who will be our 2012 HWCI NCAA Pool Champion (unless Ohio St and Louisville meet, then Bigtenfan is our champion). Good luck to remaining 19 who are still alive!
PIT STOP: A mandatory rest period after each leg of the race. Well, I've been definitely using the Monday-Wednesday period to try to rest from the pool as late nights are the norm with a 2-month old in tow! Unfortunately, UNC couldn't last to the Final Four break to allow Kendall Marshall's wrist to heal.
RACEAROUNDTHEWORLD: Host Phil Keoghan's famous line said quickly as only a New Zealander can. For you soccer fans, we will be concentrating on Europe in doing our first HWCI Euro 2012 Pool (an offshoot of our successful HWCI World Cup pools). And we will allow you to pick ties. So if you're interested, please let us know and we'll keep you informed in May when you can start to pick your teams.
INTERSECTION: Two teams must work together on a specific set of tasks. Well, my wife tries to get me to help her pick teams, but I barely have time to pick myself. And it almost worked better as she (SpaVa) had a much better chance at winning until UNC lost. How many other people worked together in picking?
Please join our Facebook HWCI NCAA Pool Group or post comments on our blog. Here you can join the group and meet your competitors, make new friends, set up NCAA watching gatherings, and post stuff to the wall (pictures, witty comments, etc.).
Don't forget the other English language versions of TAR Asia, TAR Australia, and TAR China Rush..