Sunday, March 30, 2014 (delayed 4/1) Issue # 11.4.2 "Big 10 Implosion" [ Home | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Updates ]
CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Two Big Ten Michigan-based schools fell while the only 2 teams who have won 3 titles in our HWCI NCAA Pool era advanced to the Final Four. #7E-UConn rode the home away from home Madison Square Garden crowd to a 60-54 victory over #4E-Michigan St to reach the Final Four for the fifth time since 1999 (but their previous 4 trips have come from the West Region). UConn once again was unstoppable from the free throw line, hitting 21 of 22. Hard to believe UConn is back in the Final Four a year after being ineligible for the post-season and two years after Jim Calhoun left. Once again, a dumb foul on a 3-point attempt sinks a team, and this time it allowed UConn to push the lead from 2 to 5 (hitting all 3 free throws) sealing the win.
NCAA Titles Since 1995
#8MW-Kentucky rallied and beat #2MW-Michigan, 75-72, on Aaron Harrison's 4th straight 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left. With the game tied and playing for the last shot, the long 3 wasn't as ill-advised but it worked out (why do teams insist on a 3 when a deuce or foul in the paint would suffice, especially if not behind). The Wildcats run to the Final Four involved beating last year's West Regional winner (Wichita St), last year's Midwest Regional winner (Louisville), and now last year's South Regional winner (Michigan). They only didn't get to play last year's East Regional winner (Syracuse). All four wins have been by close margins (a combined 16 points) but the freshmen are maturing exponentially, almost treating the regular season as their pre-season.
Only three entries got a game correct (1-1) which is the lowest since 2000 when only two went 1-1 (both picking #5E-Florida, no one #8S-UNC). Badzy (32nd-T, 101 pts) picked UConn (also his champion) while HereWeGoPicks (13th-T, 105) and Beyond Elite 8 (3rd, 111) picked Kentucky. Because of this Bigtenfan2 remained in first place with 116 points, but interestingly enough, won't be able to pick up any more points so he needs help to hold on. Hawkeye (114) will always finish ahead of Beyond Elite 8 (both have Florida). ShivaBlast (4th, 110) is the only one with Wisconsin winning it all while Fabio (5th-T, 109) actually has Florida over Wisconsin in the final and would become only our 2nd two-time pool champion ('04). With Badzy, these are the only 5 people who could win our pool and $555. Only 12 can finish in the top 6. A record 135 entries went 0-2 today and 36 went 0-for-the-Final Four. Go Deep is forever last (63). Hawkeye can't finish lower than 5th while Fabio is in all 8 remaining possible outcomes (100%) but in two of them, will finish in a tie for 5th or 6th, meaning he could be 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th (the latter two out of the money).
For the $40 Bonus, the only possible winningest conference outcomes are the Big 10 with 11 or 12 wins or the SEC with 11, 12, or 13 wins (both currently have 10 wins each, not including First Four). No one picked the SEC with 11 or 13 wins so if that happens, no one wins Bonus1 and we go to Bonus2, the total points in tiebreaker. But also, Beyond Elite 8, who was the only one to pick SEC with 12 wins, can't win the Bonus1 since if he gets this right (FL over WI or KY over CT in final), he wins 3rd or 4th and you can't double-dip. Because the Bonus2 is dependent on actual placement in standings (tie goes to the one with the most points), those scenarios, if we need them, won't be revealed until after the Semifinals on Saturday. So if Florida or Kentucky win, a bunch of you near the top of the standings could be back in the thick of things. If.
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Tids & Bits -The 4th Annual HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity benefiting The Friends of Renee was won by Guilio B who was the only person to go 4-0 and a write-up will be in a future update... including the First Four, there have been 7 OT games thus far with the Wisconsin-Arizona one the first in the past 30 games... Kentucky only hit 6 free throws... everybody's favorite coach, John Calipari, is once again sitting in the Final Four with a new crop of freshmen... UConn is the 1st #7 seed to make the Final Four since field expanded to 64+ teams... the SEC, who only got 2 teams into the regular tourney (plus 1 in the First Four), is 11-1 so far (including First Four win by Tennessee)... for a long time, the East Regional site was TBD as the NCAA kept working to get the regional to New York City and they finally did, as Madison Square Garden hosted tournament games for the first time in 63 years... the 4-year Final Four drought for the Spartans is their longest since '80-'98 ('99, '00, '01, '05, '09, '10)... Nine finished the round 2-2... Florida's on a 30-game win streak with its last loss to their Final Four foe, UConn Dec 2nd... Badzy is tied for 32nd but can still win the pool while Beyond Elite 8 is 3rd but can't win 1st!... Belucky2 is tied for 8th (108) but can't finish in the top 6 while Samurai Jack is tied for 36th (100) but can still win 6th!... 90 entries that won't win money or the Bonus1... the entries averaged 0.88 wins for the round...
Delays due to family time, a good enough reason (especially since I'm out!) ...