Thursday, March 19, 2015
Issue # 3.1.1 "Fourteen is the New Twelve"
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CERRITOS, CA (smt)- This was a day not to miss. Five games decided by a single point. Nine decided by 5 points or less. Two overtime games. Teams having multiple shots at glory at the buzzer. Controversial calls. A player ejected. Near buzzer-beaters (0.1 and 2.7 seconds left). Unnecessary late turnovers that boggle the mind. 13-0, 8-0, and 6-0 runs to end games (3 of the 5 single point wins). Four double-digit seeds winning in the first 8 games. Chalk the last 8 games. Three conferences perfect while the Big 12 0-fer.
Oh so close of having the very first 3 games eliminate three #3 seeds. But #3MW-Notre Dame held on against #14MW-Northeastern but fellow 3 seeds #3S-Iowa St and #3W-Baylor weren't so lucky. Baylor was upended by #14W-Georgia St who scored just 38 points in the Sun Belt final and a coach that injured himself celebrating in that title game and then today fell off his roller chair celebrating the game-winning 3 with 2.7 seconds left. Georgia St. scored the last 13 points, capped by a missed FT (front end of one-and-one) by Baylor and a long 25' 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left. The Cyclones were nice enough to give #14S-UAB plenty of chances as UAB had 19 offensive rebounds (52 total). #10W-Ohio St need overtime while #11S-UCLA, one team most thought wouldn't make the tourney, scored the last 8 points thanks to Bryce Alford's three point barrage (9-of-11), one while off-balance and one he missed but not badly enough that goaltending was called. Didn't look like it live but the over the rim shot clearly showed it would've just nicked the rim so good call. You have to let the ball hit the rim first and kudos for the #6S-SMU player for taking responsibility.
While the other 12 games went to the better seed, only #2W-Arizona, #6W-Xavier, #1E-Villanova, and #1MW-Kentucky has easy victories. #4S-Georgetown was easy, leading by 23 at one point, until the final few minutes and avoided losing to a much higher seed for the sixth straight time. #6MW-Butler and #5S-Utah pulled away late. Both #8 seeds won in dramatic fashion as #8MW-Cincy, despite losing their leading scorer and rebounder due to a flagrant 2 ejection with 16:22 left in the 2nd half, needed a bank, roll, bank buzzer-beater layup to force OT and won by a single point while #8E-NC State used a broken play to just roll in a basket with 0.1 seconds left.... to win by a point. The Wolfpack painfully and slowly scored the last six points in the last 4 minutes while #9E-LSU missed their last 12 shots (10+ minutes) and last six free throws. Roy Williams remained perfect in the 1st round (25-0) with his #4W-UNC Tar Heels scoring the last four points to beat #13W-Harvard who fell shy of slaying a third consecutive first-round upset. While #14 seeds were 2-1 the popular #12 upset picks were 0-2 with #12W-Wofford falling short to #5W-Arkansas.
Sparked by a bunch of referrals from some of our veterans such as Vi P, Charles D, Roy W, and Bernice P (of WC pool), a record 159 entries have been received. This is still unofficial as we expect two entries via snail mail (the 2nd straight year we have received entries this way... maybe by stagecoach next?) and I think all the entries are good but awaiting payment on one or two (newbies, not veterans). I expect to end at 161 entries but we'll see.
Ted 1 (57th-Tied, 22 pts) and Ted 2 (18th-T, 24), maybe out of alumni loyalty, were the only two entries to pick UAB's upset while 9 picked Georgia St. But no one started 3-0 (No Gators No Problem did start 0-3) and at the end, Alex Basketball and Miller Time! are tied for 1st with 28 points (14-2). The former had a one win lead until Utah's victory. Shibai44 and TURNOVER PRONE UPSET are tied for last with 12 points (6-10).
As expected, more than half (55%) picked #1MW-Kentucky with Arizona and Wisconsin next. 10 teams were picked to win it all while 7 teams were not chosen to win even one game. Despite the local presence, no one picked UCLA to make the Final Four while 13 picked #13E-UC Irvine to win their first game. More info after I get the final two entries in the mail tomorrow.
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. 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.).
If you haven't done so yet, you can mail your entry fee (email me for snail mail) or give your $10 (per entry) to someone who will give the money to David or Scott. We are accepting PayPal (check or PayPal funds only) to "hwci<at>hotmail.com" or credit card PayPal payments to "smt0222<at>yahoo.com" (but the entry fee is $10.61 (61 cents in PayPal fees... damn them!)). Now, you can send money via your smartphone and pay no fees! Use Google Wallet' Send Money function and send your $10 (per entry) to "smt0222<at>gmail.com" -- just make sure you put your NAME and NICKNAME in the notes section. And if you're having trouble getting your picks in, take a picture of your bracket with your phone and email it to ncaa<at>hwci.com.
Tids & Bits - Ole Miss scored 60 in 2nd half in their First Four game but just a total of 57 today... first time there were 5 1-point games in a single day (6 total including First Four); there have never been more than 7 in an entire tournament... #11 is 4-0 (winning all by 13+ pts) vs #14 seeds -- let's see if the Bruins can make it 5-0... all 5 Texas-based teams lost (Baylor, SMU, SF Austin, Texas, Texas So)... if all goes as planned, a record 38 entries were received Thursday as well as a record 113 people in the pool... there are 26 dual entries and 11 triple entries... there are 23 new people in the pool so good luck to them and I hope you join us for many years to come... only Brett Picks (125th-T, 18) lost a champion (Iowa St) today... despite the seed difference, 104 picked Ohio St... 46 picked UCLA and 74 picked Cincy, usually notorious for not doing well early... the Big 12 went 0-3 while the Pac-10 (3-0), ACC (3-0), and Big East (4-0) were perfect... the SEC went 3-2...
Is it bad watching games on Moto X while I wait for my son to get a Writing Award during lunch?...