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[Scott's Pool Updates]

Monday, March 14, 2016 [Rev A]  **HELP Support Star Wars Force for Change **
Issue # 1.0.1 "Catch 22!"
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Our HWCI Pool is in its 22nd year and keeps on ticking

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- There is no undefeated team like Kentucky last year and in fact, losses are a plenty as the top #1 seed S-Kansas has four losses while MW-Virginia has 7 losses.  With E-North Carolina and W-Oregon with six losses each, the #1 seeds have a combined 23 losses, three more than any previous quartet.  No team in the tourney has less than 4 losses.  Other oddities exist with one particular team, with the 6th-best team odds makers like to win it all, E-Kentucky, getting a 4 seed, Kentucky beating 3W-Texas A&M in SEC final but getting ranked worse, and getting set-up for a possible 2nd round matchup with 5E-Indiana, who they refuse to play in the regular season.  A lot of regular season mid-major champions lost in their tournament leaving some strong contenders such as Monmouth, San Diego St., and St. Mary's getting skipped over while 11bS-Wichita St and 10S-Temple getting in.  Four conferences (Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, and ACC) got 7 teams in while the Big East (5), ACC (4), SEC (3), and MVC (2) also got multiple bids.

Locally, 8E-USC made the tourney for the first time in five years while a little further away, 15W-CSU Bakersfield made the tourney for the first time, and a little more further away but connected by an ocean (granted, a big one), 13S-Hawai'i made the tourney for the first time since 2002.  And what happened to UCLA?  Getting beat three times by rival USC?  There's always next year, hopefully with a different coach.

Our HWCI NCAA Pool is our 22nd, which means our pool is a catch-22 for many of us who think we need to know a lot to win but have won when filling out the bracket quickly with little knowledge.   Last year we had a record 161 entries, topping last year's record by an incredible 28.  This is the second year we're fully to our brand new web entry (no more java or Mac issues) and despite all the R&D, the entry fee is still $10 (and although we now accept Google Wallet payments, we do not accept Bitcoins).  Also, you should now only have to enter a form once instead of twice!  Deadline is still 9 a.m. PDT Thursday.  Same point system.  If the winner of any of the First Four changes your mind, then you can either update your bracket or email your change (easier to email one or two changes than resubmit a bracket).  So you can pick as early as NOW or wait until the last minute.  The only minor change, one no one cares about until the last weekend, is the "Winningest Conference" Bonus.  What prints out when you submit your bracket may change depending if #11aE-Michigan (B10) or #11bE-Tulsa (AAC) wins its First Four game.  Since the Big Ten has 7 teams and the ACC has 4 teams, it's possible the Winningest Conference could be either, so we your total may be bumped up if you have either team going past the 2nd Round.

[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.  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.). 

PayPalYou 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>" or credit card PayPal payments to "smt0222<at>" (but the entry fee is $10.61 (61 cents in PayPal fees... damn them!)).  Now, you can send money via your smartphone anGoogle Walletd pay no fees!  Use Google Wallet' Send Money function and send your $10 (per entry) to "smt0222<at>" -- 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>

Last year, Darryn B won the pool, just the second time someone has won the pool twice (Robinson C was the first).  He took home a record $640, helped by his perfect Elite 8, and waited 12 years in between wins.  Last year we received a record 161 entries from a record 113 people. 

WHAT: 22nd Annual HWCI NCAA Tournament Pool
DEADLINE: 9:00 a.m. PDT on Thursday, March 17
ENTRY FEE: $10.00 per entry (max 3 entries per person)
PREV CHAMPS: 2015- BIG LUTHER, $640 (161 entries) -- repeat winner
2014- BADZY, $550 (138)
2013- THE RAT PACK, $530 (131)
2012- QUINNSANITY, $540 (134)
2011- KRISPY KREMER, $515 (125)
2010- BLUE DEVIL BLUES, $500 (117)
2009- BIZARRO LARZBY, $495 (114)
2008- BELUCKY2, $440 (101)
2007- VAN&SAM, $450 (98)
2006- GATORS NEVER CHOKE, $415 (85)
2005- FLIP FIGHTERS, $400 (82) -- repeat winner
2004- FABIO, $370 (79)
2003- BIG LUTHER, $280 (63)
2002- THE FABON8ER, $400 (80)
2001- TEAM SAMURAI, $280 (59)
2000- MORALES' MOUNDS, $180 (36)
1999- SHARY BOBBINS, $180 (36)
1998- ANNA COME LATELY, $150 (28)
1997- MAX, $125 (22)
1996- JAYBIAN, $110 (19)
1995- BIX PIX, $70 (12)
RULES: Check for more info
BLOG: Comment at
  • All fee money goes back into prizes
  • At least four winners (top prize about 40-50%) (if >=100 entries, 5 winners; if>=125 entries, 6 winners)
  • Set points are awarded per game (2/3/4/6/8/12 for the 6 rounds) (no upset weighting)
  • Two went 16-0 on the first 1st Round day in 2003, One did in 2009, Two in 2014
  • Only 22 people (1 in 2015, 1 in 2009, 12 in 2008, 6 in 2007, 2 in 2001) have picked all 4 Final Four teams
  • Just 252 of 1,720 entries (14.7%) have picked the correct champion; only years champion not picked: '97 & '98
  • Points possible: 196
  • Most points ever: 166 by VAN&SAM in 2007
  • Least points ever: 49 by GOBAY, HENDO in 2002

Enter online now! You can also fax your entry to me at (720) 368-0816 or email us for a snail mail address (postmarked by Thursday AM). Make arrangements (such as PayPal) to send in your $10 entry fee(s) by March 18th. Complete rules and daily pool information can be found on the official site:

   Tids & Bits - It'll be interesting to see how the 30-second shot clock (was 35) will work in this tourney... Having taught a seminar at Stony Brook U., it was great to finally see (my first game watching live this year)them finally get their 1st bid (after losing 4 of the past 5 America East finals) -- that Jameel Warney is a beast, kind of like me trying to guard one of taller friends in basketball on Saturdays...  the Great West conference is not so great, having disbanded last year... with 6 of the 8 teams in the WAC have never made the tourney with a 7th not making it since '69, the conference bid has been dominated by New Mexico St but NMS lost to CSU Bakersfield in the final, its first final loss in five years... the #12 seeds went 0-4 last year after having gone 6-2 the previous two years and 8-4 the previous 3... #16aW-Holy Cross won 4 straight road games in the Patriot League tournament to enter the NCAA tourney at 14-19... the state of Texas each got 5 teams in with six other states getting four each... Florida only got two -- and no Florida Gators this year!... there are four new teams making our tourney for the first time (13E-Stony Brook, CSU Bakersfield, 12W-Yale (1962), and 7W-Oregon St (1990))... Georgetown snapped a streak of losing to double-digit seeds (#10, #11, #14, #10, and #15) losing to #5 Utah, but this year they didn't even qualify... hard to believe 11MW-Gonzaga need to win its conference tourney to make the NCAA tournament for the 18th straight year - despite seeding, the last time the Zags lost in their first game was 2008... last 4 teams out were Monmouth, St. Bonaventure, South Carolina (the other USC), and Valpo -- and all will get a #1 seed in the NIT (practice was implemented for last year's NIT).. it's been two years since a #13 seed has won after seeing at least one win the six years prior... a First Four team has won at least a 2nd round game in each year thus far (began '11)... speaking of which, we FINALLY get back to naming the Round of 64 the 1st Round and the Round of 32 the 2nd Round as the opening round has gained enough traction to be considered the First Four by itself... SMU and Louisville were two of the better teams ineligible this tournament as was Stetson, who at 12-22 just fell short in Atlantic Sun final in overtime to FGCU...

Two is my favorite number, so is our 22nd year twice as nice?...

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