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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 
Issue # 7.2.3 "Your Comeback for the Ages?"
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Bonus Prize keeps 15 eliminated entries alive for $40

CERRITOS/EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- It's been one of the wildest weekends featuring three buzzer beaters, a couple of double overtime games, one of the biggest upsets, and one of the biggest comebacks (while you take a breather, take a listen to one of the unsigned bands Poolrider helps promote, Hydrogen Child).  Our 22nd year features the 2nd highest total for entries (149) and 2nd most people (110).  For the sixth straight year, we will have six money spots as we have $1,490 to divvy out.  The top prize will be $595. The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all fee money goes into prizes. So we have those top six spots plus the Bonus.  What's the Bonus?  Read on...

As it has been for the past 12 years, the Conference Wins is the Bonus Prize (as detailed below) (aka, Bonus1). However, if no one wins it, the Bonus2 takes effect and the entry who is closest to the Total Points in Final tiebreaker gets the Bonus Prize. We have used this Bonus to give hope to those who get eliminated early as only those who do not finish in the top 6 will be eligible to win. Rules follow below...

Bonus1 - Winningest Conference

When you completed your online entry and saw your picks (to print out), some of you might have been wondering what the heck "Winningest Conference(s): ?? | Wins: #" meant. And thus, subliminally, you were also picking which conference would get the most wins in the tournament and how many wins that conference would get via your direct picks. Neat, eh? So that output, which in my case (Fabone's Catch 22), says "Winningest Conference(s): Big 12 | Wins: 16", means that by the way I picked my bracket (and don't laugh... or do), the Big 12 conference will get the most wins with 16 (which won't happen). 

The rules of how to win this Bonus Prize is as follows:

1. First Four wins do not count 
2. The top 6 finishers are 
not eligible (so no double-dipping)
3. Ties broken by championship final score total
4. If there is *still* a tie, money is split
5. If 2 (or more) conferences tie for the most wins, both (or all) conferences must have been picked correctly
6. If entry has 2 or more conferences tied for most wins, only one must be correct to win (e.g. entry picks Pac 12 and Big 12 with 11 wins a piece and the Big 12 ends up winning the most games with 11, then contestant wins)

And, the Bonus Prize is worth $40, which is four years worth of losing brackets. Last year, the ACC was the winningest conference with 17 wins. But if no one correctly picks the winningest conference and wins, the the Bonus2 took effect.  See below...

Bonus2 - Total Points in Final

If no one wins the Bonus1, then a second Bonus opportunity takes effect. The entry closest to the "Total points in final" tiebreaker wins the $40. In order to reward better play, the tiebreaker is the higher placement in the final pool standings.

The rules of how to win this Bonus Prize is as follows:

1. The top 6 finishers not eligible (so no double-dipping)
2. "Closest" can be above or below actual total (if actual is 144, 143 & 145 are both 1 point away)
3. Ties broken by highest placement (i.e., point total) in final pool standings
4. If there is *still* a tie, money is split

Prize Breakdown

We are officially at 149 entries ($1,490). So, here is the official prize breakdown: 

     1st Place = $595.00
     2nd Place = $305.00
     3rd Place = $210.00
     4th Place = $155.00
     5th Place = $ 110.00
     6th Place = $ 75.00
     Bonus Prize =$ 40.00

Bonus1 Prize Analysis

What this means is that of the 31 entries that were eliminated from the top 6 prizes, 15 entries are back into play! So 99 of 149 entries still have a chance for Bonus1 (which is not as bad as in 2010 only 9 of 117 were alive for Bonus1). 

If you don't have your bracket, then go to the "For the Record" page and pick your nickname from the drop down box. Because of the First Four, what you see might change (since the Big 10's Michigan won the First Four game you'd have to add your predicted Michigan wins to your total) so go to the Bonus page for your official picks. Remember that the First Four wins do not count in the Winningest Conference calculation (that is why the SEC only shows 7 wins below where it really has 8 due to Michigan's First Four win). Right now, of the 7 conferences represented in the Sweet 16, 3 conferences have a chance to get or share the most number of wins:          

          Teams   Curr   Max Poss
Conf.      Left   Wins   Wins
-------    -----  ----   ----
ACC          6     12     25
Big10        3      7^    15
Big12        3      6     15
x-BigEast    1      5      9
x-SEC        1      3      7
x-Pac12      1      3      7
x-WCC        1      2      6
    x-Eliminated  ^-Michigan win in First Four does not count

The Big 12 led with 92 entries thinking they would be the winningest conference followed by the ACC with 49, the Big 10 with 20, the Pac 12 with 9, and the Big East with 1.  22 entries each picked the Big 12 with 14 wins.   

Below are the teams in the conferences that matter for the Bonus1.
Conf.   Teams Left (1st Rnd W-L, 2nd Rnd W-L)
-----   ----------
Big12   OKLAHOMA, KANSAS, IOWA ST (3-4, 3-0)
It's much too much to go through all the possibilities with four rounds remaining. But, if you do have a chance, this will guide you to which team to root for based on the conference the team is in.

Here is the link to what everyone picked. If your nickname is in red, that means you're eliminated from the top 6 prizes; if your conference is in red, you're eliminated from the Bonus1. The eligibility for the Bonus2 won't be discussed unless needed.

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.). 

   Tids & Bits - 53 lost champ Michigan St, 5 lost champ Kentucky and 1 lost Xavier, West Virigina, and UConn... a round of up the First Four will be this week or you can find out who won now... 

ACC dominance the past two years, gotta remember that next year ...

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