Thursday, March 21, 2019
Issue # 2.1.1 "Darlings Mostly Disappoint"
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GOLETA, CA (smt)- Potential Cinderella darlings #14E-Yale, #12MW-New Mexico St, #11E-Belmont, and #11S-St. Mary's all faltered leaving head coachless #3E-LSU, #5MW-Auburn, #6E-Maryland, and the defending champ #6S-Villanova heading into the 2nd Round. Yale sure did look like they were looking forward to Belmont in the next round and forgot they had to win the first one. New Mexico St bypassed an easy layup to tie the match, missed 2 of 3 free throws with 1.7 seconds left when down by 2, and the airballed a wide open three at the buzzer in losing by one. Auburn was tying to give the game away blowing a late 13 point lead and committing six turnovers in the last nine minutes or so and missing front ends of one-and-one free throws. The only team that fulfilled people's upset brackets was #12W-Murray St led by Ja Morant's triple double (17 pts-16 ast-12 reb), the first in tournament play since '12 in a rout of #5W-Marquette. There were a few other upsets as #10E-Minnesota, #10W-Florida, and #9W-Baylor picked up wins. Still upset at their placement, #2E-Michigan St trailed #15E-Bradley by one at halftime before pulling away. #4W-Florida St, #7MW-Wofford, and #3S-Purdue ended strong while #4MW-Kansas, #2MW-Kentucky (winning the Wildcats vs Wildcats battle), #1W-Gonzaga, and #2W-Michgan rolled to easy victories.
The Big Ten went 5-0 (creating a rare intra-conference 2nd round matchup (last '11 Big East) between Minnesota and Michigan St) while the Big East started with four teams and are now down to one (Villanova) with #10MW-Seton Hall and #5W-Marquette losing (#11bW-St. John's lost in the First Four). Only two games were decided by 3 or less points while half were decided by 10 or more points.
Five are atop the standings with 30 points (15-1) with Buckeye Mike winning the first 13 games (losing Wofford) and ZQUEEN winning the first 12 (interestingly tripped up by #15W-Montana... maybe a Mich St fan?). Maitai went just 7-9. 65 picked Murray St, 60 picked Baylor, 60 picked Florida, and 49 picked Minnesota.
Sixteen teams were picked to win it all, of course, led by Duke (62). UNC (28), Virginia (22), and Gonzaga (21) were the only ones picked by at least 8. Bradley and Florida got some love, with one person picked each to be the champion. At least one person picked each of the 64 teams to win one game, even North Dakota St.
Unofficially, we have 162 entries (2nd best, 178 in '17) which is more than the 156 we had last year. 113 people entered with 23 submitting two entries and 13 submitting the max of three. The top 6 will win money (if we had hit 165, we would have added a 7th place spot) plus the $40 Bonus.
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 - 3 #1s go Friday... Belmont has won 21 in a row... NM St's 19 game win streak was snapped... Auburn took 31 threes and made 12... Minnesota hit 6 threes in 1st half and ended with 11 (they averaged just 5)... Old Dominion only had 19 points in the first half... we had a record 28 entries on Monday, 26 on Tuesday, 71 on Wednesday, and 37 on Thursday... still the potential of a mail-in entry... being a lawyer is tough so we'll miss Larzby (Lawrence M) in our pool this year (his wife and son are in, so he can cheer for them)... more kids of our veteran pool players are entering and hopefully having fun, though not all have been outed yet (soon, and if he/she is outed, then the parent can enter another bracket!); my son is finally getting his named bracket (Tama Spency Boy) though he doesn't watch sports... interestingly, 7 people updated their entry; usually people just go with faith after entering... will popular upset picks Liberty, UC Irvine, or Oregon fulfill their destiny?...
Let's go Pac-12, all 3 play Friday ...