2021 NCAA FINAL FOUR @
Hosted by Indiana U.-Purdue U. Indianapolis (IUPUI) (Horizon League)
|The Final at Lucas Oil Stadium - Unity & Equality Floor|
|Baylor University Bears (27-2)||Gonzaga University Bulldogs (31-0)|
Big 12 Conference -
Regular Season Champs
2nd Final ('48)
def #16 Hartford 79-55
#9 Wisconsin 76-63
#5 Villanova 62-51
#3 Arkansas 81-72
#2MW Houston 78-59
Conference - Regular Season and Tourney Champs
2nd Final ('17)
def #16a Norfolk St 98-55
#8 Oklahoma 87-71
#5 Creighton 83-65
#6 USC 85-66
#11E UCLA 93-90 (OT)
Sunday, April 4, 2021
Issue # 13.5.2 "Pool is a Marathon, Not a Sprint"
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HAPPY EASTER & HAPPY 81st BIRTHDAY DAD, CA (smt) - Both #1W-Gonzaga and #1S-Baylor are making just their second final and seeking their first NCAA title. Baylor has not trailed in the second half except for a brief 2-point deficit midway through the 2nd half vs #5S-Villanova and demolished #2MW-Houston while, until the Final Four, Gonzaga had not trailed since early in the first half vs #8W-Oklahoma. But, oh, that game vs #11E-UCLA. The Zags, having had won 27 straight by double-digits, could have choked or played tentative when it was close late but persevered against a well-coached Bruin team (for once) and needed a denial of an easy UCLA dunk, a gutsy charge call, and buzzer beater bank shot to prevail in overtime. Despite the close call, Gonzaga is still favored by five with a very high over/under of 160.
While Baylor slipped to #3 after a loss in the Big 12 tournament, the past two years and this tournament has shown these have been consistently the best two teams in the country (both were #1-2 in the NET rankings though). The highly anticipated Dec 5th matchup was cancelled due to COVID so now we get to finally see these teams play each other. However, people still picked Illinois more than Baylor (29 vs 19, 72 vs 49 to make final) as Baylor did have a tougher region to start. The only times the top 2 teams were picked to make the Final were in '07 (42 Ohio St, 36 Florida), '05 (45 Illinois, 36 UNC), and '99 (32 Duke, 15 UConn).
Our 26-mile marathon 26th year will feature a new champion for the 24th time as either Jeff2 H (Pac Attack) will win for the first time in 7 years if Gonzaga is champ or Mike M (MizzouTgr11 2) will win for the first time in six years if Baylor is champ. Scott T (The Fabone Marathon) gets 2nd if Gonzaga wins and 4th/5th if Baylor wins while Sam N (Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan) gets 3rd if Gonzaga wins and needs to win a tiebreaker to win 7th if Baylor wins. The other 10 entries are competing for the remaining four spots. David S (Dr Fun), Randy E (Hawkeye 3), Paul T (Gonzagafinallywinsit), and newcomer Jacob B (JJ) will place 4th-7th if Gonzaga wins and Ron E (Slamjam51 2), John S (Mr Wizard), and Carl S (The Gambler 1) will 3rd, 4th/5th, and 6th if Baylor wins. Gareth M (Carseroni) and Mike W (Wuk #3) will battle Sam N for 7th place. The addition of the 7th place for the second time ever will help 4 entries.
This is deja vu for Mike M who could've won the pool last time ('19) if Texas Tech would have prevailed in overtime but ended up with nothing. Carl S and Gareth M also could've won 2nd/3rd and 4th if Texas Tech would've won last year. All 3 are on the same side again - needing a Baylor win. So each will get either redemption or a second straight heartbreak.
This year will end a very long drought by Scott T who will win something for the first time in 17 pools ('03). A bridesmaid several times during this stretch, the UCLA/USC Sweet 16 pick by loyalty (not brains) may have made the difference. If Baylor wins, Gareth M will win for the first time since '99 (20 pools) and John S for the the first time since '03 (12 pools). If Gonzaga wins, David S will win something for the first time in 18 pools.
There are 51 entries who could win the $40 Bonus if Gonzaga wins and 49 who can win if Baylor wins (60 total entries alive). Anything less than 104 total points in final goes to Thai Spice and anything more than 168 will go to Bigtenfan. Everyone else is in the middle.
More pool excitement is coming late May as EURO 2020 is planned to be played in the same format and stadiums across Europe and will still be named 2020 despite taking place June 11-July 11, 2021. The 3rd HWCI EURO pool will be our 12th soccer pool (after last year's free MLS is Back pool) and we hope to see you there!
|If Gonzaga wins...||If Baylor wins..|
|Place||Amt||Entry (Name) (Years in Pool-Won)||Entry (Name) (Years in Pool-Won)|
|1st||$640||Pac Attack (Jeff2 H) (7)||MizzouTgr11 2 (Mike M) (6)|
|2nd||$325||The Fabone Marathon (Scott T) (26-5 (3rd '98, 2nd '99, 3rd '00, 1st '02, Bns '03))||Pac Attack|
|3rd||$220||Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan (Sam N) (23-3 (1st '00, 5th '10, 5th '12))||Slamjam51 2 (Ron E) (13-1 (2nd '18))|
|4th||$165||Dr Fun (David S) (18)||The Fabone Marathon -or-|
|5th||$120||Hawkeye 3 (Randy E) (6-1 (3rd '14)) -or-||Mr Wizard (John S) (13-1 (2nd '03))|
|6th||$ 80||Gonzagafinallywinsit (Paul T) (16-2 (2nd '05, 5th '13))||The Gambler 1 (Carl S) (6-1 (2nd '19))|
|7th||$ 60||JJ (Jacob B) (1)||Carseroni (Gareth M) (21-1 (3rd '99)) -or-|
|Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan -or-|
|Wuk#3 (Mike W) (5-1 (4th '15))|
|Bonus||$ 40||51 tied||49 tied|
A little history on our pool...
||In 1995, the first year of the pool, just 12 people entered in a modest effort put forth by HW-UCLA and their close friends. Names like BAD ASS and LIVER BOY graced the pool. Of course, their interest was heightened because UCLA was favored to win it all. Indeed, 10 of 12 picked UCLA while 2 picked Kentucky. This pool featured the infamous LOSER WHO DIDN'T PICK UCLA (Dennis K) who went (broken in '19) with a 14-2 2nd Round to go from tied for 9th to tied for 1st before going 0-7 in the final 3 rounds to finish dead last (12th) with 98 points. TINA'S BOY (Mark C) became the first person to be eliminated when the 2nd round ended. He was, however, one of only 3 people (all in 1995) to correctly pick the two teams in the final and the champion prior to 1999. BIX PIX (Fernando B, 1st, 148) and MR. NELSON (Nelson B, 2nd, 146) were the other two and claimed the top two spots, winning $70 and $30, respectively. THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA (Dave F, 3rd, 141) claimed third prize worth $20. All but one finished with 110 points or more, the highest scoring pool ever (130.6 avg).|
||In 1996, 19 people participated in the pool. Without the HW-UCLA guys picking nicknames, we had some boring stuff like JAMES, JOSEPH, and HEATHER. That year, the total points tiebreaker was first used to settle ties. A newcomer, JAYBIAN (Jason S, 1st, 144) rode Kentucky to a first place prize of $110. He also set a record going 8-0 for the 3rd round and never looked back. BIX PIX TWEY (Fernando B, 5th, 129), hoping to duplicate last year's effort, fell short of winning money thanks to his loyalty to UCLA. JOSEPH (Joseph K, 2nd, 140) and JAMES (James L, 3rd, 139) won $50 and $30, respectively. Six picked Kentucky that year with just as many picking UCLA (who lost to Princeton in the first round- ouch!). This was the first year someone entered twice (Dave F) and ended up 11th (REALISTIC MOBELFAKTA, 113) and 16th (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA, 106). THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA and HATE THE DUCKS (Mark C, 12th, 112) became the 2nd and 3rd people to go 0-for-the- Final-Four. HATE THE DUCKS had a 64% chance of winning money heading into the 4th round, and 0% chance after. THE CHEF (Douglas H, 19th, 80) set an all-time low in points for a pool at the time.|
||In 1997, the first real debate on whether to raise the pool fee to $20 from $10 was raised. Fortunately, it was defeated in a vote. But, three people did plunk down $20 to enter twice as 22 entries were received in the third annual pool. Like Dave F before them, the three people went moneyless (Tuan H- RODERICK (15th, 97) and RHODES (14th, 97); Alvin K- BAD ASS I (4th, 111) and BAD ASS II (18th, 93); and Dennis K- LENNY (6th, 107) and DUKE (12th, 99)). This was also the first year no one picked the correct NCAA champion. Arizona, who usually bowed out in the first or second round, surprised everyone, including Kentucky, in winning the championship in overtime. The #4-SE seed beat three # 1 seeds, the first time that's happened. Twelve had picked Kansas and four North Carolina, neither which made the championship game. MAX (Sean D, 1st, 116) bounced back from a 15th place finish the year before to win the $125 top prize. The Selander brothers took 2nd (Brian S, THE FLYING ELVI, 115) and 3rd (Jason S, JAYBIAIN II, 113) for $60 and $35, respectively. Jason S became the first person to win money twice (1st in 1996). Todd S. (FRODO, 5th, 109) became the first person to lead going into the Final Four and end up with nothing. Just half (11 of 22) finished 100 points or higher.|
||In 1998, a record 28 entries tried their luck. ANNA COME LATELY (Anna C, 1st, 126), the last entry we received, seemed like the least likely to win, picking a Utah over UCLA final. Well, Utah surprised the 27 other entrants (no one else even had them in the Final Four) and gave ANNA COME LATELY the record top prize of $150. James L became the 2nd person to win twice taking the $70 second place prize (CAVEMAN, 2nd, 113) while THE FABONE (Scott T, 3rd, 110) won money for the first time in four tries to take home $40. For the first time, a 4th place prize was created and that went to SCOTTMAN (Scott H, 4th, 108), which was also the first time the tiebreaker played a part in the top spots as he won the 4-way tie for 4th place. With Kentucky's rally and win over Utah in the final, this was the 2nd straight year no one picked the champion. Sixteen pegged UNC while five hoped for an Arizona repeat. UTHOPE (Donald G, 24th, 92) became the 4th person to go 0-7 in the last three rounds. ANNA COME LATELY's 13-point win was the largest margin of victory ever (still stands today). Tuan H once again entered twice with the same results- no money (STRAIGHT BUTTER, 10th, 106 and EN FUEGO, 13th, 104) extending the drought for dual entries to 0-for-5.|
||In 1999, a record 36 entries (18 NCAA pool newcomers, 13 pool newcomers if you include those who participated in the World Cup Pool) were received with two dual entries (Scott T- THE FABONE V and FREE FABONE and Gareth M- CARSERONI and MAJERUS FOR SDSU). This was the first year the referral program was in effect (free entry for 5 referrals). Mark C (DARKSHARK) became the first person to go 0-for-7 in the Final Four twice (1996). SHARY BOBBINS (Lisa T, 1st, 146) and CARSERONI (Gareth M, 3rd, 120) became the 12th and 13th different people to win HWCI NCAA pool money. Scott T (FREE FABONE) and Gareth M (CARSERONI) broke a streak of winless dual entries with a 2nd and 3rd Place finish in one of their entries. James L (BIG GAME, 5th, 117) bid to go 3-for-3 in winning money came falling down with Duke's stunning loss. Three of four people who picked UConn (29 picked Duke) to win it all won money. Rob C (LUIS ENRIQUE'S ARMADA, 11th, 113) became the first person to pick the correct champion and lose out to someone who didn't (where the correct champion was picked). Fernando B (BIG SPIDER BECK, 4th, 118) had just a 4 in 132 chance to win money and took 4th, his second winning entry ever. Loretta A (TRUE BRUIN, 36th, 67) finished with all-time record low in points.|
||In 2000, a record-tying 36 entries once again tried their luck as 14 newcomers entered. Sam N (MORALES' MOUNDS, 122 pts) became the sixth different champion after finishing 26th and 31st in the previous two years. He became the first person to either be tied or in the lead after each of the six rounds. After a record breaking first round that saw two people get 30 of 32 first round games correct, the brackets started to fall apart as no one got more than 3 of 8 Sweet Sixteen games correct and eight people went go 0-7 in the Final Four (just six have done so before (117 entries)). Just one #1 and one #2 seed advanced to the Elite Eight. Dave F (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA) returns to the winner's circle with a 2nd Place finish. Scott T (THE FABONE VI) won money for a record third straight pool. Beth S (BETHEON, 36th, 62) shattered the all-time low in points. Fourteen people pegged Michigan St. as the correct champion. Craig E (CRAIGS99) won 4th place in his first pool.|
||In 2001, a record shattering 59 entries were received by 53 people (21 new people). Robinson C (TEAM SAMURAI) won the biggest prize ever of $280 after finishing 3rd to last (34th) last year. He entered three times and it worked. Three others (Scott T, Mike K, Fernando B) went winless in both of their entries after the last three people to enter twice won money (3-8 overall for those with 2 entries; Robinson is the first 3-time entry-er). Sam N (B-S FC), last year's pool champion, and Dylan R (DYLAN) become just the 3rd and 4th people to not get at least half the games correct. Four people went 0-7 in the Final Four (just 18 people have done so out of 212 entries) with Donald G (UTHPOPE) doing it for the second time (Mark C is the only other person with this dubious distinction). On the flip side, two people (BINGO and PEEPS) became the first-ever entries to predict all four Final Four teams correctly. Eleven different teams were picked to be the champion with 18 picking Stanford, 15 Duke, and 8 Arizona. In addition to Robinson C, Lisa F (ARMIN TAMZARIAN) won for the 2nd time. Bing F (BINGO) took 3rd in his second try and Sam P (JAYHAWK FC) took home 4th. The top 13 finishers all had Duke winning it all.|
||In 2002, a record breaking 80 entries were received. A hefty 80 entries from 71 people including 29 new people and 42 returnees. Seven people entered twice and one person entered 3 times but only Scott T managed to take home something, his first pool title in 8 years (THE FABON8ER) and largest take ever, $400, giving him a lifetime total of $590 and his 4th win (1st, 2nd, 2 3rd place finishes). Jeff H (RANDOM PICKS) had the largest 1st and 2nd round leads ever (4 and 7 pts) and most pts after 2 rounds (90) but had to settle for 2nd. Ann B. (LITTLE ANN) and Paul N. (KAIZEN) took 3rd and 4th, with the 4th Place prize of $70 matching our first ever 1st Place prize of $70 in 1995. In reference to quantity does not equal quality, Gabriel T (GOBAY) and Dan H (HENDO) shattered records for lowest point total (49) and worst 2nd round (3-13). Gabriel also set records for worst 2nd Round Saturday (1-7), worst record in 3rd round (0-8), worst record in last 4 rounds (0-15). HENDO set a record for least wins (22) and lowest point total after 2 rounds (45). Eight people failed to get half the games right (just 4 in previous 7 pools) and eight went 0-7 in the last 3 rounds (just 18 in previous 7 pools). 22 entries chose Duke to win it all but all four winners (out of 17) correctly chose Maryland.|
||In 2003, with the War in Iraq looming that week, 63 valid entries (including a record 47 returnees) from 58 people were received, our second highest total. With some complaints that four prizes weren't enough, we instituted our first-ever Bonus Prize of $40 to the entry who picked the Winningest Conference and number of wins correctly. This allowed 21 extra entries with a chance for money heading into the Final Four. Scott T (THE FABO9ERS) won the prize (11th, 110), his fifth win, pushing his lifetime total to $630 by winning the tiebreaker of those who had the Big 12 with 14 wins. Four people entered twice and none won anything. Cliff T became the first person to enter twice and have both of his entries eliminated after the 2nd Round. Darryn B (BIG LUTHER), in his second pool, took home the first place prize of $280, our 9th different pool champion. John S (MR. WIZARD) and Quang P (KRIMSONGUARD) took home 2nd and 3rd, respectively, their first-ever wins, and the 23rd and 24th different people to win money. Catrina B (BLUEBERRY) had a record-setting perfect first day (16-0) but eventually lost her last 14 games and 26 of the last 31 games to finish in 62nd place. John B (BLOOMERS123) also went 16-0 on the first day but finished 27th. Twelve teams were picked to win it all but the overwhelming choices were Kentucky (32 entries) and Arizona (13) but neither team made it to the Final Four. For the first time since the pool started, 3 #1 seeds lost in the Elite 8, and for the second time, no #1 seed was in the Final. With that disaster Elite 8 round, a record 26 entries went 0-for-the-Final Four, matching the previous eight-year combined total of 26 (in 292 entries). No one had more than 2 Final Four teams correctly picked. Robinson C (TEAM SAMURAI, 63rd, 72) became the 13th entry to not get more than half the games correct. Fern B (GALAXY, 5th, 117) missed money by one point and became just the 2nd entry to get the correct champion (Syracuse) and lose to someone who didn't pick the champion (in years where the correct champion was picked). To add insult to injury, Fern also picked the tiebreaker correctly (which means with one extra point he would have won 4th), just the third person to do so.|
||In 2004, our 10th anniversary, the pool bounced back and 79 entries were received from 70 people (7 dual entries, 1 3-entries), including a record 54 return entries. Once again, none of the 8 people who entered multiple entries won money. Six different people led after each of the first four days before Bing F (BINGO) took over after Rounds 3 and 4. However, after Round 5, Jeff H (RANDOM PICKS) took the lead pushing Bing F to no higher than 3rd and in the end, became just the second person to lead going into the Final Four and wind up moneyless. For the first-time ever, the pool champion was not crowned after Round 5 and we had to wait until after Monday's game to find out who our Pool champion would be. It was Rick F (FABIO) who took home the $370 top prize and became our 10th different champion. Rick F and Darius B (OMG), who took 2nd Place, were our 25th and 26th different persons to win money. Dave F (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA) took 3rd, his 3rd win ever (total: $230). Jeff H took the 4th place prize of $80, his second win, pushing his win total to $280. Jeff H was also just the third person to ever snatch a money spot away from someone who picked the correct champion (he had Kentucky) beating David S (SHRINER, 5th) by one point. After eight winless years, Mike B. (BUCKEYE MIKE) finally won something, taking home the $40 Bonus Prize as the ACC was the Winningest Conference with 14 wins. Fourteen different teams were picked to win it all, but 2 of the top 3 didn't make it to the Sweet 16 (Stanford (21) and Kentucky (12)). Duke (16) lost in the Semis but eventual champion UConn was picked by 11. Despite only one #1 seed making the Final Four, 17 entries got 3 of the 4 teams correct. Three entries got less than 32 games correct (16 overall). Twelve went 0-for-the-Final-Four (64 overall). A record 5 people got the tiebreaker exact (just happened three times before).|
||In 2005, the start of our second decade, 82 entries from 73 people (both records) were submitted, including a record 65 returnees. Of the eight who entered at least twice, two won money. Robinson C became the first two-time HWCI NCAA Pool champion ('01) winning with his FLIP FIGHTERS (140 pts) entry (his 2nd of 3 entries) and taking home a record-tying $400, giving him a grand total of $680 (record) over six years (16 total entries). Roy W entered twice and won with his first entry, KRISPY KREMER, finishing 3rd in his 4th try. First-time online entry Paul T (HOOPGURU) took home 2nd and Patrick N (KING KLITSCHKO) took home 4th, winning a 3-way tiebreaker, in his third try. All four entries (Robinson's 1st entry won last time) were first time winners (the last time this happened was in 1996) and all four correctly picked UNC. The three big teams from the ACC (UNC (19), Duke (11), and Wake Forest (8)) were picked by a combined 38 entries compared to the 27 who picked Illinois to win it all. Wake Forest was the only team picked unanimously to go to the Sweet 16, and of course, they failed to do so. With Duke losing in the Sweet 16, that allowed the Big 10 to have the most conference wins and for the first time, no one won the Bonus Prize. That allowed the top 4 prizes to increase, satisfying the winners. A record nine entries were still alive going into the Final and for the second straight year, the pool champ was undecided. Also, for the first time, not one entry was guaranteed money (only Chuck H's ACE OF SPADES could win in either case but could lose on a tiebreaker, which he did (lost 3-way tie for 4th) going into the Final). Despite just eight top seeds making the Sweet 16 and three making the Elite 8, a record 20 still managed to pick the final two teams (just 25 in 434 previous entries). Four entries were below .500 (20 overall) and four went 0-for-the-Final-Four (68 overall).|
||In 2006, our website was down for almost 21 hours but that didn't stop us from receiving a record 85 entries from a record 77 people (and a record 71 entries were returnees). The Big East had a record 8 teams in the tourney but only UConn (39) and Villanova (4) were picked to win it all. Duke (19) and hometown UCLA (9) also were favorites. For the second straight year, none of the record-tying nine entries were guaranteed to win money and for the third straight year, the champion was not crowned after the semifinals. Taking home a record $415 was Ken B (GATORS NEVER CHOKE) in his seventh try. Other first-time winners included Jake P (LORENZO MATA) and John C (JINX) who took home $200 and $140, respectively. Pat N (AGENT 86 OF CONTROL) won 4th place for the second straight year ($95) becoming just the 10th multiple winner in our pool (total: $185). No one won the Bonus for the second straight year as the SEC (13), not the Big East, won the most games. For the first time, no #1 seed made the Final Four but five still managed to pick 2 of the 4 teams. However, a record 41 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (just 68 previously) (all-time low average of 0.58 of 4 teams) and nine were below .500 (29 overall). An all-time low average of just 90.8 points were won by our players.|
||In 2007, travel interrupted Scott & Dave in not getting the site ready until early Monday, but a record 98 entries from a record 83 people (and a record 72 return entries) came pouring in, including 58 on Wednesday alone. This was the year of records as seven of the top 8 teams made the Elite 8. Van P (VAN&SAM) set records for most points (166) and wins (55) and just missed a perfect Last 15 (perfect Elite 8 onward). She is the rare champion who won despite not picking the NCAA winner because she had such a huge lead (the other three winners had Florida as their champ). She won the first place prize of $450 before the Final , snapping a streak of three years where the winner wasn't known before the Final. Ann B (THAI SPICE) took 2nd ($230) for her second win and has won a grand total of $360. Troy B (SNOOP'S DOGS) won for the first time (six years) in taking 3rd place ($155). Don C (DC944) returned for the first time in three years and won 4th ($105). A record-tying 17 entries were still alive going into the Final Four. Four entries had a perfect Elite 8 (just one before) and six had a perfect Final Four (just two before), and 17 had a perfect Final Two, but only VAN&SAM was perfect in all three. The top two picks were Ohio St. (31 picks) and Florida (13) and both made the Final. The pool entrants set records for the best 3rd (70.8%) and 4th rounds (56.6%) ever. For the first time since 1996, the average points went above 110 (121.9). On the other side, four went 0-for-the-Final-Four. The Bonus was tweaked to add a Bonus2, so that someone will win the Bonus Prize of $40 but for the first time in three years, someone correctly picked the Winningest Conference and wins (Wendy B (BUCKEYE23) which was the SEC with 11 wins.|
||In 2008, we didn't have a website for almost six months as we lost our free hosting and now had to pay for a server. We got the web up at the end of February and added a blog. We received a record 101 entries from a record-tying 83 people. Amazingly, 80 of the 101 entries were return entries. We had a record 3 people have triple entries and a record 12 dual entries. We started off strong with 39 entries at the end of Tuesday (including a record 19 on Monday) before slowing down to just beat last year's total of 98. Doug H (JUNO INO) became the first person to have a Perfect Final Four twice, and he did so in back-to-back years. With all 4 #1 seeds making the Final Four for the first time (which helped set a record of 2.52 wins in the 4th Round), a record 12 went 4-0 in the Elite 8 and 24 people were still in the running for money after the Elite 8. This was partially helped by the new addition of a 5th place prize (since we had 100+ entries). The top two #1 seeds were UCLA (44 picked to win it all) and UNC (30) but both lost in the semifinals. Kansas' amazing comeback win helped Cliff T (BELUCKY2) become the first person to ever get a perfect Last-7 (all four Final 4 teams + both finalists + champ). The overtime added 17 points (total: 143) which was enough to give Bob G (COBI'S DAD) the tiebreaker and 2nd place ($220) over Doug H (JUNO INO) who took 3rd ($150). The top 3 winners are all first-time winners (Cliff & Bob's 1st wins in 10 pools; Doug's 1st in five pools). Don C (DC944) won 4th place ($100) for the second straight year (total: $205 in 3 pools) winning the tiebreaker over Jeff H (U BETTA BELIEVE IT), who won for the 3rd time (total: $340 in 6 pools) in taking our first-ever 5th place prize ($60). Three of the 7 who picked Kansas won money. The Jayhawk win gave the Big 12 12 wins for theWinningest Conference title for the second time since 2003. Four people were eligible for the $40 Bonus Prize which was won by Robby D (ARBEDYTHREE), also a first-time winner (4th year). Jake P (QUICKPICK MCGRAW) became the 114th entry to go 0-for-the-Final-Four and is the only entry to ever tie or have the lowest win total in each of the six rounds. This was the third straight year the NCAA Champ has come out of the Midwest Regional.|
||In 2009, our 15th anniversary, we got a new look for the web, integrating our blog with our homepage, which delayed the brackets until just past midnight Sunday. We also created a HWCI NCAA Facebook group and a person to connect with, Hwci Ncaa. Despite the dour economy (or maybe because of it), we got 114 entries (91 return entries) from 98 people, all records. We started off slow with just 25 entries at the end of Tuesday but then we had a record 62 entries submitted on Wednesday and another record 27 on Thursday. The Big East got a record 3 #1 seeds and a record 5 in the Sweet 16 but none made it to the Final. However it was the non-Big East #1, UNC, which led the way with 36 picking the Tar Heels to win with 3 picking Michigan St. Twenty-one picked Louisville, 18 picked Pitt, and 14 picked Memphis as 3 of the 13 teams chosen to win it all. For the first time, at least one entry went perfect on the first day of the 1st Round (Buckeye Mike (Mike B)), the first day of the 2nd Round (21 tied), the first day of the 3rd Round (2 tied), and the first day of the 4th Round (5 tied). Also, two went 2-0 in the 5th Round and 36 picked the correct champ. Rainman (Ford R) became just the 6th entry to have a Perfect Elite 8 and Bizarro Larzby (Lawrence M) became just the 21st entry to have a perfect Final Four. Bizarro Larzby used a perfect Final Four to claim the HWCI NCAA Pool title (his first money spot in 6 tries) ($495) and our 14th different champion in the 15 years of the pool. He also won with his 2nd entry, just the third time this has happened. Buckeye23 (Wendy B) won 2nd, her 2nd win (Bonus in '07). AC (Adam C, 1st year) won 3rd ($170), Rainman (2 years) won 4th ($115), and Buckeye Mike (14 years, $40 bonus in '04) won 5th ($70). Shake N' Bake (Kevin T) won the $40 Bonus by guessing the Big East with 17 wins and being just two points off the total points in final (161) tiebreaker, his first time in the money in 4 tries. North Carolina won for the second time in 5 years. The average number of wins for the 2nd Round was 12.1 shattering the previous high of 11.1 in 1995.|
||In 2010, our Sweet 16th, thanks to people who found us on the web to amazingly increase our number of entries to 117 (91 return entries submitted by 93 people). We got an entry on Sunday for the first time since 2005 and got a record 23 entries on Tuesday and 33 on Thursday morning. The Big East got 8 teams in but only one made the Elite 8. Just four of eight top seeds made the Elite 8 (with overall #1 Kansas, picked by a record 64 entries, losing in the 2nd Round, #1 Kentucky, picked by 23, losing in the Elite 8, and #1 Syracuse, picked by 8, losing in the Sweet 16). Only #1S-Duke made the Final and just beat mid-major Horizon League champ #5W-Butler in the ultimate David vs. Goliath clash. No one picked more than 2 Final Four teams, only 22 picked Duke to make the Final, and only 4 correctly picked Duke to win it all with three of those winning money (sorry, Scott T). Blue Devil Blues (Kim B) won money for the first time in 9 years with Duke's victory and became our 4th female champion ($500). She was our 15th champion in 16 years. You're My Boy Blue (Joe D) won money (2nd, $255) for the first time in 7 years. Hummeless (Kevin J) won money (4th ($120)) for the first time in 8 years. Eros (Cynthia S) won money (3rd, $175) for the first time in 3 years and FOMI (Sam N) (1st '00, $260, 13 years) edged out Deemed to Win (Scott T) (3rd '98 ($40), 2nd '99 ($90), 3rd '00 ($60), 1st '02 ($400), Bonus '03 ($40), 16 years) in the tiebreaker to win 5th. Sam N is the only winner who submitted more than one entry (18 submitted 2 entries and 3 tried the max 3) . Has No Idea (Van P who won in '07) won the Bonus2 by exactly getting the total points in final as no one got the Winningest Conference (Big12/Big10/ACC with 9). A record 56 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (188 total). A record-low was set with the average number of wins (35.1) and points (89.3).|
||In 2011, the NCAA tried to throw a monkey wrench in the whole pool experience by expanding the the tourney to 68 teams and creating the First Four. So we kept the pool the same and created a First Four for Charity contest won by David A in which Scott personally donated $60 of the $100 to the American Red Cross to support the recovery efforts of the devastating South Asia earthquake and tsunami. Despite the dour economy for the third straight year, our number of entries jumped to a record 125 (a record 107 return entries (shattering the previous record by 16) submitted by 97 people). We got a record 25 entries on Tuesday and the pace continued. The Big East got a record 11 teams in but only one made the Elite 8. No #1 or #2 seeds made the Final Four for the first time ever with top picks Ohio St. (picked by 41) losing in the 3rd Round and Kansas (picked by 34) losing in the Sweet 16 (4th round). #3W-UConn beat #8SE-Butler who loses to a Goliath in the final for the second straight year. Krispy Kremer (Roy W) is our 16th different champion in 17 years for his 2nd win (3rd '05). The Mighty Mobelfakta (David F) finished 2nd for his 4th win (3rd '95, 2nd '00, 3rd '04). Craig (Craig S), TheLakeShow (Sam S), and MB Camel Jockies (Ted J) won 3rd, 4th, and 5th for their first wins ever. BINLADEN (Charles D) won for the first time win taking our first-ever 6th place prize. This is the 6th time in the past 8 years that the Pool winner was decided in the final. As for the Bonus, the Big East won the Winningest Conference with 13 wins giving For Narnia (Blakeley H) his first-ever money spot. The Downtown Fiction (Paul T) tied a high set in 2000 by going 30-2 in the 2nd Round (used to be called the 1st Round). PFC Bradley Manning (Nelson P) tied a low set in '02 & '05 by going 0-for-the-Elite-8 and set a new record by losing his last 16 games (previous 15 done twice). Craig is the first person since '06 (when #3-Florida met #2-UCLA) to not get a Finalist correct and win money and the first-ever to go 0-for-the-Final-Four and win money. A record 94 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (282 total). A record-low was set with the average number of wins (34.5) and points (84.2).|
||In 2012, we had the 17th different champion in 18 years as Quinnsanity (Quinn D), a 12-year-old, took home the crown in his 5th year in the pool. For the 9th straight year we saw the number of entries increase starting off strong (record 21 by end of Monday) and ended strong (record 37 received on Thursday). We received a record 134 entries (a record 115 return entries) from a record 99 people. Lots of Losers (Bob G) took 2nd ($280), his second win (2nd in '08 -- same year as the previous Calipari vs Self matchup, $500) in 14 years. Nwspring 1 (Nicholas S) won 3rd ($190) in his first year of playing. SlackJaw (Jon J) won 4th ($135), his first win in 10 years (and took almost a year to collect his check!) and Vodka2-It's Not Real (Sam N) took 5th ($90) (1st '00, 5th '10, $350). Frumunda Mybalz (Andy F), The Wife's Picks (Megan J), Paint Crew (Kevin J, 4th '10), and Hendo (Dan H) all were tied for 6th with Andy (1st win in 15 years) & Megan (1st win in 3 years) winning the tiebreaker, our first-ever split prize (each getting $32.50, less than the Bonus!). Andy's win means Man V (15 years) is our longest playing member without a win. This is the 7th time in the past 9 years that the Pool winner was decided in the final. 60 people have won money in our pools. Larzby was just the second person to lead (or be tied for the lead) on the first six days but is the first to not finish in the money. EEChick1400 got the first 15 games correct. 52 picked Kentucky to win it all (a record for the number correct) and more would've picked the second-best team Syracuse, but their big man became ineligible and thus, only 3 ended up picking them. UNC was picked by 25 and Missouri was picked by 11, but Missouri flamed out in their first game. The second round saw just an average of 21.0 wins (of 32) (with the second day seeing four record record-lows of 5-11 and 6-10), the 2nd-worst ever (which is more amazing considering 3 went 15-1 on the first day). Eight went 8-0 on Day 3 while 45 went 4-0 on Day 6. Only 14 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (296 total) despite just #1 seed making the Final Four. As for the Bonus, the Big East wins the Winningest Conference with 13 wins (same as last year). SpAva (Linh T) took home the $40, her 1st win in 11 years, by nailing the correct total points. All in all, 6 first-time winners of the 8 money spots. We also had our second First Four for Charity contest entered by 26 people and won by Michael C (Swerveman) with a donation of $83 ($52 personally by Scott) going to the Rice Around the Clock team participating in American Cancer Society's Relay for Life-Alhambra.|
||In 2014, our 20th anniversary, we had our 19th different champion in 20 years as Badzy (Karen F) (2 years) rode UConn and won the record $555 first prize. This was the 8th time in the past 11 years our champion will be decided after the final game. The pool was like the tournament. The entries came in on a record pace (record 2 on Sunday, 42 on Tuesday, 60 after Tuesday) before fizzling toward the end but still surpassing the 134 entries in '12 by getting 138 (from a record 104 people), including our first 2 mail-in entries in eons. In the pool, two (Hawkeye and FC Nordsjaelland) went a perfect 16-0 on Day 1 (the former eventually winning the first 18) but in the end, only 3 people got one Final Four team on Sunday and just one person (Badzy) got a finalist. Our pool underwent change in that our java applet finally died, years past its end-of-life, as Dave F created the long-awaited new bracket web entry (you can even do it on your phone... and a Mac!) in less than one day, but procrastinating for years. Hawkeye became the 3rd person to lead (or tied for the lead) for the first six days and will be the 3rd person to not finish 1st. GoGoGodzilla went 8-0 on Day 3 while AirDingus went 0-8 on Day 4 (a record). First Four Out was just the 4th person to go 0-8 in Elite 8 and was one of 36 to go 0-for-the-Final-Four (370 total). Bigtenfan2 (Benjamin D) (2 years) (who couldn't pick up any points on the last 5 games), Hawkeye (Randy E) (1 year), Beyond Elite 8 (1st '06, 15 years), and ShivaBlast (Eric F) (4 years) won 2nd ($290)/3rd ($195)/4th (140)/5th ($95). Fabio (Rick F) (1st '04, 12 years) beat out The Downtown Fiction (Paul T) (2nd '05, 5th '13, 10 years) and Wooden-Soldier (Don M) (6 years) in the tiebreaker for 6th ($65). 66 people have won money in our pool. Only the #1 overall seed Florida made it to the Final Four but they lost to a #7 seed, UConn. Even more odd, UConn faced a #8 seed in Kentucky and veterans beat freshmen in the Final. Florida was the overwhelming favorite as 49 picked them, 17 #1 Arizona, 16 Louisville, and 15 Michigan St. The other #1 seeds Wichita St (the first team to be undefeated heading into the tourney since UNLV in '91) and Virginia only got 8 and 3, respectively. The SEC only got 2 teams in the first 64 but Tennessee played their way in winning their First Four game and those 3 teams made the Sweet 16 (along with 3 from the Pac 12 and Big 10 and just 2 of 7 teams from the Big 12) as the SEC went 12-3. Only 11 of those games counted, still making the SEC the winningest conference. Unfortunately, no one got it right meaning the $40 Bonus was won via the Bonus2, the total points in final. The low scoring 114 point affair gave the Bonus to Elizabeth (Elizabeth W) (2 years) (117th) who was one off the total (115). We also had our 4th First Four for Charity contest entered by 22 people and won by Giulio B (not in pool) with a donation of $69 ($44 personally by Scott and a few others chipping in $25) going to Friends of Renee, a committee to help bring awareness to Lyme Disease and raise money for Eric F's (ShivaBlast) friend, Renee, who suffers from the disease.|
||In 2015, we had our second repeat champion in 21 years as Big Luther (Darryn B) (1st '03, 14 years) won the record $630 first prize thanks to Duke's win. His grand total of $920 makes him our highest earner to date. This was the 9th time in the past 12 years our champion will be decided after the final game. Thanks to the new web entry page from the start and streamlined email confirmations, things went smoothly for once. Like last year, the entries came in on a record pace (record 4 on Sunday, 21 by Tuesday) but this year the pace sustained itself (record 72 on Wednesday and 38 on Thursday morning) surpassing the 138 entries in '14 by getting 161 (from a record 113 people), including our typical (at least for 2 years now) 2 mail-in entries. A record 37 entered more than once (11 entered 3 times). We had 23 new people join the pool (record 39 new entries overall), the most since 28 joined in '02. In the pool, with lower-seeded teams winning 23 straight, a record 6 went 16-0 on Day 2 (Big Blue, Bigtenfan, Ceasefire, HH, LuckyNumberSlevin, The Rebounding Dead) (previously 23 had gone 15-1). The Flying Elvi won a record 23 straight games and Ceasefire won 22 straight. Bwakewey 1 went 8-0 on Day 4 (3rd person to do so) while 3 went 8-0 in the Sweet 16 (Big Luther, BobbyCee'sRacer'sEdge, Will I Ever Win This). Four went 0-for-the-Final-Four (374 total). PRIDE OF TROY (Patrick N) (4th '05, 4th '06, 12 years), Dance Time Boyz (Stephanie J) (3 years), Will I Ever Win This (Man V) (17 years), Wuk3 (Mike W) (1st year), and Flying Ace (4th '13, 15 years) won 2nd-6th ($330/$225/$170/$125/$80) which knocked out 5 other entries. 72 people have won money in our pool. The most dominating team by far (Vegas made it even money between Kentucky and the other 67 teams), Kentucky was poised to reach perfection at 40-0 but fell two games short. Kentucky was picked by 90 to win it all (146 of 161 had them in the Final Four) with West Region's Arizona (26) and #1 Wisconsin (18) next. The other #1 seeds Villanova (9) and Duke (8) got some votes as did Virginia (6). The Pac 12 got three of its four teams into the Sweet 16 while the Big 10's seven teams went 12-7. The Big 12 got 7 of 10 teams into the tournament but fizzled at 5-7 while the ACC (6 teams) won their first 11 games and ended up the winningest conference with 17 wins. 22 had a chance to win the Bonus but it was Nwspring (Nicholas S) (3rd '12, 4 years) and Patton (Jonathan P) (4 years) sharing the $40 Bonus, as each had 130 points (1 point off) and the ACC with 17 wins. We had our 5th First Four for Charity contest entered by 11 people and was won by Kevin T (Shake N Bake) with a donation of $122 ($47 personally by Scott and a few others chipping in $35) going to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation for breast cancer research.|
||In 2016, we had our 20th different champion in 22 years as JJ (Jonna J) (6 years) won the pool ($595) thanks to Villanova's (picked by just 4 with three getting the top 3 spots) buzzer-beating game-winner. This is the 10th time in the past 13 years our champion will be decided after the final game. The pace of entries lagged behind from last year and only a record-tying 38 entries on Thursday pushed the total to 149, the first time the entries decreased since '13 (134->131) (no mail in entries this time). We had 14 new people join the pool (19 new entries overall) and 31 entered more than once. Despite 7 upsets, The Resistance became the sixth person to go 16-0 on the first day and three others 15-1. 35 went 0-for-the-Final-four (409 total). Buckeye23 (Wendy B) (Bns '07, 2nd '09, 11 years), The Hip-Hopopotamus (Thomas D) (12 years), Buccos 1 (Jason R) (8 years), Larzby (Lawrence M) (1st '09, 13 years), and Honey Badger (Scott D) (1st year) took 2nd-6th ($305/$120/$155/$110/$75) with the latter edging out The Resistance (Scott T) in the tiebreaker for 6th. Thomas D's win means each of Jane D's sons has won something (Quinn 1st '12, Robby D Bns '08) while she hasn't. This was the 3rd time Scott T fell short by one slot of the money (4th '95, 6th '10, 7th, '16). 77 people have won money in our pool. Michigan St was the heavy favorite with 53 picking them to win it all while Kansas was picked by 45 (11 other teams were picked as well). The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac 12 each got 7 teams into the proper 64 but it was the ACC dominating again for the second straight year, with 19 wins with three teams in the Elite 8, including #10-MW Syracuse who was a controversial at-large pick. The buzzer-beater kept the ACC with 19 wins and Ito (Isabel T) (1st year) won the Bonus as the only one with the ACC with 19 wins (49 had a chance if the ACC had 20 wins in Bonus2). We had our 6th First Four for Charity contest entered by 21 people and was on by Vi P (Luke KAI Walker) who was one of 6 to get all First Four games correct but had the lowest point differential at 45. A donation of $86.98 ($42 personally by Scott and a few other chipping in $44.98) was sent to Star Wars: Force for Change which inspires kids to make a positive impact through UNICEF's Kid Power.|
||In 2017, we had our 21st different champion in 23 years as UNC's win gave Dboyz17 (Greg Z) the title in his 4th year and record $690 win (out of a record $1,780 pot), followed by MarchMindlessness (Eric F (5th '14), 7 years), Alternative Picks (Nelson P, 14 years), Agnes Scheweizhofer (Andy F (6th-Tied '12), 20 years), and Flying Elvi (Brian S (2nd '97, 21 years)). The 136 total points gave ChasCroix1 (Chuck D, 9 years) the tiebreaker over The Juggernaut (Alex K, 2 years) to win 6th. Alex K became the first person to win our 7th place prize (for having 165+ entries). Despite not getting up and running until early Monday morning, the entries were pouring in from the start with a record 26 on Monday and a record 57 on Tuesday (shattering the previous record by 15 ('14)). Each day ended in record-breaking fashion (26 after Monday, 83 after Tuesday, 145 after Wednesday, 178 after Thursday). We only had 14 new people in the pool (25 new entries overall) but we had some return after lengthy absences (since '08, 11, 12). A record 28 entered twice and a record 13 entered three times helping shatter '15's entry record by 17. With only two upsets, a record 6 finished 16-0 on Day 1 (just six had done so previously). The Swami eventually won the first 23 games but it was Air Fabone 23 who set a record by winning the first 30 games (picking 6 upsets) and set a record with a 31-1 Round 1. It was the second straight year Scott T had an entry go 16-0 on Day 1 (and each time finished out of the money). Quinnsanity became the 7th person to go 16-0 on Day 2 picking all four upsets. 54 went 0-for-the-Final-four (463 total). The ACC got 9 teams in (only 8 in proper 64 and just one in Sweet 16) and that led people to choose North Carolina (30), Duke (19), or Louisville (5) as their champ. Defending champ Villanova (28), Gonzaga (25), Kansas (19), Arizona (19), and UCLA (16) also got a lot of votes making this one of the most wide-open pools ever (8 other teams were picked). With the ACC fizzling out, the SEC and ACC were the winningest conference with 11 wins and no one picked that. So the Bonus2 was in effect for the first time since '14. Bigtenfan (Benjamin D (2nd '14, 6 years)) finished off by one point and was the best finisher (32nd) among the 12 entries who were one off to win the Bonus. 81 people have won money in our pool. We had our 7th First Four for Charity contest entered by 16 people and was won by Craig H who was the only one to get all four games correct. A donation of $85.10 ($57 personally by Scott with a few others chipping in $28.10) was made to IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference which focuses on innovation, deployment, and adaptation of technology for humanitarian goals and sustainable development.|
||In 2018, we had our 22nd different champion in 24 years (see above) as Philly Eagles Again (Bob G (2nd '08, 2nd '12, 20 years)) won the title before the Final was played, just the fourth time that has happened and first since '13. Bob G's all-time total is $1,020 and becomes our highest earner over Darryn B ($920). Slamjam51-3 (Ron E, 11 years) won for the first time as did first-timers SacKings4Ever (Janette H) and Billiam (Billy T) to take 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. BamaG 2 (Greg J (Bns '13, 13 years)) won the tiebreaker over ChasCroix-1 (Chuck D (6th '17, 10 years) to take 5th and 6th, both winning for the second time. The entries coming in very closely followed '15 pattern and indeed at the end, we had 160, just off '15's 161. However, for the first time since '12, four entries had to be removed so we ended up with 156, our 3rd highest total. We did get 14 new people (thanks to Vi N, Ken B, Greg P, and Jane D's efforts) and a couple we haven't seen since '14. 22 entered twice and 13 entered three times. Scott T (The Fabone 2x4) won 43 straight 1st Round Day 1 games (last 4 in '15, all 16 in '16, all 16 in '17, first 7 in '18), picking ten straight upsets before Seton Hall's win. With 20 games being won by the lower seed (62 games) including the first-ever #16 beating a #1 (South: UMBC over Virginia) and the first-ever Sweet 16 region without their #1-4 seeds (South), a record 51.9% of entries were eliminated after the first weekend (shattering the previous high of 36.1% in '00). The second round average of 7.2 wins (of 16) was the worst since '00 (6.9) and both years saw just 7 #1-#4 seeds make the Sweet 16. Two 11s, two 9s and two 7s made the Sweet 16. 18 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (481 total). Loyola-Chicago (with cheerleader Sister Jean) became the 4th 11 seed to make the Final Four (losing to Michigan). The Pac 12 was snubbed getting just 3 in and two of those in the First Four (both lost) and its champ Arizona routed in the 1st round. The ACC got 9 teams with the Big 12 getting 7 and the Big East 6. Villanova and Virginia were heavy favorites (picked by 42 and 32, respectively) but other #1 seeds Kansas (7, 6th) and Xavier (2, 9th-Tied) were off the radar. 3 seed Michigan St (20), 2 seed Duke (20), and 4 seed Arizona (13) were the other double-digit picks. Overall, 18 teams were picked to be champs. The SEC was the winningest conference for the 4th time with 12 wins and only SamerTime (Sam S (3rd '11, 10 years)) was eligible of the two (Philly Eagles Again was in the money) to win the $40 Bonus. Either 83 people have won money in our pool. We had our 8th First Four for Charity contest entered by 13 people and was won by Eric C (Kona Coast Sliders 1) who went 3-1 with a low of 13 point differential. A donation of at least $56 ($26 personally by Scott with a few others chipping in $30) will be made to World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization helping children, families, and their communities overcome poverty and injustice.|
||In 2019, our silver anniversary, we had our 23rd different champion in 25 years. Tom J (Kds911) won the first-ever 1st place tiebreaker over Carl S (The Gambler 2) to claim the $645 prize (vs $330 for 2nd). Eric F (FortressHoops3) won the 3rd place tiebreaker over Rob C (WhereUGoneSteveFisher) to claim the $225 (vs $170 for 4th) prize. It was Rob's first win in 16 years and Eric's 3rd in 9 years. Robinson C (Samurai Jack) won 5th which was his 3rd win in 19 years ($805 total). There was a 3-way tie for 6th and Andy F (Agnes Schweitzhoffer) won the tiebreaker over Greg J (BamaG 2) and last year's champ Bob G (Philly Eagles Again), giving Andy F his 3rd win in 22 years. We set a new record with 28 entries on Monday and then followed the pattern from '15 and ended up with 162, our 2nd highest total ever (178 in '17). We got 11 new people (thanks Ken B again) with 25 entering twice and 13 entering three times. Five got 15-1 on Day 1 (where the Big Ten went 5-0) and three got 15-1 on Day. For the first time (began '11) no First Four team won a 1st round game. Honey Badger was the first person to get a perfect 16-0 2nd Round with six going 15-1 (previously record was 14-2). The 2nd round saw 8 go 8-0 on Saturday and 11 go 8-0 on Sunday as the top 12 seeded teams advanced with a 5 and 12 seed, the lowest combined seed total ever (49). The entries averaged 12.01 wins, 2nd highest ever (12.11 in '09). Worldwide, for the first time there was a perfect bracket through the first 2 rounds (ended at 49 straight wins). The 3rd round saw 5 go 4-0 on Thursday and 7 go 4-0 on Friday. 42 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (523 total). Dagger was the only one to get both Finalists. The Big Ten got 8 teams win with the ACC (7), SEC (7), and Big 12 (6) all getting at least six. Mid-major conferences Atlantic 10, Mountain West, West Coast, and Ohio Valley each got two. The overwhelming favorite was Duke with soon to be megastar Zion Williamson, picked by 62 to win the pool. Fellow 1 seeds UNC (28), Virginia (22), and Gonzaga (21) were the only ones picked by at least 8. Overall, 16 teams were picked to win it all. The ACC was the winningest conference with 15 wins with Vi N (Kai Pomeroy) winning the 7-way tiebreaker for the $40 Bonus, her first win in 19 pools. We had our 9th First Four for Charity contest entered by 25 people and was won by Eric C (KonaCoastSliders Uno) who went 4-0 with a low 14 point differential to win back-to-back contests (and first to win twice). A record donation of $460 ($50 personally by Scott with a few others chipping in $180 plus a Raytheon match of $230) was made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which enables all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential, as productive, caring, responsible citizens.|
||In 2020, just three days before Selection Sunday, the NCAA canceled the tournament due to rising COVID-19 positive rates in the U.S. The pandemic canceled all sports including the EURO 2020 tournament in June. The top teams besides #1 Kansas and #2 Gonzaga were not your familiar faces - Dayton, Florida St, Baylor, San Diego St, and Creighton. The 2020 website consisted of several retrospectives on the 25 years of our pool which was a nice milestone. Not to be deterred, we still had our 10th First Four for Charity and 20 submitted who their winning team would be with 13 teams picked and Kansas being chosen by 3. A donation of $325 ($65 personally by Scott with others chipping in $260 (one anonymous donation of $250)) was made to Direct Relief's COVID-19 Fund, which coordinated with groups around the world to provide PPE and essential medical items to health workers responding to COVID-19.|
||In 2021, after last year's March Sadness, the pool came back strong with our second best number of entries (165). All games were played in Indianapolis, Bloomington, and West Lafayette in Indiana. Our marathon 26th year added a Discord server and will feature a new champion for the 24th time as either Jeff2 H (Pac Attack) will win for the first time in 7 years if Gonzaga is champ or Mike M (MizzouTgr11 2) will win for the first time in six years if Baylor is champ. Scott T (The Fabone Marathon) gets 2nd if Gonzaga wins and 4th/5th if Baylor wins while Sam N (Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan) gets 3rd if Gonzaga wins and needs to win a tiebreaker to win 7th if Baylor wins. The other 10 entries are competing for the remaining four spots. David S (Dr Fun), Randy E (Hawkeye 3), Paul T (Gonzagafinallywinsit), and newcomer Jacob B (JJ) will place 4th-7th if Gonzaga wins and Ron E (Slamjam51 2), John S (Mr Wizard), and Carl S (The Gambler 1) will 3rd, 4th/5th, and 6th if Baylor wins. Gareth M (Carseroni) and Mike W (Wuk #3) will battle Sam N for 7th place. The addition of the 7th place for the second time ever will help 4 entries. With an extra day (1st Round starting Friday; First Four Thursday, not in Dayton), the pattern amazingly remained the same when you scrunched Wednesday to just one data point and treated Thu/Fri AM as the usual Wed/Thu AM. We got 9 new people (21 new entries) with 20 entering twice and a record 22 entering 3 times. With 10 upsets in the 1st round, including 9 double-digit seeds and a record 5 seeded #12 or worse, a record low average of 20.3 wins were collected (20.6 in '01). Go Beach! set a record low of 12-20 in the 1st Round. VCU had to withdraw due to COVID-19 positives, giving Oregon a free pass in the 1st Round ("uncontested"). Just 7 of the top 4 seeds in each Region made the Sweet 16 and a record four double-digit seeds (including #15 Oral Roberts) made it making the highest seed total (94). Dagger set a record low of 2-14 in the 2nd Round. The top two teams plus #2 Houston and #11 UCLA (5th #11 seed to do so) made the Final Four. A record 33 got both Gonzaga and Baylor right in the Final (was 20 in '05). The Big Ten got a conference record 9 teams in (8 in proper 64) with their first 3 losing in overtime (including #2 Ohio St to #15 Oral Roberts) and all 9 gone by the Final Four. 13 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (536 total). The 7 ACC teams were gone by the Elite 8 and the 6 SEC teams gone by the Final Four. Just 1 of the 7 Big 12 teams made the Sweet 16 (after going 6-1 in the 1st Round). The Pac 12 got 5 teams thanks to Oregon St winning the conference tourney seeded #5, #6, #7, #11a (First Four), and #12. All except #5 Colorado made the Sweet 16 and three made the Elite 8. The overwhelming favorite was unbeaten Gonzaga (picked by 77) with other #1 seeds picked by at least 16: Illinois (29), Baylor (19), and Michigan (16). We had our 11th First Four for Charity contest entered by 17 people and was won by Mike M (MizzouTgr11 1) who went 3-1 with a low 17 point differential. A donation of at least $248 ($34 personally by Scott with a few other chipping in $90 plus a Raytheon match of $124) will be made to Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund, which supports preparedness, containment efforts, response and recovery activities for those affected by COVID-19.|
When I last won something in 2003, the Concorde took its last flight, Saddam Hussein was captured, iTunes was launched, gas was $1.83 a gallon, and just the 5th of 7 Harry Potter books was released, ...