Saturday, April 2, 2022
Issue # 13.5.1 "UNC Does it Again"
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CITADEL OUTLETS, LOS ANGELES, CA (smt) - #1MW-Kansas jumped to a 10-0 lead and although #2S-Villanova had pulled within six (64-58), the Jayhawks shot themselves (53.7%) to a 16-point win, 81-65. Both teams hit 13 three-pointers (26 combined is a Final Four record) but Kansas did it at a better clip (24 shots vs 31) in making their 10th final.
In the first-ever tournament meeting between these Tobacco Road rivals, #8E-UNC and #2W-Duke struggled early but then delivered a back-and-forth slugfest with 18 lead changes and 12 ties. Ultimately, the Blue Devil free throws didn't fall and a key 2-miss trip fueled the Tar Heels to build a couple of four-point leads led by the dagger of a 3 by Caleb Love (22 of his 28 points in the 2nd half) with 25 seconds left for a 78-74 lead. The 81-77 win put UNC in its 12th final and a rematch of the '57 final where UNC beat Kansas. UNC ruined Coach K's last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium and now launched his retirement. UNC coach Hubert Davis won just his 29th game with UNC while Coach K will retire with 1,202 Duke wins.
Tarheel Blue Balls (133 pts) was the only entry to get both teams correct (only the 142nd entry to ever do so - and only one has had a perfect Final Four 4-2-1 (Belucky2 in '08)) and becomes our 25th different pool champion in 27 pools. The top 3 are 14+ points clear and will finish this way (Frost Toasted will finish 2nd (122) and Mia Culpa 3rd (121)) as picking the correct champion is worth 12 points. There is a 3-way tie for 4th (107) (Larzby, MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai) and if UNC wins the title, there will be a 4-way tie for 4th as the only person to pick UNC to win it all, SlumDawg3, will join the group (21st-Tied, 95) (luckily all will finish in the money, 4th to 7th). Bob's Bruins (9th-T, 103), Reign of Game (14th, 100), and DaBoyz22 (18th-T, 97) will need Kansas to win to finish in the money. Larzby is our 4th guaranteed winner and will slot into 4th with a Jayhawk 4th title. Barbs sits in 7th (105) but was eliminated when Villanova lost.
For the Bonus, we will utilize the Bonus2, which is closest to total points in final (the tiebreaker). This brings 58 entries back from the dead. Remember, if multiple entries pick the same total points in final, then it is dependent on your overall placement (e.g., if two entries pick 140 for total points, whoever is finishes the pool higher has the pole position).
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Tids & Bits - 28 picked Kansas and 2 UNC (Tarheel Blue Balls, SlumDawg3)... entries got an average of only 0.18 with 140 going 0-2... the Big 12 is 12-5, the ACC 14-4 (13-4 in proper 64), Big Ten 9-9 (8-8 in proper 64), SEC 5-6, Big East 6-6, American 4-2, WCC 3-3, Pac 12 4-3, Atlantic 10 1-2, and MWC 0-4 (0-3 in proper 64)... of the 62 games, just five were one possession losses (not including regulation tie of an overtime game) (Creighton and St. Peter's by 3 each, Miami by 2, and Illinois and Michigan St each won by 1)... Tarheel Blue Balls can get a max of 145 pts while Bulba and E Chu Ta finish tied for last (168th-T) with 57 pts... UNC won its 131st tournament game (2 more than Kentucky)... UNC was unranked heading into the tournament but the last team to win the title while unranked was Kansas in '88... a #1 seed has won the past four tourneys so hope for Kansas... Kansas' Ochai Agbaji was 6/7 from 3-point range... UNC's Armando Bacot had his 2nd straight 20+ rebound game (21)... Duke only had 4 turnovers but were outrebounded 50-41, shot just 60% (12/20) from free throws and 22.7% from three (22.7%)... tied 34-34 late in the first half, Duke built a 41-34 lead, then UNC went 1-0 to take a 47-41 lead, Duke scored 6 straight to tie it at 47, then UNC took a 62-57 lead, then Duke took a 63-62 lead with 7:02 left and it was no more than 2 points either way until Duke missed those 2 free throws with 47 seconds left and the aforementioned 3 put UNC up by 4...
The biggest surprise is my son's feet is larger than mine (size 8.5 4E vs my 8 2E)...