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[Scott's Pool Updates]

Sunday, March 12, 2023  **HELP support the American Lung Association (deadline Tue 4:00 pm PDT **)
Issue # 1.0.1 "Top to Bottom"
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Our 28th pool will test UCLA loyalists again

OFF STREET CAFE, CERRITOS, CA (smt) - 2W-UCLA was this close to a #1 seed but lost to #2S-Arizona in the Pac 12 final and is on a collision course once again with 3W-Gonzaga (would be 4th tourney meeting since '06).  Can UCLA do it?  Defending champ 1W-Kansas, who lost to 2MW-Texas in Big 12 final, fell to the #3 overall seeding, missing out on the Midwest, as SEC champ #1S-Alabama was the #1 overall seed with #1MW-Houston (who also lost in the final) second.  #1E-Purdue rounded out the top seeds.  Who we won't see is #1 preseason pick UNC, who failed to qualify and then turned down the #1 seed in the NIT (as one of the First Four out) because they are too big for the NIT (plus, the NIT won't be playing its final in NYC for the first time, not counting the pandemic 2021 reduced tourney in Dallas) and too much pressure to beat Youngstown St.  I feel bad for the players.

After 42 years of Coach K, 5E-Duke won the ACC tournament with Jon Scheyer to start the new era and after feeling "snubbed" last year, #7MW-Texas A&M is back in.  And a team with twenty (20!) losses, #16bE-Texas Southern, won the SWAC tournament after entering it 11-20 and will play in their fourth straight First Four game where they are 3-0 ('18, '21, '22). 

The SEC and Big Ten (boy, can't wait until UCLA and #10E-USC switch to the Big Ten) got 8 teams in with the Big 12 seven.  The ACC and Big East each got 5 and the Pac-12 and MWC got 4 each.  31 of 36 at-large bids went to the power conferences (with MWC getting 3 of the 5).

The top 37 ranked teams in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) made the tourney but so did NET66 #11bW-Arizona St and NET67 #11aMW-Pitt while NET38 North Texas and NET40 Rutgers did not.  In fact, N. Texas wasn't even on the First Four Out list as that was NET43 Oklahoma St, Rutgers, NET46 UNC, and NET60 Clemson.

Our HWCI NCAA Pool is our 28th!   Last year we had 169 entries, our second-highest total next to the 178 in 2017.  This is the eighth year we're using the improved 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 & Venmo payments, we do not accept NFTs).  Deadline is 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 Nevada (MWC), Arizona St (P12), Pitt (ACC), or Miss St (SEC) wins its First Four game.  Since the SEC has 8 teams, the ACC has 5 teams, and the Pac-12 and MWC have 4 each, it's possible the Winningest Conference could alter slightly, so we your total may be bumped up if you have either of these teams going past the 1st Round.

[Twitter]Discord We are now on Twitter (@HWCI_Pools) and Discord.  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.). 

PayPalSend money via Venmo (@smt0222)You 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 $10.87 (87 cents in PayPal fees... damn them!)).  Now, you can send money via your Smartphone anGoogle Payd pay no fees!  Use Google Pay's Send Money function and send your $10 (per entry) to "smt0222<at>" or Venmo (@smt0222)-- 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, George M won the pool for the first time in just his 2nd year.  He took home $650 getting all four Final Four teams, both finalists and picking Kansas as champion despite having "Tarheel" in his nickname.  Last year we received 169 entries (2nd highest total) from a 106 people. 

WHAT: 28th Annual HWCI NCAA Tournament Pool
DEADLINE: 9:00 a.m. PDT on Thursday, March 16
ENTRY FEE: $10.00 per entry (max 3 entries per person)
PREV CHAMPS: 2022 - TARHEEL BLUE BALLS $650 (169 entries)
2021- MIZZOUTGR11 2 $640 (165)
No tournament
2019- KDS911 $645 (162)
2018- PHILLY EAGLES AGAIN $620 (156)
2017- DBOYZ17 $690 (178)
2016- JJ $595 (149)
2015- BIG LUTHER, $640 (161) -- 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, 6 winners; if>=165, 7 winners)
  • Set points are awarded per game (2/3/4/6/8/12 for the 6 rounds) (no upset weighting)
  • Scott T won the first 30 games in 2017, going 31-1 for the 1st Round.  Rick M won the first 23 games in 2017.
  • Two went 16-0 on the first 1st Round Day 1 in 2003, One did in 2009, Two in 2014, One in 2016, Six in 2017.  Scott T won 43 straight Day 1 games over 4 years ('15-18).
  • HONEY BADGER went 16-0 in 2nd Round in 2019
  • 18 went 0-8 in Sweet 16 in 2022 (just 4 had done so previously)
  • Only 23 people (1 in 2022, 1 in 2015, 1 in 2009, 12 in 2008, 6 in 2007, 2 in 2001) have picked all 4 Final Four teams
  • Just 381 of 2,699 entries (14.1%) have picked the correct champion; only years champion not picked: '97 & '98
  • Just 2 have done the perfect Last 7 (All 4 FF, both semifinalists, and champ) - BELUCKY2 in '08, TARHEELS BLUE BALLS in '22
  • Points possible: 196
  • Most points ever: 166 by VAN&SAM in 2007
  • Least points ever: 49 by GOBAY, HENDO in 2002 and MAITAI in 2019

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, GPay, Venmo) to send in your $10 entry fee(s) by March 17th. Complete rules and daily pool information can be found on the official site:

   Tids & Bits - there have been more than 103 million COVID-19 positive cases (+24m vs last year) with over 1,120,000 related deaths (+45k vs last year) in the U.S. (676 million cases (+221m) and 6.8 million deaths (+0.8m) worldwide) - and John Hopkins stopped collecting data as of March 10... 37 states (3 more than last year) plus DC (#16W-Howard) are represented with Texas tying a state-record 7 (also 7 the past 2 years), California 5, and Arizona, Iowa, and North Carolina with 3 each... there are 3 new teams making our tourney for the first time ever (first-timer #14MW-Kennesaw St) with #13S-Furman making it for the first time since '80 and #16W-Howard making it for the first time since '92... my hero, my Dad (Cliff T, his BELUCKY2 winning the pool in 2008; participated in 20 pools (27 entries) including last year), passed away late February after battling years with Interstitial Lung Disease at a grand age of 82 and the main reason for choosing this charity (ALA) for the First Four contest - I miss you, Dad... multiple bid conferences:  SEC/B10 8 each, B12 7, ACC/BE 5, P12/MW 4, WCC/American 2... Michigan St makes its 25th straight tourney, all under Coach Izzo... Gonzaga has made the NCAA tournament 24 straight years - despite seeding, the last time the Zags lost in their first game was 2008... Kansas is the only team to be in every one of our pools (33 straight overall, missing 1989 due to probation, extending record (was 27 by UNC '75-'01))... Top seed order: Alabama, Houston, Kansas, Purdue... #11bMW-Miss St (43), #11aMW-Pitt (44), #11bW-Arizona St (45), and #11aW-Nevada (46) were the last four in... last 4 teams out were Oklahoma St, Rutgers, UNC, and Clemson -- and all will get a #1 seed in the NIT (practice was implemented for 2015's NIT) with Oregon replacing UNC... St. Peter's win as a #15 seed (vs Kentucky) last year was the second straight year a #15 won once.. no 14 seed won for the 3rd time in 4 years... 13 seeds went 0-4 after going 5-7 the past 3 tourneys... 12 seeds went 2-2 last year... a First Four team won at least two games for the 10th time in 11 years... there are 363 teams (+5, welcome Lindenwood (OVC), Queens (ASUN), Southern Indiana (OVC), Stonehill (NEC), and Texas A&M-Commerce (Soutland)) in 32 conferences and still no team in Alaska... 11 teams were ineligible for postseason (surprisingly none due to academics; Merrimack (who won the NEC final so #16aE-FDU got the bid), Bellarmine, Talerton St, UCSD,  Utah Tech, St. Thomas, and aforementioned 5 new teams making the transition from Division II)... as part of the First Four festivities, IEEE-USAIEEE-USA is a sponsor of The Big Hoopla for a second straight year which will host a series of STEM events... #12E-Oral Roberts has won 17 straight and #15E-Vermont 15... odds:  Houston 5.5:1, Kansas 8:1, Alabama 8:1, Purdue 11:1, UCLA and Arizona 12:1 each; ESPN's College Basketball Power Index (BPI): Houston 31.6%, Alabama 17.5%, #4E-Tennessee 13.2%, UCLA 8.7%... #12S-Charleston, Houston, and #9E-Florida Atlantic each are 31-3... Boise St is 0-8 in the tourney... Las Vegas (first-time host) (W), Louisville (S), Kansas City (MW), and New York City (E) host regionals this year...

28 days in February makes it a short month but now contains my birth and my Dad's passing...

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