Saturday, April 1, 2023
***APRIL FOOLS DAY***
Issue # 12.5.1 "Buzzer Beater!"
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DIGNITY HEALTH SPORTS PARK, CARSON, CA (smt) - #5S-San Diego St tried to lose against #9E-Florida Atlantic, missing 4 of 5 free throws late with a turnover, but a gutsy call by the SDSU coach to play for the last possession down by one with 38 seconds left worked as SDSU got the rebound with less than 10 seconds left. Not calling a timeout, SDSU's Lamont Butler hit a jumper as time expired for the first buzzer beater of the tournament sending the Aztecs into their first final with a 72-71 win. FAU finished with 35 wins, most in the nation.
#4W-UConn broke open a 19-19 game with a 27-7 run in making their 5th trip to the finals with a 72-59 victory over #5MW-Miami. The Hurricanes had cut it to 8 (53-45) with less than 12 minutes left but UConn scored the next 7 points to keep the game at double-digits the rest of the way. Two late free throws prevented UConn with their 5th straight 15+ win, so it will have to be their 5th straight 13+ win.
Marshmallow Melter (12th-Tied, 92 pts) was the only one to get San Diego St but needed Miami to win to secure money and thus, is eliminated. 18 picked UConn meaning just an average of 0.10 wins for the semifinals, 2nd lowest ever (0.01 in 2014, another year UConn made the final, this time as a #7 seed). Unless UConn wins the title, this could be the first year no entry picked the correct champion since 1996 and 1997.
Samurai Jack got UConn and stays in first with 111 points but will relinquish 1st to Jah Lives-2 (2nd, 107) if UConn wins the title. These two plus March Sadness (3rd, 106), PopTop1 (4th, 104), JessaFish (6th, 99), Buccos 2 (7th, 98), and Honey Badger 2 (8th, 97) all will finish in the top 8 money spots. This leaves either EMAW (5th, 101) or Krispy Seconds (9th, 95) getting the last spot if SDSU or UConn wins, respectively.
So those are the 9 entries that can win money by finishing in the top 8. As for the $40 Bonus, the Big East will be the winningest conference with either 11 or 12 wins, depending how UConn does. 13 entries had the Big East with 11 or 12 wins but only 12 are eligible since Samurai Jack will win the pool if UConn loses in the final. Two can win if UConn loses in the final and 10 can win if UConn wins the final.
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Tids & Bits - Miami was perfect 12/12 FTs but that is one less than Jordan Miller had in Elite 8 (13/13)... at one point Miami was just 10/41 (24%) before hitting 7 straight and finished a dismal 32.3%... FAU had a 54-40 lead with 15 minutes left but it was tied at 65 with less than 4 1/2 minutes to play... just 11 of 62 games were one possession games (3 point margin or less) while 31 were double-digit wins... just 1 overtime game and 1 buzzer beater (SDSUvFAU)... UCLA has the largest margin of victory (33) while Kansas St scored 98 points... That's Right is last (34)... tried to watch 4th quarter of Women's Final Four to see if South Carolina would lose and they did, but hard game to watch -- grabbing air balls is considered an offensive rebound (why SC had so many), if you foul late the shot clock resets to 20(!), refs were bad (missed calls not commented on by announcers, took more than 3 minutes for an obvious possession call), only bright spot was Clark with 41 pts but a bit of a ball hog (deservedly so though)... while UConn won their first title in '99 as big underdogs against Duke (despite both being #1 seeds), their 2nd title came against a #3 seed (UConn was #2 and did beat #1 Duke in semifinal), their 3rd title was against a #8 seed (UConn was #3), and their 4th title was against Kentucky but they were a #8 seed (UConn was #7 and beat #1 overall seed Florida in semifinal)... with just 12 entries alive after the Elite 8, the 6.2% entries alive set a new record low (was 7.6% in 2013)... SDSU's win eliminated YoHomieLoanMeYoGun (16th-T, 90) and UConn's win eliminated Team Samurai (12th-T) and Marshmallow Melter... ESPN gives UConn a 74.3% chance to win the title and the odds opened at 7.5 points...
Watching end of Miami-UConn was anti-climatic at wife's parent's house as my nephew needed Miami to win...