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[Scott's Pool Updates]

Sunday, March 17, 2024  **HELP support the Lymphoma Research Foundation (deadline Tue 4:00 pm PDT **)
Issue # 1.0.1 "Purdue Gets a Do-Over"
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Our 29th pool will be without UCLA and the last of the Pac 12 as a major conference

SUNNY CHERRY BLOSSOM SEATTLE, WA (smt) - After the top 12 seeds failed to make the Final Four for the first time, let's hope the seeding this year matters.  Defending champ #1E-UConn was the #1 overall seed with #1W-UNC returning to glory as the last #1 seed.  #1S-Houston and #1MW-Purdue returned as #1 seeds with Purdue getting a chance to wash away last year's loss to #16 FDU.  When #10aMW-Virginia lost to #16 UMBC in 2018, the next year they got a #1 seed again and won the title (2019).  UConn is the only #1 seed to actually win their conference tournament (Big East).

There is no UCLA or USC but the Pac 12 did manage to get 4 teams in with #10bS-Colorado getting a First Four berth.  Of course, the Pac 12 will just Oregon St and Washington St next year as 10 teams bolted to 3 different major conferences.  All 3 got at least 5 teams in with the Big 12 getting 8, the Big Ten 6, and the ACC 5.  The SEC also got 8 teams with the Mountain West getting a whopping 6. 

With quite a few upsets in tournament title games (Pac 12 #11MW-Oregon, Atlantic 10 #11E-Duquesne, American #12E-UAB), several good teams fell off the bubble.  Three of those, St. John's, Oklahoma, and Pitt refused to accept bids and play in the NIT, the latter two being the first four out.  #10aMW-Virginia (whose last four appearances were losses to #16 and two #13 seeds with one championship) with a NET 54 made the field while Indiana St had a NET 29 and was left out.

The top 27 ranked teams in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) made the tourney but so did NET54 Virginia while NET28 Indiana St and NET32 St. John's did not.  In fact, St. John's wasn't even on the First Four Out list as that was NET46 Oklahoma, NET67 Seton Hall, Indiana St, and NET40 Pittsburgh.

Our HWCI NCAA Pool is our 29th!   Last year we had a record 194 entries.  This is the 9th 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 Pay & 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, Winsome T won the pool for the first time in just his 1st year (3 entries).  He took home a record $735 as 1 of 14 to pick 5-seed UConn as the correct champion (no #1-4 seeds made the Final Four).  Last year we received a record 194 entries from a record 126 people. 

WHAT: 29th Annual HWCI NCAA Tournament Pool
DEADLINE: 9:00 a.m. PDT on Thursday, March 21
ENTRY FEE: $10.00 per entry (max 3 entries per person)
PREV CHAMPS: 2023 - JAH LIVES-2 (Winsome T) $735 (194)
2022 - TARHEEL BLUE BALLS (George M) $650 (169)
2021 - MIZZOUTGR11 2 (Mike M) $640 (165)
2020 -
No tournament
2019 - KDS911 (Tom J) $645 (162)
2018 - PHILLY EAGLES AGAIN (Bob G) $620 (156)
2017 - DBOYZ17 (Greg Z) $690 (178)
2016 - JJ (Jonna J) $595 (149)
2015 - BIG LUTHER (Darryn B), $640 (161) -- repeat winner
2014 - BADZY (Karen F), $550 (138)
2013 - THE RAT PACK (Steve N), $530 (131)
2012 - QUINNSANITY (Quinn D), $540 (134)
2011 - KRISPY KREMER (Roy W), $515 (125)
2010 - BLUE DEVIL BLUES (Kimberly B), $500 (117)
2009 - BIZARRO LARZBY (Lawrence M), $495 (114)
2008 - BELUCKY2 (Cliff T), $440 (101)
2007 - VAN&SAM (Van P), $450 (98)
2006 - GATORS NEVER CHOKE (Ken B), $415 (85)
2005 - FLIP FIGHTERS (Robinson C), $400 (82) -- repeat winner
2004 - FABIO (Rick F), $370 (79)
2003 - BIG LUTHER (Darryn B), $280 (63)
2002 - THE FABON8ER (Scott T), $400 (80)
2001 - TEAM SAMURAI (Robinson C), $280 (59)
2000 - MORALES' MOUNDS (Sam N), $180 (36)
1999 - SHARY BOBBINS (Lisa F), $180 (36)
1998 - ANNA COME LATELY (Anna C), $150 (28)
1997 - MAX (Sean D), $125 (22)
1996 - JAYBIAN (Jason S), $110 (19)
1995 - BIX PIX (Fernando B), $70 (12 entries)
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; if>=190, 8 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 395 of 2,893 entries (13.7%) 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: 34 by THAT's RIGHT in 2023

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 23rd. Complete rules and daily pool information can be found on the official site:

   Tids & Bits - COVID?  What's COVID?... 34 states (3 less than last year) plus DC (#16aW-Howard) are represented with Texas getting 6 after getting 7 the past 3 years, Alabama 4, and six states with 3 each... there are 3 new teams making our tourney for the first time ever (first-timer #16E-Stetson and maybe (if they win the First Four game) #16bMW-Grambling St) with #11E-Duquesne making it for the first time since '77... multiple bid conferences:  B12/SEC 8, B10/MWC 6, ACC 5, P12 4, BE 3, AAC/WCC/A10 2 each... #9W-Michigan St makes its 26th straight tourney, all under Coach Izzo... #5MW-Gonzaga has made the NCAA tournament 25 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 (34 straight overall, missing 1989 due to probation, extending record (was 27 by UNC '75-'01))... Top seed order: UConn, Houston, Purdue, UNC... #10aS-Boise St (38), #10bMW-Colorado (39), #10aMW-Virginia (41), and #10bS-Colorado St (44) were the last four in... last 4 teams out were Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Indiana St, and Pitt -- and all will get a #1 seed in the NIT (practice was implemented for 2015's NIT) with Wake Forest and Villanova replacing Oklahoma and Pitt... #16 FDU, who only made the tourney because NEC champ Merrimack was still ineligible (transition to Div I) and had to win a First Four game, became just the second team to defeat a #1 seed (Purdue)... Princeton's win as a #15 seed (vs Arizona) last year was the third straight year a #15 won once (and all won again to reach Sweet 16).. no 14 seed won for the 4th time in 5 years... 13 seeds went 1-3 after going 0-4 last year... popular upset pick 12 seeds went 0-4 last year... a First Four team won (2 did) at least two games for the 11th time in 12 years... for the first time since 1957, players can wear all ten digits on their uniform (was limited to 0-5)... Max via the Bleacher Report (B/R) Sports add-on will stream Turner games (TNT/tbs/truTV) for the first time... offensive rebounds will only reset clock to 20 seconds (vs 30)... there are 363 teams (No change, St. Francis College - Brooklyn dropped athletics and Le Moyne College (NEC) started Div I) in 32 conferences and still no team in Alaska... 11 teams were ineligible for postseason (surprisingly none due to academics; Bellarmine, Lindenwood, Queens, Southern Indiana, Stonehill, Tarleton St, Texas A&M-Commerce, UCSD,  Utah Tech, St. Thomas, and aforementioned Le Moyne 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 third straight year which will host a series of STEM events... #12E-Oral Roberts has won 17 straight and #15E-Vermont 15... odds:  UConn 3.75:1, Houston 6:1, Purdue 7:1, Arizona 11:1, UNC 15:1; ESPN's College Basketball Power Index (BPI): Houston 23.0%, UConn 20.3%, Purdue 19.7%, Auburn 18.9%, Arizona 18.5%, Iowa St 18.3%... #12S-James Madison has the longest winning streak but only at 13 games... UConn and James Madison each are 31-3... Boise St is 0-9 in the tourney but get a chance to win one with First Four game... Boston (E), Los Angeles (W), Dallas (S), and Detroit (MW) host regionals this year...

Traveling from Seattle to Honolulu to attend my uncle's funeral so will not be online that often Mon/Tue...

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