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[Scott's Pool Updates]

Sunday, March 24, 2024 
Issue # 5.2.2 "Chalk it to Resiliency"
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Larzby stays in 1st again; Bigtenfan3 jumps 65 spots to a tie for 19th

Texas A&M game-tying buzzer beaterHOME, CA (smt) - Despite drama, the Sweet 16 will feature all #1 and #2 seeds for just the 5th time.  With two #3 and two #4 seeds also advancing, 12 of the top 16 seeds won, the most since 14 did so in 2019.  About as chalk as it could get.  While #1MW-Purdue, #1E-UConn, #4S-Duke, and #5E-San Diego St all won by 17 or more (though UConn did lead by 30 in the second half before winning by 17), the other four games played to the final minutes.

#1S-Houston had a 13-point lead with 3:53 left and a 10-point lead with 1:26 left and yet, #9S-Texas A&M rallied to tie it on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer off an inbound with 1.2 seconds on the clock.  It was a clutch shot but how did Houston allow a 3-pointer to be taken?  Had it not been for a couple of sneakers on the 3-point line (one a few inches, one a few millimeters), Texas A&M might have closed the gap faster.  In a foul-fest where bodies were falling everywhere, somehow Texas A&M outscored Houston 12-3 in about 45 seconds with the clock stopping so many times.  The Cougars had four (!) players foul out (all starters) including their top 3 scorers and held on in overtime.  Houston won 100-95, becoming the 5th team in triple digits this tournament and making their 5th straight Sweet 16.

#2S-Marquette survived because #10S-Colorado, who had just 2 team fouls in the half, had to commit four fouls just to get Marquette to the line in the final 17 seconds.  Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, ten seconds ran off the clock while they fouled.  Marquette, who was just 2/6 from the the charity stripe, hit the one-and-one and the follow-on to make the final margin 4 points. 

In the only upset of the day (lower seed winning), #6W-Clemson nearly blew a late 15-point lead but hit six straight free throws in the final 30 seconds to win by 8.  #4W-Alabama trailed by 3 to #12W-Grand Canyon before ending the game on a 17-3 run including the last 10 points of the game.

The Pac 12 lost Colorado leaving just Arizona.  The ACC went 4-0 and the Big East 3-0 in the second round.  The Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12 got two teams in but the latter two started with 8 teams (Big Ten 6).  The WCC (#5MW-Gonzaga) and Mountain West (SDSU) sent one team each.

All-time lows for 2nd roundEmmadness (3rd-Tied, 89 pts), Flying Ace (3rd-T), and Bigtenfan3 (19th-T, 84) all went 8-0 with the two former jumping 25 spots and the latter jumping 65 spots.  Emmadness went 15-1 for the round.  JessaFish (2nd, 90) started 7-0 but SDSU's win gave Larzby back the top spot with 91 pointsCharlie Hustle 2 got just one right and will finish with 30 points, a new all-time low.  The entry went 2-14 for the round, tying a record-low with three others.  The 14 total wins will set a new record low as well (was 16 last year with That's Right) and will finish with a 21-game losing streak (last win Purdue) (matching That's Right).

Two lost Baylor as their champ (Bizarro Larzby (177th-T, 62) and Better News (6th-T, 88)) and BulbaGrrrl (191st-T, 54) lost Texas A&M.  Winner Town (8th-T, 87) and Concrete Kid (8th-T) can still pick up 171 points, which would be a record.  Avery 1 (12th-T, 85) was the only entry with a chance to get all 16 Sweet teams in but only got 13.  Eight managed to win every 2nd round game they had a team alive in.  All 16 Sweet 16 teams were picked by at least 19 entries with Clemson picked by 19 and SDSU by 62.  33 still have their Elite 8 intact and 101 have all Final Four teams still alive.

With the top 8 teams still alive that means of the 195 entries, just 32 have been eliminated, leaving 163 vying for the top 8 money spots.  The 16.4% eliminated entries is lowest since just 14.2% were eliminated in 2019).  The addition of the 8th place prize kept 5 entries still alive.  85 entries still have a chance to win the pool, the most since 87 could do it in 2019.  No one has better than a 10% chance to win the pool with Concrete Kid the best chance at 9.4%.  Larzby has the best chance at money with 33.0%.  Concrete Kid, Indy Kid (3rd-T), Jonna (6th-T, 88), and Emmadness each have roughly a 1 in 4 chance to win money.

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   Tids & Bits - Go Pac 12 as they are 5-3 (6-3 including First Four) with just 'Zona left... the state of North Carolina got 3 ACC teams in (Duke, UNC, NC State)... the last time a champion made it the Sweet 16 the next year was Duke in 2016... Texas A&M shot 45 free throws but only made 29 (64.4%)... Houston had a 99.3% chance of winning leading by 12 (81-69) with 2:03 left according to ESPN... Houston (28) and Texas A&M (24) committed 52 total fouls while Colorado (11 but last 4 were intentional) and Marquette (10) committed just 21 total fouls... Houston-Texas A&M was the 4th OT game (5th including First Four)... Grand Canyon had 37 free throw attempts but only made 23 (62.2%) and were just 2/20 (10%) from three-point range yet was within one point with 4 minutes left... Clemson hit 20/24 free throws (83.3%) including their last 8... Purdue's Zach Edey had 21 points/11 rebounds/3 assists, pretty good until you realize it was just the first half... San Diego St was on fire hitting 13/27 3-pointers and will face #1E-UConn, a rematch of last year's final... officially, we have 195 entries from 125 people (-1 from last year) with 24 (+2) entering twice and a record 25 (+2) entering 3 times... while Jonna's 11-game win streak was snapped with Clemson's win, Emmadness and Bigtenfan3 are currently on a 12-game win streak (last loss was not having Kentucky) and Flying Ace an 8-game streak (last loss not having Creighton)... well, my family fizzled out with my wife (Lady Red (171st-T, 63)) and son (Spoonceer (188th, 58)) eliminated and my daughter (TWSpoons (144th-T, 69)) with a 10 in 32,768 chance to finish in the top 8... BulbaGrrrl tied for the most lost Sweet 16 teams that made it to the 2nd Round (5 with TripleM (156th-T, 67) and former leader Charlie Hustle 1 (32nd-T, 82)), Elite 8 teams (2 with TripleM), and Final Four teams (2 with BGE Comeback Year (177th-T)) and along with Charlie Hustle 2 will go 0-for-the-Final-Four... entries averaged 5.1 wins today and 10.6 for the round, the highest since 2019 (12.0) and 4th highest overall...

Very windy...

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