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[Scott's Pool Updates]

Tuesday, March 26, 2023
Issue # 6.2.3 "ACC and Big East Perfect"
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Including Bonus, 171 entries can still win money

Sweet 16 ConferencesTORRANCE, CA (smt) - In our pool, we do not count any stats from the First Four, thus, in our eyes, the ACC is a perfect 8-0 (not including Virginia who lost in the First Four) and the Big East is 6-0.  Interestingly, #11S-NC State, who won the ACC tournament (where they beat Wake Forest, #4S-Duke, #10aMW-Virginia, and #1W-UNC in their 5 wins in 5 days), may have stolen a bid from fellow ACC members Pitt (4th team out) or Wake Forest. The Big East's three teams were all top 10 (#1E-UConn (1), #2S-Marquette (7), #3MW-Creighton (10)) with no one in the middle (Seton Hall was 2nd team out, ~#46).  The Pac-12, which will temporarily cease for two years while Oregon St and #7E-Washington St join the WCC as affiliate members, started the tournament 5-0 (6-0 including #10bS-Colorado's First Four win) before ending 0-3 and leaving just #2W-Arizona left.  The Mountain West got a record six teams in (five excluding the First Four) but went just 3-4 (4-5 including First Four) with #5E-San Diego St left standing.  The SEC and Big 12 each got 8 teams in but both have just two teams in the Sweet 16. The Big Ten got 6 teams in and is a respectable 6-4 with two teams in the Sweet 16.

All #1 and #2 seeds made the Sweet 16 and with two #3s, two #4s, and two #5s, that leaves just #6W-Clemson and NC State as outliers, both from the ACC so hardly Cinderella candidates.  No region had pure chalk though with two regions (East, Midwest) have #1/2/3/5.  The biggest losses have been #4E-Auburn (picked by 5 to win title) who lost to #13E-Yale and #3S-Kentucky (picked by 3) who lost to #14S-Oakland.   11 upsets happened in the First Round with 8 double-digit seeds winning but the Second Round saw just two worse seeds win (#5MW-Gonzaga over #4MW-Kansas and #6W-Clemson over #3W-Baylor). 

There have been 4 overtime games (5 including First Four) including one double-OT game (#11MW-Oregon v Creighton).  There have been just THREE one-possession games (not including First Four), 7 if you include games tied going to overtime (but all four were won by 5+ points).  There have been 35(!) double-digit wins of the 48 games played, ten more than last year which was a high number to begin with.  The average margin of victory of 15.4 points is the highest since 1985 -- yeah, we do not need to expand past 68 teams.  UConn has now won 8 straight tournament games by 10 or more points.

Our 29th year saw a record 195 entries from 125 people.  Of the 125, 24 entered twice (up 2 from last year) and a record-tying 23 entered three times (same as last year).  But thanks to all, we hit the magic number of 190 entries (we've now set 8th place when >=190 entries, 9th place when >=215 entries, and 10th place when >=240 entries; all to keep top placements at around 4.2% each milestone hit) which means we will have 8th place prize for the second time.  We will have nine money spots (top 8 plus Bonus) and we have $1,950 to divvy out. The top prize will be $740, $5 more than last year.  The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all entry fee money goes into prizes. What's the Bonus? Read on...

As it has been for the past 19 years, the Conference Wins is the Bonus Prize (as detailed below) (aka, Bonus1). However, if no one wins it, the Bonus2 takes effect and the entry who is closest to the Total Points in Final tiebreaker gets the Bonus Prize. We have used this Bonus to give hope to those who get eliminated early as only those who do not finish in the top 8 will be eligible to win. Rules follow below...

Bonus1 - Winningest Conference

When you completed your online entry and saw your picks (to print out), some of you might have been wondering what the heck "Winningest Conference(s): ?? | Wins: #" meant. And thus, subliminally, you were also picking which conference would get the most wins in the tournament and how many wins that conference would get via your direct picks. Neat, eh? So that output, which in my case (Fabone's Leap Year), says "Winningest Conference(s): Big 12| Wins: 15", means that by the way I picked my bracket (sigh), the Big 12 (regardless of which Big 12 teams win) will get the most wins with 15. 

The rules of how to win this Bonus Prize is as follows:

1. First Four wins do not count 
2. The top 8 finishers are 
not eligible (so no double-dipping)
3. Ties broken by championship final score total (Total Pts in Final tiebreaker)
4. If there is *still* a tie, money is split
5. If 2 (or more) conferences tie for the most wins, both (or all) conferences must have been picked correctly
6. If entry has 2 or more conferences tied for most wins, only one must be correct to win (e.g. entry picks SEC and Big 12 with 11 wins a piece and the Big 12 ends up winning the most games with 11, then contestant wins)

And, the Bonus Prize is worth $40, which is four years worth of losing brackets (or funds a family of four). Last year, the Big East got the winningest conference with 12 wins.  But if no one wins the Winningest Conference, then the Bonus2 takes effect.  See below...

Bonus2 - Total Points in Final

If no one wins the Bonus1, then a second Bonus opportunity takes effect. The entry closest to the "Total points in final" tiebreaker wins the $40. In order to reward better play, the tiebreaker is the higher placement in the final pool standings.

The rules of how to win this Bonus Prize is as follows:

1. The top 8 finishers not eligible (so no double-dipping)
2. "Closest" can be above or below actual total (if actual is 144, 143 & 145 are both 1 point away)
3. Ties broken by highest placement (i.e., point total) in final pool standings
4. If there is *still* a tie, money is split

Prize Breakdown

We are officially at 195 entries ($1,950). So, here is the official prize breakdown: 

     1st Place = $740.00
     2nd Place = $370.00
     3rd Place = $255.00
     4th Place = $185.00
     5th Place = $ 130.00
     6th Place = $ 95.00
     7th Place = $ 75.00
     8th Place = $ 60.00
     Bonus Prize = $ 40.00

Bonus1 Prize Analysis

What this means is that of the 32 entries that were eliminated from the top 8 prizes, 8 of those entries are back into play!  With the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, SEC, and Pac 12 (though tied with another conference at 9 wins, which no one has) still in it, 97 of 195 entries still have a chance for Bonus1.  And 171 of 195 (87.7%) have a chance of either the top 8 or bonus. 

If you don't have your bracket, then go to the "Your Picks" page and pick your nickname from the drop down box. Because of the First Four, what you see might change (since the MWC's Colorado St and Pac 12's Colorado won the First Four game you'd have to add your predicted CSU/Colorado wins to your total) so go to the Bonus page for your official picks. Remember that the First Four wins do not count in the Winningest Conference calculation (that is why the MWC only shows 3 wins and Pac-12 5 wins below where it really has 4 and 6, respectively). Right now, of the 8 conferences represented in the Sweet 16, 6 conferences have a chance to get or share the most number of wins:      

Conference  Teams Left Current Wins Max Possible Wins
Atlantic Coast Conf (ACC) 4 8 17
Big 12 Conf 2 7 14
Big East Conf  3 6 15
Big Ten Conf 2 6 13
Southeastern Conf (SEC) 2 5 12
Pac-12 Conf 1 5^ 9
x-Mountain West Conf (MWC) 1 3^ 7
x-West Coast Conf (WCC) 1 2 6
x-Eliminated from Most Winningest Conf
^-Colorado St and Colorado wins in First Four do not count

The ACC and Big East could send 3 teams to the Final Four.  The Big 12, Big Ten, and SEC could have two teams in the Final.  The Big 12 started with 8 teams and with a #1 Houston (1st time in Big 12), #2 Iowa St, #3 Baylor, and #4 Kansas, led with 104 of 195 entries thinking they would be the winningest conference followed by the the SEC with 66, Big Ten 23, Big East 19, ACC 6, and Pac-12 with just one.  23 entries each picked the Big 12 with 14 wins (still possible). 

Below are the teams in the conferences that matter for the Bonus1
Conf.   Teams Left (1st Rnd W-L, 2nd Rnd W-L)
-----   -------------------------------------
Big12   HOUSTON, IOWA STATE (5-3, 2-1)
Big10   ILLINOIS, PURDUE (4-2, 2-2)
Pac12   ARIZONA (4-0, 1-3)
It's much too much to go through all the possibilities with four rounds remaining. But, if you do have a chance, this will guide you to which team to root for based on the conference the team is in.

Here is the link to what everyone picked. If your nickname is in red, that means you're eliminated from the top 8 prizes; if your conference is in red, you're eliminated from the Bonus1. The eligibility for the Bonus2 won't be discussed unless needed.

[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.). 

   Tids & Bits - There have been some really blown calls in this tournament, almost like the NCAA was using replacement refs like MLS (which just got resolved)... 13 teams have scored 90+ points, 3 in losing efforts including #7S-Florida who lost 102-100)... while the Pac-12 hasn't won a title since 1997 (Arizona), the Big Ten also is on a long drought, last winning in 2000... UConn is 33-3... the largest point spread is UConn -9.5 to #5E-San Diego St, a rematch of last year's final; #2S-Marquette is just a 6.5-point favorite over the only double-digit seed remaining (#11S-NC State)... amazingly, we have 27(!) entries that have been with us for 20 or more years, 79 for 10 or more years, and 129 for 5 or more years... lot more kids of parents playing this year, I'm waiting for confirmation of the first third generation entry (grandkid of child of a long-time parent)... of the 13 new people, five could be considered females (we don't ask for gender), which is great to see; the last female to win the pool was Jonna J (JJ) (this year Jonna) in 2016 (we had 6 female winners in the first 22 years)... don't despair, Byron W (still Flying Ace) had a 236 in 32,768 (0.72%) chance of finishing in the money in 2015 and ended up winning 6th... of the 28 winners, we have had just three one-and-dones, those who won the pool and never played again (Sean D (Max) in 1997 on his 2nd try, Anna C (Anna Come Lately) (the only entry we do NOT know the last name to) in 1998 winning in her only pool, and Karen F (Badzy) in 2014 winning on her 2nd try)... random note: Since we have two Chris C's, the Chris C who is Tiny Prancers is noted as Chris2 C, since he came after the Chris C (who started in 2009) who is Winging It... Bobby Cee Racer is tied for 79th (77 pts) but is eliminated while DoubleM and Wuk 3 are tied for 185th (59) but still have a chance to finish 2nd (both have Iowa St as champion)... EEChick1400 is tied for 12th (85) but can't win the pool while SKG23 is tied for 162nd (65) but can still win the pool (UConn over Gonzaga in final)...

Curious to use my AARP discount at mall eateries such as Cinnabon, Antie Anne's, Schlotsky's..

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