Issue # 14.6.1 “Undefensable”


1st HWCI Women's World Cup Pool Begins in Mid-May

[Scott's Pool Updates]

2015 NCAA Champions

(Houston, TX)
Duke University Blue Devils
5th Title: ’91, ’92, ’01, ’10, ’15
2015 Winningest Conference
Atlantic Coast Conference The Atlantic Coast Conference
4th Time: ’04, ’05, ’10, ’15

Monday, April 6, 2015

 Big Luther becomes second 2-time Pool Champion 

EL SEGUNDO/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Maybe the one-and-done team people should’ve been worried about was #1S-Duke, not #1MW-Kentucky.  The Blue Devils’ freshmen scored 60 of 68 points in their come-from-behind-aided-by-a-few-calls-here-and-there 68-63 win over #1W-Wisconsin.  With the Badgers up by 9 at 48-39 and Duke sitting  out Justise Winslow and Jahil Okafor due to foul trouble, 6′-4″ guard Grayson Allen turned up the heat scoring Duke’s next 8 points and he and fellow frosh Tyus Jones (game high 23) took command with a 27-10 run.  Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker picked the wrong time to have an off-game missing all six of his 3-pointers.  While the Badgers benefited on a shot clock violation no-call that wasn’t reviewable in their win over Kentucky, they were on the wrong end of a stepping out-of-bounds no-call that wasn’t reviewable late in the game.  Add in a tipped ball out-of-bounds that somehow refs never got to see during their review, the disparity in foul calls in the 2nd half, and the fact my 3-year daughter kept chanting “blue, blue, blue” instead of “red, red, red” like I told her to do, the Duke conspiracy theories are all atwitter.  But Duke’s tenacious defense never let Frank Kaminsky feel comfortable in the 2nd half and when Wisconsin needed quick baskets in the last minute, it took 10+ seconds to get a play off as Duke didn’t let them penetrate the key for a quick shot.  As long as I don’t have to hear “The Duke Univeristy” or “Dukkies”, I’ll be content.

As for the pool, Duke was picked by 8 people and 5 of the 8 ended up in the money.  Darryn B (Big Luther) becomes our second 2-time pool champion and Continue reading »

Wisconsin v Duke

Final:  Duke wins 5th title, 68-63.  The 131 points means Nwspring and Patton split the $40 Bonus.  For Patton, small consolation after losing 4th with Wisconsin’s loss.  Big Luther is our 2nd two-time champion.  PRIDE OF TROY takes 2nd and Dance Time Boyz takes 3rd.  Wuk3 wins tiebreaker to take 4th over Will I Ever Win This (5th).  Flying Ace wins 6th.

2nd <2′:  Sorry, kids are home.  Duke (let conspiracy theories commence!) roars to 8 point lead 66-58.

2nd 6:41:  We’re tied!  54 all.

2nd 10′: Duke’s battled back without their Okafor, down 51-50.  The 101 points projects to 134.  No change in Bonus.

2nd: 11:43: Wis 51-45.  Duke’s Grayson Allen single-handedly keeping Duke in the game with his aggressiveness despite his size.

2nd 13:17: Badgers largest lead 48-39.  Duke in foul trouble but lots of time left.

2nd 15′:  Badgers 44-39.  The 83 points projects to 133.  Never Winning (Wis) or Dropping Dimes/Krispy Seconds (tie) (Duke) in good shape.

2nd 18′: Wisconsin jumps to 38-33 lead.  Just got home from work and watching on phone since kids took iPad.  Badgers missing free throws?  Decker airballs?

Halftime:  31-31.  First tie in title game since ’88.  The 62 points projects to 124 and that would give RN the Bonus if Wisconsin wins and TURNOVER PRONE if Duke wins.

Issue # 13.5.2 “Punch Drunk Love, We’re 21!”


 – The Final @ Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium) –

(Los Angeles, CA)
(Houston, TX)

Sunday, April 5, 2015   *** HAPPY EASTER ***

 Big Luther vs BobbyCee’sRacer’sEdge for our 21st title 

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- #1W-Wisconsin got sent to the West Region and knocked off the best teams possible in #16-Coastal Carolina, #8-Oregon, #4-North Carolina, #2-Arizona, and the top seed of all #1MW-Kentucky.  Riding an 11-game winning streak, their last four wins have all been by 7 points in close battles until Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky close out the game.  The Badgers repeated their ousting of Pac-12 foes Oregon and Arizona in identical rounds as last year and avenged last year’s loss to Kentucky in the same round as last year.

#1S-Duke won 4 of its 5 games (#16-Robert Morris, #8-San Diego St, #2-Gonzaga, #7E-Michigan St) by 14 or more points, and in the 6-point win vs #5-Utah, they had a 15-point lead midway through the 2nd half.  The Blue Devils’, led by Jahlil Okafor, last Final Four appearance was in 2010 when they also rolled through the South Regional in Houston and two of their 4 title wins have been in Indy.

So we were denied a perfect season by Kentucky (38-1) and possibly another #7 seed title winner in Michigan St, but we will get to see whether Wisconsin will win their first title since 1941 or if Duke will win their 5th title (3rd in the HWCI era).  Duke beat Wisconsin in December and the past three re-matches have all gone to the winner of the regular season matchup.  The game is a pick ’em with the over/under at 141 for those concerned with the total points in final tiebreaker.

We may have our 20th different champion (BobbyCee’sRacer’sEdge) in 21 years if Wisconsin wins but Big Luther (14 years, 1st ’03) (the only one guaranteed money) will try to become only our 2nd two-time HWCI NCAA Pool champion (if Duke wins).  For the second straight year, we don’t know our pool champion. Will I Ever Win This, who had a 28 in 32 chance to win money got shut out of the finals but can still win 4th if Duke wins.  We had a record 37 people enter more than one entry but only 3 of those have a chance for money (and all with their 2nd or 3rd pick).  The other 8 only entered once (not that I’m discouraging multiple entries as it increases our pot!).  Of the 11, only Big Luther, The Bracket Awakens (21 years, 3rd ’98, 2nd ’99, 3rd ’00, 1st ’02, Bonus ’03), PRIDE OF TROY (12 years, 4th ’05, 4th ’06), and Flying Ace (15 years, 4th ’13) have won money before.  The Bracket Awakens, Patton (4 years, tearing up bracket at end of Sweet 16 each year), Spermicidal State (9 years, never being alive past Elite 8), and Buccos 2 (7 years, 14 of 15 entries dead by end of Elite 8) can win money if Wisconsin wins and PRIDE OF TROY, Dance Time Boyz (1st year, only female with a chance, great nickname, but what is it?), Wuk3 (1st year, his other 2 entries eliminated after Round of 32), and Flying Ace can win money if Duke wins.  As for the Bonus, 22 have a chance and will be counting each point the teams score.  We have given away 99 prizes in the past 20 years and will give out 7 more this year (possibly more if the tiebreaker for the Bonus ends in a tie).   Since 2002, there have only been six people to win money on their first try and we could have 2 if Duke wins.

A little history (all with the same accurate reporting as the Rolling Stone!)....

In 1995, the first year of the pool, just 12 people entered in a modest effort put forth by HW-UCLA and their close friends. Names like BAD ASS and LIVER BOY graced the pool. Of course, their interest was heightened because UCLA was favored to win it all. Indeed, 10 of 12 picked UCLA while 2 picked Kentucky. This pool featured the infamous LOSER WHO DIDN’T PICK UCLA (Dennis K) who set an all-time record (still stands today) with a 14-2 2nd Round to go from tied for 9th to tied for 1st before going 0-7 in the final 3 rounds to finish dead last (12th) with 98 points. TINA’S BOY (Mark C) became the first person to be eliminated when the 2nd round ended. He was, however, one of only 3 people (all in 1995) to correctly pick the two teams in the final and the champion prior to 1999. BIX PIX (Fernando B, 1st, 148) and MR. NELSON (Nelson B, 2nd, 146) were the other two and claimed the top two spots, winning $70 and $30, respectively. THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA (Dave F, 3rd, 141) claimed third prize worth $20. All but one finished with 110 points or more, the highest scoring pool ever (130.6 avg). Continue reading »

​Issue # 12.5.1 “Revenge is Sweet”


 – The Final @ Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium) –

(Los Angeles, CA)
(Houston, TX)

Saturday, April 4, 2015   *** HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELUCKY2 ***


 Big Luther jumps to 1st and is only one guaranteed money; 10 others vying for remaining 5 spots 

FULLERTON/SANTA ANA, CA (smt)- #1S-Duke quickly trailed #7E-Michigan St 14-8 before going on a dominating 36-11 run to easily give Coach K his 9th finals appearance with a 81-61 win.  In a rematch of the 2014 Final Four, #1W-Wisconsin saw #1MW-Kentucky string an 8-0 run to go down 60-56 with 6:37 left but the Badgers answered back with their own 8-0 run to go up 64-60 with 1:06 left.  With perfection slipping away, the Wildcats had an offensive foul, missed a free throw, and shot a 3-point airball as the Badgers advance to the title game for the first time since 1941 with a 71-64 win.  Offensive rebounding, key 3’s, and a gift call on a basket after the shot clock ran to zero helped Wisconsin snap Kentucky’s 38-game winning streak. While not as young as last year, Kentucky fielded two Freshman, two Sophomores, and a Junior and again ran into a more mature team in Wisconsin (two Seniors, two Juniors, and a Sophomore) like they did last year in UConn in the title game.  Although I needed Wisconsin to win to have any chance at the pot (The Bracket Awakens), I would have loved Kentucky to go 40-0 as history is cool.

The Bracket Awakens (6th, 131 pts), Buccos 2 (16th-Tied, 126), Flying Ace (23rd-T, 124), and Baba’s Bad Boys (23rd-T) all got both teams correct (only 83 have done so before) and all but the latter still have a chance to win money.  But it’s Big Luther who Continue reading »

Issue # 11.4.2 “Zags Fall Short Again”


Dating Couples Amazing Race?  Still a great show. Fridays 8/7 Central on CBS

 – The Final Four @ Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium) –

(Cleveland, OH)

(Los Angeles, CA)

(Syracuse, NY)

(Houston, TX)

Sunday, March 29, 2015 (Posted April 2)


 Will I Ever Win This lead narrows to 2; 20 can still win money 

CERRITOS/ALHAMBRA, CA (smt)- For the 2nd straight day, a team in the last minute played like they were in a one possession game but they weren’t. Yesterday, Arizona, down by 5 (not 1 or 2) played tough defense but ran down the clock and ended with a Wisconsin 3-point basket.  Today, #4E-Louisville in the last minute of overtime ran a Harlem Globetrotter type play by running around handing the ball off to each player at the top of the arch, needlessly running down the clock, and ended with a horrible turnover.  The Cards were down by 4 (not 1 or 2 or even 3) so playing down the clock was bizarre.  Of course, all this could’ve been prevented had Louisville hit one free throw at the end of regulation.  So #7E-Michigan St advances to the Final Four with the 76-70 overtime win and is Tom Izzo’s 7th Final Four.  The Spartans will play #1S-Duke as Coach K makes his 12th Final Four with a easy 66-52 win over #2S-Gonzaga.

Big Luther (2nd, 135 pts), Chaka (3rd, 129), Pac Attack (27th-Tied, 117), and Poolraider (4th-T, 128) went 2-0 but Poolraider was the only one Continue reading »

Issue # 10.4.1 “Close Doesn’t Count”


Saturday, March 29, 2015


 Will I Ever Win This leads by 8; only 8 can win it all 

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

CERRITOS, CA/CHINO HILLS, CA (smt)- Why Chino Hills?  Well, it has finally happened as my esteemed co-admin and co-creator of this pool, The Mighty Mobelfakta, has finally found someone to spend the rest of his life with and we couldn’t be happier.  Myself (’02 champ Gold Fabone) and my wife SpAva, our current leader Will I Ever Win This, last year’s champ Badzy (David’s sister), ’95 champ Bix Pix, Bramlet Aberchrombie and his wife (’99 champ Shary Bobbins), former players Jayloc and Uthpope, and The Flying Elvi were there to celebrate.  It was a wonderful ceremony and a great reception.  And it ended early enough for those to listen to the 2nd half of a Badger-Wildcat match that was dominated long-range by #1W-Wisconsin.  Helped by #2W-Arizona weirdly playing for the next possession despite being down by 5 and less than a minute to go that ended in a shot clock beating 3 by Wisconsin, the Badgers reached the Final Four for the 2nd straight year, beating the Wildcats in the Region Final for the 2nd straight year, 85-78.  Wisconsin hit 10 3’s in the 2nd half led by Sam Dekker’s 5 including two daggers in the last two minutes.  The Badgers missed 5 free throws in the last five minutes yet Arizona didn’t foul but allowed 30+ seconds to run off the clock each time.

In the second game, #3MW-Notre Dame gave undefeated #1MW-Kentucky everything they got but couldn’t build their lead bigger than 6 with 5:22 left.  The Wildcats slowly chipped away and didn’t panic as they calmly scored the last four points in the last 2:36 to stun the Irish, 68-66, to reach the Final Four for the 2nd straight year (4th straight time doing it (did not qualify in 2013)).  John Calipari has now led the only 3 teams with 38 wins (2 with Kentucky, 1 with Memphis) and could set a record of 39 with a Final Four win Saturday.  It’ll be interesting to see if Kentucky is now wounded with the close call or inspired and will finish the Final Four with ease.

There were 57 who went 2-0 including Will I Ever Win This who now has Continue reading »

Issue # 9.3.2 “No 2nd Miracle for UCLA”


(Note: This is late — this after Friday’s games)

Friday, March 28, 2015

 Will I Ever Win This blasts into 1st as 3 go 8-for-8 in Sweet 16 

CERRITOS, CA/LA HABRA, CA (smt)- There was no repeat of the 2006 Bruin upset of the Zags as #2S-Gonzaga kept #11S-UCLA at bay, winning 74-62.  In the other three games, there were some challenges but legendary coaches coach well, as Rick Pitino’s #4E-Louiville stopped #8E-NC State, 75-65, Coach K’s #1S-Duke outlasted #5S-Utah, 63-57, and Tom Izzo’s #7E-Michigan St made key plays to knock off #3E-Oklahoma, 62-58.

Will I Ever Win This was one of 5 to go 4-0 today and one of three to go perfect in the Sweet 16 to take the lead (117 pts)Big Luther (2nd, 117) and BobbyCee’sRacer’sEdge (4th-Tied, 114) also went 8-0 in the round.  Only 6 other times Continue reading »

Let’s hear it for the boy

My co-admin is getting hitched today so all eyes are on that — and of course, the ceremony and reception will end at 4 pm, meaning he’ll spare us from a boring, strategic first half of AZ-Wisc. and in time to catch a more than likely exciting finish at the bar.  With a late night for me (unrelated) as an upaid worker, likely Friday’s update will be combined with today’s update late tonight.  But you can still check out the latest standings and possibilities.  Congrats, my friend!

Edit: For the 35 depressed you were eliminated, check see if you’re still alive for the Bonus.

Issue # 8.3.1 “So This is What it Felt Like to Be UCLA”


Thursday, March 27, 2015

 Bwakewey 1 remains in 1st with PRIDE OF TROY in 2nd; 66 are perfect 

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Since I don’t watch college basketball during the season, I vaguely remember reading about UCLA being schooled badly by Kentucky but it was during the holidays so quickly forgotten.  Well, I guess I got see what that game was like as #1MW-Kentucky took no prisoners in humiliating #5MW-West Virginia in eerily the same fashion by opening up a huge 18-2 lead (UCLA trailed 24-0), building it to 40+ points (41 vs WVU, 44 vs UCLA), before settling for a 39-point blowout (both games) doubling up on Mountaineers 78-39.  #3MW-Notre Dame had an easy time with #7MW-Wichita St shooting 75% in the 2nd half en route to a 81-70 victory.  The West’s top 2 teams survived to create a rematch of last year’s Regional Final.  #1W-Wisconsin used a small 6-0 run and then hit their free throws (87% overall) to hold off #4W-North Carolina, 79-72.  #2W-Arizona used a small 7-1 run and then hit their free throws (89.5% overall) to hold off a tough #6W-Xavier team, 68-60.  No disrespect to the mid-majors and small conferences, but it was nice to see some good ball being played by the powerhouses as the four West teams had only a combined 29 turnovers (7.25 per team) and shot a combined 81.6% from the charity stripe.

Bwakewey 1 went 3-1 but still holds a 2-point lead (106 pts) over PRIDE OF TROY who was one of 66 Continue reading »

Issue # 7.2.3 “Second Chance Points” + Watch Ceasefire!


[ Listen to an up and coming band - Ceasefire's No Tomorrow ]

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

 Bonus Prize means 143 entries can still win money 

EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- The pace of entries never ceased (as an aside, take a listen to one of the unsigned bands Poolrider helps promote, Ceasefire) as we shattered the previous record of 138 entries by 23.  For the fifth straight year, we will have six money spots as we have a record $1,610 to divvy out.  The top prize will be a record $640 which is $85 more than the record in 2014. The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all fee money goes into prizes. So we have those top six spots plus the Bonus.  What’s the Bonus?  Read on…

As it has been for the past 11 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 6 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 Continue reading »

Issue # 6.2.2 “Izzo Does It Again, Bragging Rights to Shockers”


Sunday, March 22, 2015

 Bwakewey 1 goes 8-0 to take 4 point lead; 52 entries eliminated 

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- For the 2nd straight year, #7E-Michigan St knocked out #2E-Virginia as coach Tom Izzo is now 13-1 in the Round of 32 (the last year it will be called the 3rd Round).  For the 2nd straight year, #1W-Wisconsin knocked out #8W-Oregon in the Round of 32 with a late surge.  And for the 2nd straight year, #2MW-Kansas chokes in the Round of 32, this time to the rival-they-never-want-to-play-in-case-they-lose #7MW-Wichita St.  Will Kansas wait another 22 years before playing Wichita St again?  No games were closer than six points as #1S-Duke, #2S-Gonzaga, and #4E-Louisville cruised while #3E-Oklahoma and #5MW-West Virginia pulled away late.  The ACC has 5 teams in the Sweet 16 which ties the record.

Bwakewey 1 went a perfect 8-0, just the Continue reading »

Issue # 5.2.1 “Wildcats 2-1; Other Cats, Dragons & Dogs 0-4”


Saturday, March 21, 2015
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 18 go 6-2 as Bucksilious and TURNOVER PRONE tie for 1st 

REDONDO BEACH/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Today was kind of painful as the games were so spread out that to only have 8 games over 12 hours seemed ridiculous after enjoying the 16 game barrage the past two days.  Considering I was in meetings all day, I guess this turned out to be okay, especially with the first 3 games being blowouts in the end.

The Pittsburgh pod turned the best games as #3MW-Notre Dame and #6MW-Butler exchanged opportunities but remained scoreless the last 2:56 heading into overtime.  The Fighting Irish pulled away leaving the ACC still undefeated at 9-0.  In the second game at Pitt, #1E-Villanova lived and died by the 3, Continue reading »

Issue # 4.1.2 “Day of Calm”


Friday, March 20, 2015

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 Six are perfect today while The Flying Elvi sets record with 23 straight wins 

REDONDO BEACH, CA (smt)- I guess all the excitement was used up as the first 15 lower seeds won with two games decided by three points of less, both of which saw #13MW-Valpo and #13E-UCI falter on the last possession without getting a shot off giving #4MW-Maryland (its 11th straight Round of 64 win) and #4E-Louisville victories.  #2MW-Kansas, #1S-Duke, #5E-Northern Iowa, #7S-Iowa, #1W-Wisconsin, and #11E-Dayton (the only higher seed to win) had comfortable wins while #7E-Michigan St, #2E-Virginia, #7MW-Wichita St, #5MW-West Virginia, #8W-Oregon, #3E-Oklahoma, #8S-San Diego St, and #2S-Gonzaga pulled away late.  Dayton, who played at their home arena for the First Four and in-state for the Round of 64 (and now Round of 32) games, made it 5 straight years a First Four team has won at least two games.  I didn’t see many games (followed on phone) but apparently didn’t miss much (did see the ends of the Valpo and UCI debacles).  I guess the only interesting thing is we will get the Kansas-Wichita St matchup people have been talking about.

We now have 161 entries and expect it to stay that way.  Because the lower seeds won 23 straight games, that meant Continue reading »

Issue # 3.1.1 “Fourteen is the New Twelve”


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Our 21st year sees a record 159+ entries 

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- This was a day not to miss.  Five games decided by a single point.  Nine decided by 5 points or less.  Two overtime games.  Teams having multiple shots at glory at the buzzer.  Controversial calls.  A player ejected.  Near buzzer-beaters (0.1 and 2.7 seconds left).  Unnecessary late turnovers that boggle the mind.  13-0, 8-0, and 6-0 runs to end games (3 of the 5 single point wins).  Four double-digit seeds winning in the first 8 games.  Chalk the last 8 games.  Three conferences perfect while the Big 12 0-fer.

Oh so close of having the very first 3 games eliminate three #3 seeds.  But #3MW-Notre Dame held on against #14MW-Northeastern but fellow 3 seeds #3S-Iowa St and #3W-Baylor weren’t so lucky.  Baylor was upended by #14W-Georgia St who scored just Continue reading »