Issue # 12.5.1 “High Scoring Affair”


(Note: This is recap for Saturday’s games)

Watch the best animated show on TV, Star Wars Rebels!
Saturday, April 2, 2016 [Published 4/4]

For the first time since the end of the 1st round, Buccos 1 back on top

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- #2S-Villanova had a 21-4 run in the first half but #2W-Oklahoma chipped away and cut it to 9 with 16:22 left.  Cut to the Wildcats going crazy with a 33-4 run in just over 9 minutes to demolish Buddy Hield and the Sooners, 95-51, in the biggest Final Four blowout ever.  ‘Nova shot 71.4% and missed just five shots in the explosive second half.  #1E-UNC missed their first 12 three-point shots but it didn’t matter as the Tar Heels scored 50 in the paint in holding off #10MW-Syracuse, 83-66.  The Orange 2/3 zone couldn’t prevent UNC from scoring at will within the arc shooting 64.6% from 2-point range.

Resistance is futile as The Resistance watches from the sidelines as three pass him putting him in a tie for 4th (122 pts)Buccos 1, who led after Round 1, leads again with 128 pts with JJ in second with 126.  It will be one of these two who will win our 22nd pool, and each would pick up their first ever money prize as well.  Ten can still finish in the top 6.  Those two and Honey Badger have a 100% chance at money, although the latter would have to win a tiebreaker for 6th if Villanova wins the title.  JJ, Honey Badger, and The Hip-Hopopotamus (10th-T, 119) got both teams correct while 108 missed both.

For the Bonus, if Villanova wins the championship, Ito (129th-T, 84) wins Continue reading »

Issue # 11.4.2 “Comeback With Chalk”


(Note: This recap for last Sunday’s games… yes, a tad behind)

Watch the best reality show, The Amazing Race - Social Media Edition, Fridays at 8
Sunday, March 27, 2016 [Published 4/4]

The Resistance leads but can’t win pool but ten others can

ROSEMEAD, CA (smt)- #10MW-Syracuse, once a possible First Four Out team before coach Jim Boeheim whined to the media, used a 25-4 run with less than 10 minutes to go to erase a 15-point deficit and oust #1MW-Virigina, 68-62.  Comebacks seem natural to the Orange as a double-digit seed makes the Final Four. #6E-Notre Dame took a 52-51 lead with 13:04 left but #1E-UNC quickly went on a 17-5 run in the next 6 minutes and held off the Irish, 88-74. UNC is the lone #1 seed left after the first 3 lost in the Elite 8.

In the pool, 82 went 1-1 leaving The Resistance in 1st with 122 points but he can’t get any more points.  Six went 3-1 for the Elite 8.  Six still have a chance to win the pool with Buccos 1 (2nd-Tied, 120) with a Continue reading »

You’re too good of a player to do that

Thanks, Coach K.  But there are 14 good entries that can finish in the top 6 including six who will win our 22nd pool. There are 8 possible outcomes and the tiebreaker information.  The tiebreaker is very key this year as it could decide 1st place and it could decide 6th place (and thus, some will miss out).

Ito will win the $40 bonus if Villanova or Oklahoma win the NCAA championship (ACC with 19 wins).   If Syracuse beats Oklahoma, Bob’s Ball Hogs wins the Bonus! Bob’s Ball Hogs will win money if UNC wins the title or if Syracuse beats Villanova (ACC with 20 wins).  Therefore no one picked the ACC with 20 wins and Bonus2 is in effect which is the closest to the total points in final.  The tiebreaker here is placement, so if there are multiple entries with the same tiebreaker (e.g., 144), then it’s the entry that has the most pool points (highest placement) that would win.  49 would be eligible to win this.

Edit: Corrected bonus.

Issue # 10.4.1 “Ones Go Down”


Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Resistance leads but can’t win pool but ten others can

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- #2W-Oklahoma built a big halftime lead and held serve the second half behind Buddy Hield’s 37 points to beat our pool’s weakest #1 seed, Oregon, 80-68.  #2S-Villanova used a 10-0 run midway in the second half and then hit their free throws to defeat our pool’s dominant #1 seed, #1S-Kansas, 64-59.  The Wildcats held the Jayhawks to just 25 1st half points.  ‘Nova was allowing Kansas to get an easy two to pull within one but that confused the Jayhawks who hesitated, tried to pull back for a three and then fumbled the ball over to the Wildcats.

In the pool, The Resistance (116 pts) still holds onto a 2-point lead but now has lost both finalists and can’t win the pool and is likely to drop out of money altogether.  Eight went 2-0 including Bwakewey 1 (2nd-Tied, 114), Larzby (7th-T, 110), Buckeye23 (7th-T, 107), and JJ (1th-T, 104) who all moved up in the standings and are 4 of 10 who have a chance to win the pool.  73 went 0-2 including Billy Hoyle’s Socks who “clinches” last with 66 points.  Bwakewey 1 has a 34.4% chance to win the pool with Buckeye23 andBuccos 1 (2nd-T, 114) (12.5%) both better than a 1-in-10 chance to win the pool.  Those three and The Resistance have a better than 1-in-2 chance to win money.  For the Bonus, Ito will win the $40 Bonus if Oklahoma or Oregon win the championship since she is eliminated from money.  If those teams don’t win the title, then an ACC team will and Bob’s Ball Hogs (11th-T, 105) will win the Bonus if he doesn’t finish in the money – if he does, Bonus2 takes effect (total points in final) and all eliminated entries are back in play.

We are now on Twitter (@HWCI_Pools).  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 – 63 picked Oklahoma and 21 picked Villanova… with Sunday’s games moving to TBS, a later start than usual (3 pm PDT) today… 3 still have their Final Four intact (JJ, Buckeye23, and Mikes Bracket (33rd-T, 99)) while 24 will go 0-for-the-Final-FourThe Resistance is 28-2 on the first day of each round and 16-12 on the second day…

Watch my fall, so slowly… sigh…

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HWCI circa 1990

Issue # 9.3.2 “Chalk 2!”


Friday, March 25, 2016

The Resistance continues to hold 2-pt lead; 64  still alive

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- The same story as yesterday.  The top seeds builds a big lead, the lower seeds fights back, then the top seed goes on a run and wins in a landslide.  #1MW-Virginia and #1E-UNC won easily meaning all four #1 seeds are in the Elite 8 for the first time since 2009.   Their #2 counterparts did not make the Sweet 16 setting up interesting 7v6 and 10v11 matchups. Both games featured epic collapses, which seems to be a trend at this tournament.  #7E-Wisconsin hit a three to go up 61-58 with 26 seconds left but #6E-Notre Dame’s Demetris Jackson had a couple of steals as the Irish scored the last 8 points for a 61-56 win.  #11MW-Gonzaga had a 57-48 lead with 6:20 left but couldn’t hit a field goal the rest of the way while committing five turnovers and allowing 6 offensive rebounds to give #10MW-Syracuse a 63-60 win.  So all eight better seeded teams won in the Sweet 16.

In the pool, The Resistance could only get two wins and got them both to hold onto his 2-point lead (110 pts) over Continue reading »

Issue # 8.3.1 “Chalk!”


Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Resistance one of 45 to go 4-0 and is alone in 1st; First Four for Charity results

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- The same story.  The top seeds builds a big lead, the lower seeds fights back, then the top seed goes on a run and wins in a landslide.  #2S-Villanova, #2W-Oklahoma, #1S-Kansas, and #1W-Oregon won easily to setup a pair of 1 vs 2s in the Elite 8.  Not much else to say.

To make up the short summary, here is the round-up for the 6th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity.  Vi P was one of six to go 4-0 and sneaked out the title by a single point over Tom J and Neil O.  The blowouts caused her point difference of 45 to be the highest of the six contests.  Scott T finished last in 21st place going 1-3 with a point differential of 81.  But the important part is that money is being raised for charity.  This year, at least $82 has been raised to support Star Wars: Force for Change.  I will round up to $100 if there are no more donations that come in.  In the six years, I have donated $299 to six different charities.  The best part is that HWCI NCAA patrons have contributed an additional Continue reading »

Issue # 7.2.3 “Your Comeback for the Ages?”


Hydrogen Child - Listen to "Sirens"

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bonus Prize keeps 15 eliminated entries alive for $40

CERRITOS/EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- It’s been one of the wildest weekends featuring three buzzer beaters, a couple of double overtime games, one of the biggest upsets, and one of the biggest comebacks (while you take a breather, take a listen to one of the unsigned bands Poolrider helps promote, Hydrogen Child).  Our 22nd year features the 2nd highest total for entries (149) and 2nd most people (110).  For the sixth straight year, we will have six money spots as we have $1,490 to divvy out.  The top prize will be $595. 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 12 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 “Comeback of the Ages”


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bwakewey 1 joins The Resistance on top; Just 31 entries eliminated

Texas A&M v Northern Iowa - Last 44 secondsCERRITOS, CA (smt)- A whole paragraph for this game!  #3W-Texas A&M seemed defeated and #11W-Northern Iowa was hitting their free throws, the last two building the lead to 12 with 44.3 seconds left.  Crazy comebacks usually happen because:  1) opponent misses free throws (not true here since UNI didn’t even take a free throw in the final 44 seconds), 2) comeback team reigns in threes (not true here since TAM only hit one 3-pointer – amazingly, they only attempted two 3-pointers in the final 44 seconds and the first one was a miss before the 14-2 run), or 3) lots of turnovers.  Yup, that was it.  Four turnovers leading to 9 points.  TAM scored 9 points in 14.4 seconds.  There were two intangibles in play:  1) No timeouts (they called their last one before their first turnover) and 2) like a reliable placeholder in football, UNI’s inbound guy Matt Bohannon injured his left leg and was on the bench just before the collapse, and by the two inbound turnovers and two inbound passes that put guys in a tough corner, they needed him.

Poor Paul Jesperson, the half-court buzzer-beating hero in the last game.  He did not challenge two layups (foul trouble?), challenged one weakly and was called for a foul (3-point play), got the ball in the corner and proceeded to Continue reading »

Issue # 4.1.2 “The Return of the Buzzer Beater”

**Note this is a recap of Friday’s games, just now posted today


Friday, March 18, 2016  [Posted 3/21]

Buccos 1 one of 3 to go 13-3 to take the lead

St Josephs v Cincy - No buzzer beater (NBC Sports)SALT LAKE CITY, UT (smt)- Six double-digit seeds joined the four yesterday in a wild and crazy day.  In calmness, #10MW-Syracuse, #2S-Villanova, #10W-VCU, #13S-Hawaii, #2W-Oklahoma, #14E-Stephen F. Austin, #3W-Texas A&M, #1W-Oregon, and #2E-Xavier reached the 2nd Round.  In the biggest upset, especially considering most thought this was a #1 seed, #15MW-Middle Tennessee withstood a couple of #2MW-Michigan St. runs to become just the eighth #15 seed to win.  Middle Tennessee were 16 1/2 point underdogs, which doesn’t seem that large considering MSU was #2 in the AP poll.  #7S-Iowa made a critical mistake of missing a free throw and then fouling on a 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left allowing #10S-Temple to tie and force overtime.  Iowa had the last possession in OT and with the game tied and a put back off an airball at the buzzer gave the Hawkeyes the win.  #6W-Texas just tied the game with #11W-Northern Iowa so UNI tried a half court shot at the buzzer that banked in.  Then the last game of the night,, #9W-Cincinnati had the ball and a pass under the basket resulted in a dunk at the buzzer for the win… but although the ball was above the basket, the hand was still on the ball and it didn’t count.  #5S-Maryland, #7E-Wisconsin, and #6E-Notre Dame held off upset attempts.

Three went 13-3 today including Buccos 1 who now leads the pool with 54 ptsThe Resistance (3rd-Tied, 50) lost Continue reading »

Are you alive?

The possibilities have been posted (also look in the menu above) and there are 118 entries that can still finish in the top 6 and there are 63 entries that can win the pool!  Michigan St did do a lot of damage but there are still quite a few who had them winning it all with a chance to win the pool.  And for the 31 entries who can’t finish in the top 6, we will see later this week how many can still win the $40 bonus.  Good luck!

Issue # 5.2.1 “Comebacks Fall Short”


Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Resistance bounces back into 1st

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (smt)- #3S-Miami, #4w-Duke, #1MW-Virginia, and #1S-Kansas took big leads and then held on to win easily in the end.  #11S-Wichita St erased a 21-point deficit to Miami and #12W-Yale erased 22 of a 27-point deficit but both ran out of gas.  In the battle of teams who won’t face each other anymore, #5E-Indiana shut down #4E-Kentucky (and coach John Calipari’s mouth).  In the biggest upset, #11MW-Gonzaga easily handled #3MW-Utah (leaving #1W-Oregon as the lone Pac 12 team left) and makes the Sweet 16 for the 4th time as a double-digit seed.   #4MW-Iowa St and #1E-UNC won with ease.  The ACC is 10-1 with three more teams playing tomorrow.    A pretty good tournament as several teams shot well over 50% (Miami 55, Iowa St 57, Virginia 56, Gonzaga 56).

In the pool, eight entries went 7-1 including The Resistance who re-took the top spot (71 pts) and WatchMeDab who moved from Continue reading »

Issue # 3.1.1 “We Missed You 12, Not So Much the Pac 12”


Thursday, March 17, 2016  **LUCK OF THE IRISH**

The Resistance is 6th person to go 16-0 on Day 1; Unofficially, 149 entries

CERRITOS/LOS ALAMITOS, CA (smt)- The 12 seed is a favorite upset pick but last year, in a rarity, all four #12 seeds lost.  This year, they are 2-for-3 as #12MW-Little Rock came back from 13 down with 3:19 left to win in 2 overtimes and #12W-Yale beat a top 25 team for the first time since 1952.  Plus the Bulldogs did us a favor so we didn’t have to see those awful neon #5W-Baylor uniforms.  I thought my daughter marked our TV with a highlighter.  The 12s weren’t the only ones to come back with vengeance as the #9 seeds were shut out last year and are now 3-for-3 with #9MW-Butler, #9S-UConn, and #9E-Providence winning.  The latter  benefited from #8E-USC missing two front ends of a 1-and-1 and inexplicably allowing an open man under the basket with 3 seconds left for the game-winning shot.  While #1E-UNC had only a one point lead at halftime, they pulled away in the second half and fellow 1 seeds MW-Virginia and S-Kansas (105 pts) had easy victories.  #4W-Duke, #4MW-Iowa St, #3S-Miami, #5E-Indiana, #3MW-Utah, #11S-Wichita St (another First Four team who wins a 2nd game, 6th straight year), #11MW-Gonzaga, and #4E-Kentucky were challenged but pulled away.

The Pac 12 imploded going 1-3 with only Utah winning (all 7 teams are top 8 seeds) while the ACC went 3-0.  There were untimely technicals, airballed free throws, final drives where the driver lost the ball, and clutch shots.   The Zags won for the eighth straight 1st round game despite not always getting a high seed.  And we’ll get the rivalry game back, Indiana v Kentucky.

Day 1 Most winsIn the pool, 66 started 4-0, 4 started 8-0, two were 12-0 but only The Resistance (32 pts) managed to go a perfect 16-0, just the sixth person to do so.  With 7 upsets, Continue reading »

Busy Day

We fell short of last year’s record (161) but we have at least 149 entries which is our 2nd highest total ever.  I’ll start posting mini-updates during the day through twitter (#hwciNCAA).  With two 9 seeds winning for the first time in a while and two  12 seeds advancing after last year’s 0-fer, I’ll be posting standings highlights in groups of four.  At the end of each night (sometimes after midnight), the standings will be updated by Dave.

Unofficially, you can check your bracket (and others) here:

Congrats to Vi P

n2016_ff-day2Vi P edged Tom J and Neil O by a point to take the 6th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity contest.  Six picked all four First Four games correctly but Vi had the lowest point differential.  On the flip side, Scott T finished dead last as one of three to go 1-3 and had a huge 81 point differential.

At midnight, we had 112 entries which is two more than 2014 but 11 less than 2015 at this same time.  Hopefully, we’ll get a flood of entries as the 9 am deadline nears!