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

    Posted on April 6th, 2015 - 5:10 pm Scott No comments


     – 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).

    In 1996, 19 people participated in the pool. Without the HW-UCLA guys picking nicknames, we had some boring stuff like JAMES, JOSEPH, and HEATHER. That year, the total points tiebreaker was first used to settle ties. A newcomer, JAYBIAN (Jason S, 1st, 144) rode Kentucky to a first place prize of $110. He also set a record going 8-0 for the 3rd round and never looked back. BIX PIX TWEY (Fernando B, 5th, 129), hoping to duplicate last year’s effort, fell short of winning money thanks to his loyalty to UCLA. JOSEPH (Joseph K, 2nd, 140) and JAMES (James L, 3rd, 139) won $50 and $30, respectively. Six picked Kentucky that year with just as many picking UCLA (who lost to Princeton in the first round- ouch!). This was the first year someone entered twice (Dave F) and ended up 11th (REALISTIC MOBELFAKTA, 113) and 16th (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA, 106). MM and HATE THE DUCKS (Mark C, 12th, 112) became the 2nd and 3rd people to go 0-for-the- Final-Four. HATE THE DUCKS had a 64% chance of winning money heading into the 4th round, and 0% chance after. THE CHEF (Douglas H, 19th, 80) set an all-time low in points for a pool at the time.

    In 1997, the first real debate on whether to raise the pool fee to $20 from $10 was raised. Fortunately, it was defeated in a vote. But, three people did plunk down $20 to enter twice as 22 entries were received in the third annual pool. Like Dave F before them, the three people went moneyless (Tuan H- RODERICK (15th, 97) and RHODES (14th, 97); Alvin K- BAD ASS I (4th, 111) and BAD ASS II (18th, 93); and Dennis K- LENNY (6th, 107) and DUKE (12th, 99)). This was also the first year no one picked the correct NCAA champion. Arizona, who usually bowed out in the first or second round, surprised everyone, including Kentucky, in winning the championship in overtime. The #4-SE seed beat three # 1 seeds, the first time that’s happened. Twelve had picked Kansas and four North Carolina, neither which made the championship game. MAX (Sean D, 1st, 116) bounced back from a 15th place finish the year before to win the $125 top prize. The Selander brothers took 2nd (Brian S, THE FLYING ELVI, 115) and 3rd (Jason S,JAYBIAIN II, 113) for $60 and $35, respectively. Jason S became the first person to win money twice (1st in 1996). Todd S. (FRODO, 5th, 109) became the first person to lead going into the Final Four and end up with nothing. Just half (11 of 22) finished 100 points or higher.

    In 1998, a record 28 entries tried their luck. ANNA COME LATELY (Anna C, 1st, 126), the last entry we received, seemed like the least likely to win, picking a Utah over UCLA final. Well, Utah surprised the 27 other entrants (no one else even had them in the Final Four) and gave ANNA COME LATELY the record top prize of $150. James L became the 2nd person to win twice taking the $70 second place prize (CAVEMAN, 2nd, 113) while THE FABONE (Scott T, 3rd, 110) won money for the first time in four tries to take home $40. For the first time, a 4th place prize was created and that went to SCOTTMAN (Scott H, 4th, 108), which was also the first time the tiebreaker played a part in the top spots as he won the 4-way tie for 4th place. With Kentucky’s rally and win over Utah in the final, this was the 2nd straight year no one picked the champion. Sixteen pegged UNC while five hoped for an Arizona repeat. UTHOPE (Donald G, 24th, 92) became the 4th person to go 0-7 in the last three rounds. ANNA COME LATELY’s 13-point win was the largest margin of victory ever (still stands today). Tuan H once again entered twice with the same results- no money (STRAIGHT BUTTER, 10th, 106 and EN FUEGO, 13th, 104) extending the drought for dual entries to 0-for-5.

    In 1999, a record 36 entries (18 NCAA pool newcomers, 13 pool newcomers if you include those who participated in the World Cup Pool) were received with two dual entries (Scott T- THE FABONE V and FREE FABONE and Gareth M- CARSERONI and MAJERUS FOR SDSU). This was the first year the referral program was in effect (free entry for 5 referrals). Mark C (DARKSHARK) became the first person to go 0-for-7 in the Final Four twice (1996). SHARY BOBBINS (Lisa T, 1st, 146) and CARSERONI (Gareth M, 3rd, 120) became the 12th and 13th different people to win HWCI NCAA pool money. Scott T (FREE FABONE) and Gareth M (CARSERONI) broke a streak of winless dual entries with a 2nd and 3rd Place finish in one of their entries. James L (BIG GAME, 5th, 117) bid to go 3-for-3 in winning money came falling down with Duke’s stunning loss. Three of four people who picked UConn (29 picked Duke) to win it all won money. Rob C (LUIS ENRIQUE’S ARMADA, 11th, 113) became the first person to pick the correct champion and lose out to someone who didn’t (where the correct champion was picked). Fernando B (BIG SPIDER BECK, 4th, 118) had just a 4 in 132 chance to win money and took 4th, his second winning entry ever. Loretta A (TRUE BRUIN, 36th, 67) finished with all-time record low in points.

    In 2000, a record-tying 36 entries once again tried their luck as 14 newcomers entered. Sam N (MORALES’ MOUNDS, 122 pts) became the sixth different champion after finishing 26th and 31st in the previous two years. He became the first person to either be tied or in the lead after each of the six rounds. After a record breaking first round that saw two people get 30 of 32 first round games correct, the brackets started to fall apart as no one got more than 3 of 8 Sweet Sixteen games correct and eight people went go 0-7 in the Final Four (just six have done so before (117 entries)). Just one #1 and one #2 seed advanced to the Elite Eight. Dave F (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA) returns to the winner’s circle with a 2nd Place finish. Scott T (THE FABONE VI) won money for a record third straight pool. Beth S (BETHEON, 36th, 62) shattered the all-time low in points. Fourteen people pegged Michigan St. as the correct champion. Craig E (CRAIGS99) won 4th place in his first pool.

    In 2001, a record shattering 59 entries were received by 53 people (21 new people). Robinson C (TEAM SAMURAI) won the biggest prize ever of $280 after finishing 3rd to last (34th) last year. He entered three times and it worked. Three others (Scott T, Mike K, Fernando B) went winless in both of their entries after the last three people to enter twice won money (3-8 overall for those with 2 entries; Robinson is the first 3-time entry-er). Sam N (B-S FC), last year’s pool champion, and Dylan R (DYLAN) become just the 3rd and 4th people to not get at least half the games correct. Four people went 0-7 in the Final Four (just 18 people have done so out of 212 entries) with Donald G (UTHPOPE) doing it for the second time (Mark C is the only other person with this dubious distinction). On the flip side, two people (BINGO and PEEPS) became the first-ever entries to predict all four Final Four teams correctly. Eleven different teams were picked to be the champion with 18 picking Stanford, 15 Duke, and 8 Arizona. In addition to Robinson C, Lisa F (ARMIN TAMZARIAN) won for the 2nd time. Bing F (BINGO) took 3rd in his second try and Sam P (JAYHAWK FC) took home 4th. The top 13 finishers all had Duke winning it all.

    In 2002, a record breaking 80 entries were received. A hefty 80 entries from 71 people including 29 new people and 42 returnees. Seven people entered twice and one person entered 3 times but only Scott T managed to take home something, his first pool title in 8 years (THE FABON8ER) and largest take ever, $400, giving him a lifetime total of $590 and his 4th win (1st, 2nd, 2 3rd place finishes). Jeff H (RANDOM PICKS) had the largest 1st and 2nd round leads ever (4 and 7 pts) and most pts after 2 rounds (90) but had to settle for 2nd. Ann B. (LITTLE ANN) and Paul N. (KAIZEN) took 3rd and 4th, with the 4th Place prize of $70 matching our first ever 1st Place prize of $70 in 1995. In reference to quantity does not equal quality, Gabriel T (GOBAY) and Dan H (HENDO) shattered records for lowest point total (49) and worst 2nd round (3-13). Gabriel also set records for worst 2nd Round Saturday (1-7), worst record in 3rd round (0-8), worst record in last 4 rounds (0-15). HENDO set a record for least wins (22) and lowest point total after 2 rounds (45). Eight people failed to get half the games right (just 4 in previous 7 pools) and eight went 0-7 in the last 3 rounds (just 18 in previous 7 pools). 22 entries chose Duke to win it all but all four winners (out of 17) correctly chose Maryland.

    In 2003, with the War in Iraq looming that week, 63 valid entries (including a record 47 returnees) from 58 people were received, our second highest total. With some complaints that four prizes weren’t enough, we instituted our first-ever Bonus Prize of $40 to the entry who picked the Winningest Conference and number of wins correctly. This allowed 21 extra entries with a chance for money heading into the Final Four. Scott T (THE FABO9ERS) won the prize (11th, 110), his fifth win, pushing his lifetime total to $630 by winning the tiebreaker of those who had the Big 12 with 14 wins. Four people entered twice and none won anything. Cliff T became the first person to enter twice and have both of his entries eliminated after the 2nd Round. Darryn B (BIG LUTHER), in his second pool, took home the first place prize of $280, our 9th different pool champion. John S (MR. WIZARD) and Quang P (KRIMSONGUARD) took home 2nd and 3rd, respectively, their first-ever wins, and the 23rd and 24th different people to win money. Catrina B (BLUEBERRY) had a record-setting perfect first day (16-0) but eventually lost her last 14 games and 26 of the last 31 games to finish in 62nd place. John B (BLOOMERS123) also went 16-0 on the first day but finished 27th. Twelve teams were picked to win it all but the overwhelming choices were Kentucky (32 entries) and Arizona (13) but neither team made it to the Final Four. For the first time since the pool started, 3 #1 seeds lost in the Elite 8, and for the second time, no #1 seed was in the Final. With that disaster Elite 8 round, a record 26 entries went 0-for-the-Final Four, matching the previous eight-year combined total of 26 (in 292 entries). No one had more than 2 Final Four teams correctly picked. Robinson C (TEAM SAMURAI, 63rd, 72) became the 13th entry to not get more than half the games correct. Fern B (GALAXY, 5th, 117) missed money by one point and became just the 2nd entry to get the correct champion (Syracuse) and lose to someone who didn’t pick the champion (in years where the correct champion was picked). To add insult to injury, Fern also picked the tiebreaker correctly (which means with one extra point he would have won 4th), just the third person to do so.

    In 2004, our 10th anniversary, the pool bounced back and 79 entries were received from 70 people (7 dual entries, 1 3-entries), including a record 54 return entries. Once again, none of the 8 people who entered multiple entries won money. Six different people led after each of the first four days before Bing F (BINGO) took over after Rounds 3 and 4. However, after Round 5, Jeff H (RANDOM PICKS) took the lead pushing Bing F to no higher than 3rd and in the end, became just the second person to lead going into the Final Four and wind up moneyless. For the first-time ever, the pool champion was not crowned after Round 5 and we had to wait until after Monday’s game to find out who our Pool champion would be. It was Rick F (FABIO) who took home the $370 top prize and became our 10th different champion. Rick F and Darius B (OMG), who took 2nd Place, were our 25th and 26th different persons to win money. Dave F (THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA) took 3rd, his 3rd win ever (total: $230). Jeff H took the 4th place prize of $80, his second win, pushing his win total to $280. Jeff H was also just the third person to ever snatch a money spot away from someone who picked the correct champion (he had Kentucky) beating David S (SHRINER, 5th) by one point. After eight winless years, Mike B. (BUCKEYE MIKE) finally won something, taking home the $40 Bonus Prize as theACC was the Winningest Conference with 14 wins. Fourteen different teams were picked to win it all, but 2 of the top 3 didn’t make it to the Sweet 16 (Stanford (21) and Kentucky (12)). Duke (16) lost in the Semis but eventual champion UConn was picked by 11. Despite only one #1 seed making the Final Four, 17 entries got 3 of the 4 teams correct. Three entries got less than 32 games correct (16 overall). Twelve went 0-for-the-Final-Four (64 overall). A record 5 people got the tiebreaker exact (just happened three times before).

    In 2005, the start of our second decade, 82 entries from 73 people (both records) were submitted, including a record 65 returnees. Of the eight who entered at least twice, two won money.  Robinson C became the first two-time HWCI NCAA Pool champion (’01) winning with his FLIP FIGHTERS (140 pts) entry (his 2nd of 3 entries) and taking home a record-tying $400, giving him a grand total of $680 (record) over six years (16 total entries).  Roy W entered twice and won with his first entry, KRISPY KREMER, finishing 3rd in his 4th try.  First-time online entry Paul T (HOOPGURU) took home 2nd and Patrick N (KING KLITSCHKO) took home 4th, winning a 3-way tiebreaker, in his third try.  All four entries (Robinson’s 1st entry won last time) were first time winners (the last time this happened was in 1996) and all four correctly picked UNC.  The three big teams from the ACC (UNC (19), Duke (11), and Wake Forest (8)) were picked by a combined 38 entries compared to the 27 who picked Illinois to win it all. Wake Forest was the only team picked unanimously to go to the Sweet 16, and of course, they failed to do so. With Duke losing in the Sweet 16, that allowed the Big 10 to have the most conference wins and for the first time, no one won the Bonus Prize. That allowed the top 4 prizes to increase, satisfying the winners. A record nine entries were still alive going into the Final and for the second straight year, the pool champ was undecided. Also, for the first time, not one entry was guaranteed money (only Chuck H’s ACE OF SPADES could win in either case but could lose on a tiebreaker, which he did (lost 3-way tie for 4th) going into the Final). Despite just eight top seeds making the Sweet 16 and three making the Elite 8, a record 20 still managed to pick the final two teams (just 25 in 434 previous entries). Four entries were below .500 (20 overall) and four went 0-for-the-Final-Four (68 overall).

    In 2006, our website was down for almost 21 hours but that didn’t stop us from receiving a record 85 entries from a record 77 people (and a record 71 entries were returnees).  The Big East had a record 8 teams in the tourney but only UConn (39) and Villanova (4) were picked to win it all.  Duke (19) and hometown UCLA (9) also were favorites.  For the second straight year, none of the record-tying nine entries were guaranteed to win money and for the third straight year, the champion was not crowned after the semifinals. Taking home a record $415 was Ken B (GATORS NEVER CHOKE) in his seventh try.  Other first-time winners included Jake P (LORENZO MATA) and John C (JINX) who took home $200 and $140, respectively.  Pat N (AGENT 86 OF CONTROL) won 4th place for the second straight year ($95) becoming just the 10th multiple winner in our pool (total: $185).  No one won the Bonus for the second straight year as the SEC (13), not the Big East, won the most games.  For the first time, no #1 seed made the Final Four but five still managed to pick 2 of the 4 teams.  However, a record 41 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (just 68 previously) (all-time low average of 0.58 of 4 teams) and nine were below .500 (29 overall).  An all-time low average of just 90.8 points were won by our players.

    In 2007, travel interrupted Scott & Dave in not getting the site ready until early Monday, but a record 98 entries from a record 83 people (and a record 72 return entries) came pouring in, including 58 on Wednesday alone.  This was the year of records as seven of the top 8 teams made the Elite 8.  Van P (VAN&SAM) set records for most points (166) and wins (55) and just missed a perfect Last 15 (perfect Elite 8 onward).  She is the rare champion who won despite not picking the NCAA winner because she had such a huge lead (the other three winners had Florida as their champ).  She won the first place prize of $450 before the Final , snapping a streak of three years where the winner wasn’t known before the Final.  Ann B (THAI SPICE) took 2nd ($230) for her second win and has won a grand total of $360.  Troy B (SNOOP’S DOGS) won for the first time (six years) in taking 3rd place ($155).  Don C (DC944) returned for the first time in three years and won 4th ($105).  A record-tying 17 entries were still alive going into the Final Four.  Four entries had a perfect Elite 8 (just one before) and six had a perfect Final Four (just two before), and 17 had a perfect Final Two, but only VAN&SAM was perfect in all three.  The top two picks were Ohio St. (31 picks) and Florida (13) and both made the Final.  The pool entrants set records for the best 3rd (70.8%) and 4th rounds (56.6%) ever.  For the first time since 1996, the average points went above 110 (121.9).  On the other side, four went 0-for-the-Final-Four.  The Bonus was tweaked to add a Bonus2, so that someone will win the Bonus Prize of $40 but for the first time in three years, someone correctly picked the Winningest Conference and wins (Wendy B (BUCKEYE23) which was the SEC with 11 wins.

    In 2008, we didn’t have a website for almost six months as we lost our free hosting and now had to pay for a server.  We got the web up at the end of February and added a blog.  We received a record 101 entries from a record-tying 83 people.  Amazingly, 80 of the 101 entries were return entries.  We had a record 3 people have triple entries and a record 12 dual entries.  We started off strong with 39 entries at the end of Tuesday (including a record 19 on Monday) before slowing down to just beat last year’s total of 98.  Doug H (JUNO INO) became the first person to have a Perfect Final Four twice, and he did so in back-to-back years.  With all 4 #1 seeds making the Final Four for the first time (which helped set a record of 2.52 wins in the 4th Round), a record 12 went 4-0 in the Elite 8 and 24 people were still in the running for money after the Elite 8.  This was partially helped by the new addition of a 5th place prize (since we had 100+ entries).  The top two #1 seeds were UCLA (44 picked to win it all) and UNC (30) but both lost in the semifinals.  Kansas’ amazing comeback win helped Cliff T (BELUCKY2) become the first person to ever get a perfect Last-7 (all four Final 4 teams + both finalists + champ).  The overtime added 17 points (total: 143) which was enough to give Bob G (COBI’S DAD) the tiebreaker and 2nd place ($220) over Doug H (JUNO INO) who took 3rd ($150). The top 3 winners are all first-time winners (Cliff & Bob’s 1st wins in 10 pools; Doug’s 1st in five pools). Don C (DC944) won 4th place ($100) for the second straight year (total: $205 in 3 pools) winning the tiebreaker over Jeff H (U BETTA BELIEVE IT), who won for the 3rd time (total: $340 in 6 pools) in taking our first-ever 5th place prize ($60). Three of the 7 who picked Kansas won money.  The Jayhawk win gave the Big 12 12 wins for the Winningest Conference title for the second time since 2003. Four people were eligible for the $40 Bonus Prize which was won by Robby D (ARBEDYTHREE), also a first-time winner (4th year).  Jake P (QUICKPICK MCGRAW) became the 114th entry to go 0-for-the-Final-Four and is the only entry to ever tie or have the lowest win total in each of the six rounds.  This was the third straight year the NCAA Champ has come out of the Midwest Regional.

    In 2009, our 15th anniversary, we got a new look for the web, integrating our blog with our homepage, which delayed the brackets until just past midnight Sunday.  We also created a HWCI NCAA Facebook group and a person to connect with, Hwci Ncaa.  Despite the dour economy (or maybe because of it), we got 114 entries (91 return entries) from 98 people, all records.  We started off slow with just 25 entries at the end of Tuesday but then we had a record 62 entries submitted on Wednesday and another record 27 on Thursday.  The Big East got a record 3 #1 seeds and a record 5 in the Sweet 16 but none made it to the Final.  However it was the non-Big East #1, UNC, which led the way with 36 picking the Tar Heels to win with 3 picking Michigan St.  Twenty-one picked Louisville, 18 picked Pitt, and 14 picked Memphis as 3 of the 13 teams chosen to win it all.  For the first time, at least one entry went perfect on the first day of the 1st Round (Buckeye Mike (Mike B)), the first day of the 2nd Round (21 tied), the first day of the 3rd Round (2 tied), and the first day of the 4th Round (5 tied).  Also, two went 2-0 in the 5th Round and 36 picked the correct champ.  Rainman (Ford R) became just the 6th entry to have a Perfect Elite 8 and Bizarro Larzby (Lawrence M) became just the 21st entry to have a perfect Final Four.  Bizarro Larzby used a perfect Final Four to claim the HWCI NCAA Pool title (his first money spot in 6 tries) ($495) and our 14th different champion in the 15 years of the pool. He also won with his 2nd entry, just the third time this has happened.  Buckeye23 (Wendy B) won 2nd, her 2nd win (Bonus in ’07).  AC (Adam C, 1st year) won 3rd ($170), Rainman (2 years) won 4th ($115), and Buckeye Mike(14 years, $40 bonus in ’04) won 5th ($70).  Shake N’ Bake (Kevin T) won the $40 Bonus by guessing the Big East with 17 wins and being just two points off the total points in final (161) tiebreaker, his first time in the money in 4 tries.  The average number of wins for the 2nd Round was 12.1 shattering the previous high of 11.1 in 1995.

    In 2010, our Sweet 16th, thanks to people who found us on the web to amazingly increase our number of entries to 117 (91 return entries submitted by 93 people).  We got an entry on Sunday for the first time since 2005 and got a record 23 entries on Tuesday and 33 on Thursday morning.  The Big East got 8 teams in but only one made the Elite 8.  Just four of eight top seeds made the Elite 8 (with overall #1 Kansas, picked by a record 64 entries, losing in the 2nd Round, #1 Kentucky, picked by 23, losing in the Elite 8, and #1 Syracuse, picked by 8, losing in the Sweet 16).  Only #1S-Duke made the Final and just beat mid-major Horizon League champ #5W-Butler in the ultimate David vs. Goliath clash.  No one picked more than 2 Final Four teams, only 22 picked Duke to make the Final, and only 4 correctly picked Duke to win it all with three of those winning money (sorry, Scott T).  Blue Devil Blues (Kim B) won money for the first time in 9 years with Duke’s victory and became our 4th female champion ($500).  She was our 15th champion in 16 years. You’re My Boy Blue (Joe D) won money (2nd, $255) for the first time in 7 years.  Hummeless (Kevin J) won money (4th ($120)) for the first time in 8 years.  Eros (Cynthia S) won money (3rd, $175) for the first time in 3 years and FOMI (Sam N) (1st ’00, $260, 13 years) edged out Deemed to Win (Scott T) (3rd ’98 ($40), 2nd ’99 ($90), 3rd ’00 ($60), 1st ’02 ($400), Bonus ’03 ($40), 16 years) in the tiebreaker to win 5th.  Sam N is the only winner who submitted more than one entry (18 submitted 2 entries and 3 tried the max 3) Has No Idea (Van P who won in ’07) won the Bonus2 by exactly getting the total points in final as no one got the Winningest Conference(Big12/Big10/ACC with 9).  A record 56 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (188 total).  A record-low was set with the average number of wins (35.1) and points (89.3).

    In 2011, the NCAA tried to throw a monkey wrench in the whole pool experience by expanding the the tourney to 68 teams and creating the First Four. So we kept the pool the same and created a First Four for Charity contest won by David A in which Scott personally donated $60 of the $100 to the American Red Cross to support the recovery efforts of the devastating South Asia earthquake and tsunami.  Despite the dour economy for the third straight year, our number of entries jumped to a record 125 (a record 107 return entries (shattering the previous record by 16) submitted by 97 people). We got a record 25 entries on Tuesday and the pace continued.  The Big East got a record 11 teams in but only one made the Elite 8. No #1 or #2 seeds made the Final Four for the first time ever with top picks Ohio St. (picked by 41) losing in the 3rd Round and Kansas (picked by 34) losing in the Sweet 16 (4th round).  #3W-UConn beat #8SE-Butler who loses to a Goliath in the final for the second straight year.   Krispy Kremer (Roy W) is our 16th different champion in 17 years for his 2nd win (3rd ’05). The MM (David F) finished 2nd for his 4th win (3rd ’95, 2nd ’00, 3rd ’04).  Craig (Craig S),  TheLakeShow (Sam S), and MB Camel Jockies (Ted J) won 3rd, 4th, and 5th for their first wins ever.  BINLADEN (Charles D) won for the first time win taking our first-ever 6th place prize. This is the 6th time in the past 8 years that the Pool winner was decided in the final.  As for the Bonus, the Big East won the Winningest Conference with 13 wins giving For Narnia (Blakeley H) his first-ever money spot.  The Downtown Fiction (Paul T) tied a high set in 2000 by going 30-2 in the 2nd Round (used to be called the 1st Round).  PFC Bradley Manning (Nelson P) tied a low set in ’02 & ’05 by going 0-for-the-Elite-8 and set a new record by losing his last 16 games (previous 15 done twice).  Craig is the first person since ’06 (when #3-Florida met #2-UCLA) to not get a Finalist correct and win money and the first-ever to go 0-for-the-Final-Four and win money. A record 94 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (282 total).  A record-low was set with the average number of wins (34.5) and points (84.2).  

    In 2012, we had the 17th different champion in 18 years as Quinnsanity (Quinn D), a 12-year-old, took home the crown in his 5th year in the poolFor the 9th straight year we saw the number of entries increase starting off strong (record 21 by end of Monday) and ended strong (record 37 received on Thursday).  We received a record 134 entries (a record 115 return entries) from a record 99 people.  Lots of Losers (Bob G) took 2nd ($280), his second win (2nd in ’08 — same year as the previous Calipari vs Self matchup, $500) in 14 years.  Nwspring 1 (Nicholas S) won 3rd ($190) in his first year of playing.  SlackJaw (Jon J) won 4th ($135), his first win in 10 years (and took almost a year to collect his check!) and Vodka2-It’s Not Real (Sam N) took 5th ($90) (1st ’00, 5th ’10, $350).  Frumunda Mybalz (Andy F), The Wife’s Picks (Megan J), Paint Crew (Kevin J, 4th ’10), and Hendo (Dan H) all were tied for 6th with Andy (1st win in 15 years) & Megan (1st win in 3 years) winning the tiebreaker, our first-ever split prize (each getting $32.50, less than the Bonus!). Andy’s win means Man V (15 years) is our longest playing member without a win. This is the 7th time in the past 9 years that the Pool winner was decided in the final.  60 people have won money in our pools.  Larzby was just the second person to lead (or be tied for the lead) on the first six days but is the first to not finish in the money.  EEChick1400 got the first 15 games correct.  52 picked Kentucky to win it all (a record for the number correct) and more would’ve picked the second-best team Syracuse, but their big man became ineligible and thus, only 3 ended up picking them.  UNC was picked by 25 and Missouri was picked by 11, but Missouri flamed out in their first game.  The second round saw just an average of 21.0 wins (of 32) (with the second day seeing four record record-lows of 5-11 and 6-10), the 2nd-worst ever (which is more amazing considering 3 went 15-1 on the first day).  Eight went 8-0 on Day 3 while 45 went 4-0 on Day 6.  Only 14 went 0-for-the-Final-Four (296 total) despite just #1 seed making the Final Four.  As for the Bonus, the Big East wins the Winningest Conference with 13 wins (same as last year).  SpAva (Linh T) took home the $40, her 1st win in 11 years, by nailing the correct total points.  All in all, 6 first-time winners of the 8 money spots.  We also had our second First Four for Charity contest entered by 26 people and won by Michael C (in the pool: Swerveman) with a donation of $83 ($52 personally by Scott and a few others chipping in $31) going to the Rice Around the Clock team participating in American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life-Alhambra.

    In 2013, we had the 18th different champion in 19 years as The Rat Pack (Steve N), took home the crown ($530) and is his 1st win in 8 years.  For the first time in 10 years, we saw the number of entries decrease (131 vs 134) mainly due to the 14-year javascript not working on Apple products and the fact Scott was on a business trip to DC that week and had limited time to respond to questions.  We still got a record 20 entries on Monday and 63 entries on Wednesday though. We received 131 entries (112 return entries) from a record-tying 99 people.  Bwakewey Cubed (Blakeley H) (Bonus in ’11, 4 years, both wins on his 3rd entry), Shake N’ Bake (Kevin T) (Bonus in ’09, 8 years), andPoolraider (2nd in ’05, 9 years) (Paul T)claimed 2nd ($275), 3rd ($185), and 5th ($90)Flying Ace (Byron W) (14 years) and Lastminute (Van P) (1st in ’07, Bonus ’10, 11 years) claimed 4th ($130) and 6th ($65) with Louisville’s win.  This is just the 3rd time in the past 10 years that the Pool winner was decided before the final.  63 people have won money in our pools.  Macie’s Mom (who also went 15-1 on the 1st day) was leading after 3 days but then went a worst 2-6 on Day 4 and eventually was 1 of 38 to go 0-for-the-Final-Four (334 total). Sisyphus69 won the first 13 games.  Belucky2 tied a record-low going 1-7 on Day 3 (8th to do so).  9 went 1-7 in the Sweet 16. In a tourney with no clear favorite (and where the AP #1 was relegated to the 4th #1 seed), Indiana was picked by 33 and Louisville by 32 with Kansas, Duke, and Gonzaga getting 10 each and Michigan among those picked by one.  The Selection Committee gave no respect to the Pac-12 but both of the conference’s #12 seeds won and 2 teams went to the Sweet 16.  The Atlantic 10 went 6-0 in the First Four and 2nd Rounds (1-5 thereafter).  But it was still the Big 10 (7 teams) and Big East (8 teams) who led the charge with the Big 10 edging out the Big East for the Winningest Conference (14 wins) giving BamaG (Greg J) the $40 Bonus.  Just one #1 seed (Louisville) made the Final Four joined by two #4 seeds and a #9 seed. We also had our third First Four for Charity contest entered by 20 people and won by Cliff T (in the pool: Belucky2) with a donation of $106 ($50 personally by Scott and a few others chipping in $56) going to MathWorks, an organization that helps introduce STEM to young boys and girls.

    In 2014, we had our 19th different champion in 20 years as Badzy (Karen F) (2 years) rode UConn and won the record $555 first prize. This was the 8th time in the past 11 years our champion will be decided after the final game.  The pool was like the tournament.  The entries came in on a record pace (record 2 on Sunday, 42 on Tuesday, 60 after Tuesday) before fizzling toward the end but still surpassing the 134 entries in ’12 by getting 138 (from a record 104 people), including our first 2 mail-in entries in eons.  In the pool, two (Hawkeye and FC Nordsjaelland) went a perfect 16-0 on Day 1 (the former eventually winning the first 18) but in the end, only 3 people got one Final Four team on Sunday and just one person (Badzy) got a finalist.  Our pool underwent change in that our java applet finally died, years past its end-of-life, as Dave F created the long-awaited new bracket web entry (you can even do it on your phone… and a Mac!) in less than one day, but procrastinating for years.  Hawkeye became the 3rd person to lead (or tied for the lead) for the first six days and will be the 3rd person to not finish 1st.  GoGoGodzilla went 8-0 on Day 3 while AirDingus went 0-8 on Day 4 (a record). First Four Out was just the 4th person to go 0-8 in Elite 8 and was one of 36 to go 0-for-the-Final-Four (370 total).  Bigtenfan2 (Benjamin D) (2 years) (who couldn’t pick up any points on the last 5 games), Hawkeye (Randy E) (1 year), Beyond Elite 8 (1st ’06, 15 years), and ShivaBlast (Eric F) (4 years) won 2nd ($290)/3rd ($195)/4th (140)/5th ($95). Fabio (Rick F) (1st ’04, 12 years) beat out The Downtown Fiction (Paul T) (2nd ’05, 5th ’13, 10 years) and Wooden-Soldier (Don M) (6 years) in the tiebreaker for 6th ($65). 66 people have won money in our pool.  Only the #1 overall seed Florida made it to the Final Four but they lost to a #7 seed, UConn.  Even more odd, UConn faced a #8 seed in Kentucky and veterans beat freshmen in the Final.  Florida was the overwhelming favorite as 49 picked them, 17 #1 Arizona, 16 Louisville, and 15 Michigan St.  The other #1 seeds Wichita St (the first team to be undefeated heading into the tourney since UNLV in ’91) and Virginia only got 8 and 3, respectively.  The SEC only got 2 teams in the first 64 but Tennessee played their way in winning their First Four game and those 3 teams made the Sweet 16 (along with 3 from the Pac 12 and Big 10 and just 2 of 7 teams from the Big 12) as the SEC went 12-3.  Only 11 of those games counted, still making the SEC the winningest conference.  Unfortunately, no one got it right meaning the $40 Bonus was won via the Bonus2, the total points in final.  The low scoring 114 point affair gave the Bonus to Elizabeth (Elizabeth W) (2 years) (117th) who was one off the total (115).  We also had our 4th First Four for Charity contest entered by 22 people and won by Giulio B (not in pool) with a donation of $69 ($44 personally by Scott and a few others chipping in $25) going to Friends of Renee, a committee to help bring awareness to Lyme Disease and raise money for Eric F’s (ShivaBlast) friend, Renee, who suffers from the disease.

    In 2015, we may have our 20th different champion in 21 years as either BobbyCee’sRacer’sEdge (Bobby C) (4 years) or Big Luther (Darryn B) (1st ’03, 14 years) will win the record $630 first prize. This is the 9th time in the past 12 years our champion will be decided after the final game. Thanks to the new web entry page from the start and streamlined email confirmations, things went smoothly for once.  Like last year, the entries came in on a record pace (record 4 on Sunday, 21 by Tuesday) but this year the pace sustained itself (record 72 on Wednesday and 38 on Thursday morning) surpassing the 138 entries in ’14 by getting 161 (from a record 113 people), including our typical (at least for 2 years now) 2 mail-in entries.  A record 37 entered more than once (11 entered 3 times).  We had 23 new people join the pool (record 39 new entries overall), the most since 28 joined in ’02.  In the pool, with lower-seeded teams winning 23 straight, a record 6 went 16-0 on Day 2 (Big Blue, Bigtenfan, Ceasefire, HH, LuckyNumberSlevin,The Rebounding Dead) (previously 23 had gone 15-1).  The Flying Elvi won a record 23 straight games and Ceasefire won 22 straight.  Bwakewey 1 went 8-0 on Day 4 (3rd person to do so) while 3 went 8-0 in the Sweet 16 (Big Luther, BobbyCee’sRacer’sEdge, Will I Ever Win This).  Four went 0-for-the-Final-Four (374 total).  Either Big Luther,The Bracket Awakens (Scott T) (3rd ’98, 2nd ’99, 3rd ’00, 1st ’02, Bonus ’03, 21 years), Patton (Jonathan P) (4 years), Spermicidal State (Michael G) (9 years), and Buccos 2 (Jason R) (7 years) will win 2nd ($330)/3rd ($225)/4th ($170)/5th ($125)/6th ($80) or PRIDE OF TROY (Patrick N) (4th ’05, 4th ’06, 12 years), Dance Time Boyz (Stephanie J) (1 year), Will I Ever Win This (Man V) (17 years), Wuk3 (Mike W) (1st year), and Flying Ace (4th ’13, 15 years) will win if Duke wins.  69-72 people have won money in our pool. The most dominating team by far (Vegas made it even money between Kentucky and the other 67 teams), Kentucky was poised to reach perfection at 40-0 but fell two games short.  Kentucky was picked by 90 to win it all (146 of 161 had them in the Final Four) with West Region’s Arizona (26) and #1 Wisconsin (18) next.  The other #1 seeds Villanova (9) and Duke (8) got some votes as did Virginia (6).  The Big 12 got 7 of 10 teams into the tournament but fizzled at 5-7 while the ACC (6 teams) won their first 11 games and ended up the winningest conference with 16 wins (one game left).  The Pac 12 got three of its four teams into the Sweet 16 while the Big 10’s seven teams went 12-6 (one game left).  We had our 5th HWCI First Four for Charity contest entered by 11 people and was won by Kevin T (Shake N Bake) with a donation of at least $82 ($47 personally by Scott and a few others chipping in $35) going to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation for breast cancer research.

    Here are the all-time records (not including the Final, of course):

    Day Rec/       Rec/    
    Rnd (Max) Pts HIGH YEAR   Pts LOW YEAR
    1st THU 16-0, 32 Blueberry 2003 6-10, 12 Shibai44 2015
    (32) Bloomers123 2003 TURNOVER PRONE UPSET 2015
    Buckeye Mike 2009 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    Hawkeye 2014 7-9, 14 16 tied 1999
    FC Nordsjaelland 2014 (last 7 tied) 2015
    15-1, 30 52 tied 1997
    (last 2 tied) 2014
    1st FRI 16-0, 32 6 tied 2015 5-11, 10 Buccos  2 2012
    (32) 15-1, 30 51 tied 2002 6-10, 12 AsherPrancerVixen 2012
    (last 28 tied) 2015 BallBusters3 2012
    SilverSurfer 2012
    1st RND 30-2, 60 Money, Morales’ Mounds 2000 15-17, 30 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    The Downtown Fiction 2011 AsherPrancerVixen 2012
    (64) 29-3, 58 8 tied 2000 16-16, 32 Peeps 2001
    Craig 2011 LuckyNumberSlevin 2012
    SilverSurfer 2012
    2nd SAT 8-0, 24 36 tied 1995 1-7, 3 GoBay 2002
    (24) GoGoGodzilla 2014 Dterp 2006
    Quickpick McGraw 2008
    Buckeye23 2010
    Flip Fighters 2010
    Keebler’s Three Sum 2011
    Sisyphus 2011
    Belucky2 2013
    2nd SUN 8-0, 24 The Mighty Mobelfakta 1996 0-8, 0 AirDingus 2014
    (24) Lil’ Saigon 1996 1-7, 3 8 tied 2002
    Bwakewey 1 2015 (last 3 tied) 2014
    7-1, 21 36 tied 2002
    (last 7 tied) 2015
    2nd RND 14-2, 42 31 tied 1995 3-13, 9 GoBay 2002
    (48) Bwakewey 1 2015 Hendo 2002
    13-3, 39 33 tied 1995 4-12, 12 7 tied 2003
    (last 28 tied) 2009 (last AirDingus) 2014
    2nd -END- 98 Buckeye Mike 2009 42 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    (112) SilverSurfer 2009 45 Hendo 2002
    97 DC944 2007
    Thai Spice 2007
    3rd THU 4-0, 16 134 tied 1995 0-4, 0 142 tied 1999
    (16) (last 66 tied) 2015 (last 2 tied) 2015
    3rd FRI 4-0, 16 133 tied 1996 0-4, 0 102 tied 1997
    (16) (last 5 tied) 2015 (last 8 tied) 2015
    3rd RND 8-0, 32 9 tied 1996 0-8, 0 GoBay 2002
    (32) (last 3 tied) 2015 ReggieK945 2005
    7-1, 28 56 tied 1996 PFC Bradley Manning 2011
    (last 8 tied) 2015 First Four Out 2014
    1-7, 4 71 tied 1999
    (last 8 tied) 2014
    3rd -END- 126 Van&Sam 2007 49 GoBay, Hendo 2002
    (144) 125 Thai Spice 2007 50 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    122 Buckeye Mike 2009 52 HowardZinn 2010
    53 True Bruin 1999
    4th SAT 2-0, 12 232 tied 1995 0-2, 0 759 tied 1995
    (12) (last 57 tied) 2015 (last 8 tied) 2015
    4th SUN 2-0, 12 170 tied 1997 0-2, 0 793 tied 1995
    (12) (last 4 tied) 2015 (last 77 tied) 2015
    4th RND 4-0, 24 22 tied 2001 0-4, 0 374 tied 1995
    (24) (last Poolraider) 2015 (last 4 tied) 2015
    4th -END- 150 Van&Sam 2007 49 GoBay, Hendo 2002
    (168) 142 Go 9ers! 2007 50 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    142 Bizarro Larzby 2009 52 HowardZinn 2010
    138 The Rat Pack 2009
    5th SAT 2-0, 16 87 tied 1995 0-2, 0 1030 tied 1995
    (16) (last 4 tied) 2015 (last 99 tied) 2015
    5th -END- 166 Van&Sam 2007 49 GoBay, Hendo 2002
    (184) 158 Bizarro Larzby 2009 50 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    150 Go 9ers! 2007 52 HowardZinn 2010
    150 SlackJaw 2007 58 Die With Gators 2002
    ReggieK945 2005
    6th MON 1-0, 12 244 tied 1995 0-1, 0 1315 tied 1995
    (12) (last Badzy) 2014 (last 137 tied) 2014
    6th -END- 166 Van&Sam 2007 49 GoBay 2002
    (196) 158 Bizarro Larzby 2009 Hendo 2002
    157 Thai Spice 2007 50 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    156 Snoop’s Dogs 2007 52 HowardZinn 2010
    58 Die With Gators 2002
    ReggieK945 2005
    TOT WINS 55 Van&Sam 2007 21 Quickpick McGraw 2008
    (63) 53 Thai Spice 2007 22 Hendo 2002
    52 DC944 2007 23 GoBay 2002
    52 Bizarro Larzby 2009 HowardZinn 2010

    Unnecessary stress as I hope for a Badger win…


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    HWCI circa 1990

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