Issue # 6.2.3 “Hello 7th Place, We Missed Ya” (3/26)

Rebel Kicks are an alt-rock/pop band based out of NYC
Alt-rock band Rebel Kicks

For Bonus, all but two entries could guess conference wins correct

Seed total of Sweet 16

NOT IN EL SEGUNDO,CA (smt) – While the last tournament (’19) saw a record low seed total in the Sweet 16 (four #1, four #2, four #3, two #4, #5, #12) of 49, this year saw a record high seed total of 94 (three #1, two #2, #3, #4, two #5, #6, #7, #8, two #11, #12, #15) (was 89 in ’86).  The four double-digit seeds are not a record (6) but it is nice that we have at least one #1-#8 seed (large-large-large-large straight) in the Sweet 16.  While #1MW-Illinois bit the dust the other three #1 seeds are still chugging along, with #1W-Gonzaga getting #5W-Creighton, and if past that, Pac 12 winner between #6W-USC and #7W-Oregon.  While there were four overtime games in the first 16 games of the tourney (including First Four), there have been none since.  9 of the past 10 have been double-digit wins.  The Big Ten (9 teams before First Four) saw its first three teams bow out in overtime (including #2S-Ohio St to #15S-Oral Roberts, who are in the Sweet 16) and then 5 of 6 lose in the 2nd round.  The Big 12 (7 teams) won its first 5 games and then lost 6 of the next 7.  But the SEC, ACC, and Big East managed to two teams in the Sweet 16.

While you are taking an extended break (next game isn’t until Saturday!), take a listen to “Fall of the American Dream” (no, it’s not dire like that) from one of the unsigned bands Paul T (Poolraider (121st-T, 58 pts) helps promote (always his 3rd entry, Rebel Kicks (142nd-T, 55)), an alt-rock band from NYC).  Though I prefer the acoustic version.  Our 26th year saw a second-best 165 entries from 101 people.  Of the 101, 20 entered twice and a record 22 entered three times.  But thanks to all, we hit the magic number of 165 entries (I had to look at my own history links page to find out what I had set it to years back) which means we will have a 7th place prize (only other time was in ’17 when we got 178 entries).  We will have eight money spots (top 7 plus Bonus) and we have $1,650 to divvy out. The top prize will be $640, $5 less than last year to accommodate the 7th place prize. The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all fee money goes into prizes. What’s the Bonus? Read on

As it has been for the past 16 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 7 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 (The Fabone Marathon), says “Winningest Conference(s): Big 10 | Wins: 14“, means that by the way I picked my bracket (and please laugh), the Big Ten (regardless of which Big Ten teams win) will get the most wins with 14. The rules of how to win this Bonus Prize is as follows:

1. First Four wins do not count 
2. The top 7 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 Pac 12 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 (I guess technically 5 years since there was no tournament last year) worth of losing brackets. Last year, the ACC got the winningest conference with 15 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 7 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 165 entries ($1,650). So, here is the official prize breakdown: 

     1st Place = $640.00
     2nd Place = $325.00
     3rd Place = $220.00
     4th Place = $165.00
     5th Place = $ 120.00
     6th Place = $ 80.00
     7th Place = $ 60.00
     Bonus Prize =$ 40.00 

Bonus1 Prize Analysis

What this means is that of the 57 entries that were eliminated from the top 7 prizes, just one (EEChick1400 (90th-T, 61) with Big10 with 11 wins) of those entries is back into play!  One.  Thanks to the Big Ten and Big 12 collapse, overall, just 2 of 165 entries still have a chance for Bonus1.  Two (Martlets2 (42nd-T, 65) with Big10/SEC/Big12 with 12 wins).  And 109 of 162 (66.1%) have a chance of either the top 7 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 Pac 12’s UCLA won the First Four game you’d have to add your predicted UCLA 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 Pac 12 only shows 9 wins below where it really has 10 due to UCLA’s First Four win). Right now, of the 10 conferences represented in the Sweet 16, 6 conferences have a chance to get or share the most number of wins:          

           Teams  Curr   Max Poss
Conf.      Left   Wins   Wins
——-    —–  —-   ——–
Pac12        4      9^    18
Big12        1      7     11
Big10        1      7     11
SEC          2      6     13
ACC          2      4     11
BigEast      2      4     11
x-American   1      2      6
x-Summit     1      2      6
x-MVC        1      2^     6
x-WCC        1      2      6
    x-Eliminated  ^-UCLA and Drake wins in First Four do not count

The Pac 12 is guaranteed to get a 10th win (USC-Oregon).  The Big Ten, with two #1 and two #2 seeds, led with 128 of 165 entries thinking they would be the winningest conference followed by the the Big 12 with 42, and the SEC with 4 (ACC only other conference picked with 1). Unsurprisingly, no one had the Pac 12 (no team seeded better than a #5, and #5E-Colorado lost in 2nd Round) based on their recent history.  23 entries each picked the Big Ten with 17 wins.  Sigh.

Below are the teams in the conferences that matter for the Bonus1.

Conf.   Teams Left (1st Rnd W-L, 2nd Rnd W-L)
-----   -------------------------------------
Pac12   OREGON, USC, UCLA, OREGON ST (5-0, 4-1)
SEC     ALABAMA, ARKANSAS (4-2, 2-2)
Big10   MICHIGAN (6-2, 1-5)
Big12   BAYLOR (6-1, 1-5)

It’s much too much to go through all the possibilities (not true this year, see Tids & Bits below) 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 7 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]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 or Discord server.  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 –  OK, since there are only two possible Bonus1 winners, for EEChick1400 to win, he needs Michigan to win the championship, UCLA and Oregon St to lose, the winner of USC-Oregon to lose to Gonzaga/Creighton, and the SEC to not pick up more than 4 wins; for Martlets2 to win, she would first not finish in the top 7, then she needs an SEC team (Florida St or Syracuse) to win the final, the other SEC team to lose in the semifinal, and the Pac 12 to not get more than two wins (though USC-Oregon will produce one win automatically for the Pac 12)… if neither of those two win, then most everyone is back alive for the Bonus2

After six long weeks of weekend and overtime, I may get to enjoy this weekend…

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