Issue # 2.1.1 “Déjà Vu” (3/17)


Thursday, March 17, 2022  **HAPPY ST PATTY’S DAY**

Our 27th pool nets second-best 169 entries from 106 people

Here she comes to save the day!

DEMOING THE WALK-IN, WALK-OUT AMAZON FRESH, CA (smt) – Hmm… last year, Day 1 saw 6 upsets, 3 overtimes (4 including First Four), a Big Ten disappointment (3-4 including First Four), the Big 12 was perfect (4-0), and a #15 upset a #2.  Today, 6 upsets, 3 overtimes (4 including FF), a Big Ten disappointment (2-3 including FF), the Big 12 was perfect (2-0) and a #15 upset a #2.  One difference was last year #8E-UNC lost in the 1st Round for the first time in 18 tries (also an #8 seed) and this year they routed #9E-Marquette.

The first two games set the tone with trendy upset picks #11S-Michigan and #13MW-South Dakota St playing.  Michigan, despite 14 losses, pulled away for the upset but #4MW-Providence denied the haters by beating SDSU (South Dakota St, not San Diego St).  Michigan led a total of 6 upsets on Day 1, the only bright spot for the Big Ten today… well, the other bright spot was an Indiana cheerleader rising high to rescue a stuck basketball above the backboard (they did lower the backboard and the excited guy holding her up nearly ran her head into it).  #12E-Indiana got routed by #5E-St Mary’s and supposed sleeper team and Big 10 champion #5MW-Iowa lost to #12MW-Richmond, a team that only got in by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament.  But the Big Ten troubles weren’t as bad as the Mountain West, who in addition to losing #12aW-Wyoming in the First Four, lost #6S-Colorado St, #8W-Boise St, and #8MW SDSU (San Diego St this time) to finish 0-4 and have lost their last 9 tourney games. 

But the biggest upset by far was the elimination of a blue blood with a whole bunch of top transfers to #15E-St Peter’s (on St Patrick’s Day!).  #2E-Kentucky, one of the top 3-5 teams to win it all, blew a late 6-point lead, got outscored 9-3 to end regulation, missed free throws, couldn’t convert on the last possession, and fell apart in overtime.  St. Peter’s made it back-to-back years a #15 has beaten a 2 seed (just the 10th time it has happened).  Similarly, San Diego St blew a late 9-point lead, got outscored 9-0 to end regulation, missed a go-ahead 1-and-1 free throw with 7 seconds left, and fell apart in overtime to #9MW-Creighton.  Almost a trifecta, #7E-Murray St blew a late 8-point lead, got outscored 8-0 to end regulation, couldn’t get a shot off on the final possession, but did hold it together in overtime, beating #10E-San Francisco, who was making their first appearance since ’98.

#12W-New Mexico St and #9W-Memphis also joined the upset club while #13W-Vermont (vs #4W-Arkansas) and #13E-Akron (vs #4E-UCLA) just came up short in 4-point losses.  The overall #1 seed W-Gonzaga was tied with #16W-Georgia St at 54 and led by just 4 at 62-58 before going on a 21-0 run in 5 1/2 minutes to pull away.  #1E-Baylor, #3S-Tennessee, and #1MW-Kansas won in routs.

Unofficially, we got 169 entries, our 2nd highest total.  We got a record 35 entries on Monday and 76 entries on Wednesday.  Since we got at least 165 entries, we will have a 7th place prize for just the 3rd time.  Gonzaga was picked by 46 to win it all with 43 picking Arizona.  Unfortunately, 14 picked Kentucky, 2 picked UConn, and 1 picked Iowa.  There’s still hope if you can get 2 or 3 of the other Final Four teams right – unless you are Bwakewey 3 (67th-Tied, 20 pts) or Hunter Dickinson (29th-T, 22) who lost both their finalists.

Mia Culpa won the first 10 games (including picking #11-Michigan, #9-Memphis, #12-Richmond, #12-NM State, #15 St. Peter’s – no one else had more than 8 of 10 right) but settled into a tie for 3rd (26) going 13-3.  Kona Coast Go Fish and ChasCroix1 lead with 28 pts Bulba was the only other entry to pick St. Peter’s but is tied for last with 14 pts (162nd-T) with 7 others. 

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First Four Standings   Tids & Bits – #16bS-Bryant became the sixth team in our pool to debut and lose in the Opening Round or First Four game and the 3rd to yet appear in our proper 64 pool (Alabama A&M (’05), North Florida (’15))… the SWA has appeared in four straight First Four games and are 3-1, all 3 wins by #16aMW-Texas Southern… Mountain West went 0-4 (WY in FF, Boise St, Colorado St, San Diego St)… Boise St is now 0-8 in the tourney… power surge in Dayton caused some technical issues on Wednesday but the lights stayed on in the arena… in the 12th HWCI First Four for Charity contest (22 entries), six went 4-0 but Andy F won with the lowest point differential (15); two went 0-2 with Netu G last (49 PD); Scott D exactly picked Indiana by 8 and Michael W exactly picked Bryant by 11; Greg J was off the most picking Texas A&M CC by 9 but they lost by 11… Bright NCAA Ballstronger together, we have raised over $500 (which my company will match)… 24 schools have teams in both the men’s and women’s tournament… both PayPal and Venmo (which is owned by PayPal) toyed with their fees recently, making a credit card PayPal purchase now $10.87 (up 26 cents) with its revised 3.49%+0.49 (vs 2.9%+0.30) and if you accidentally choose goods/purchase with Venmo you would need to pay $10.30 (1.9%+0.10) to net ten bucks… is the NCAA ball a brighter orange than previous years? I guess it’s not just my eyes… 106 people entered, 5 more than last year but still just 6th best… 18 teams were picked to win it all including Kansas and Duke with 12 each, Villanova with 7, Auburn, Baylor, and UCLA at 6 each, Tenn with 5, Purdue 4, and one each for Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Houston, and UNC… Michigan winning reminds me how much I love their fight song, remember listening when they were good in the Rose Bowl in the 90’s… SF’s Jamaree Bouyea made 3 layups and a 3 pointer in the first 3 minutes of overtime (36 total pts) but it wasn’t enough… St. Peter’s and Kentucky were tied at halftime and regulation… had UCLA lost, the headline could’ve been “Blue Bloodbath” (KY and IN also losing)… entries averaged 10.15 wins today… SF has one player from Ukraine and two from Belarus (allied with Russia) and all are united to stop the war… #12 seeds are 2-1 thus far… 10 picked Richmond, 33 New Mexico St, 51 Creighton, 75 Michigan, and 97 Memphis… four underdogs were picked more than the favorites (87 #10W-Davidson, 97 Memphis, 106 #10S-Loyola Chicago, 109 #11E-Virginia Tech)…

I’m liking the March Madness Live app’s “4 Games, 1 Stream” feature though not as smooth as NFL Red Zone

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