Issue # 5.2.2 “Upsets But Little Drama”


Sunday, March 19, 2023 

#5, #6, #7, and #9 PULL AWAY LATE
Jah Lives-2
 remains on top with 85 pts; 134 entries still alive

LA MIRADA, CA (smt) – After #16E-Fairleigh Dickinson closed the gap to 3 with 3:27 left, #9E-Florida Atlantic went on a 7-0 to put the game away.  Up by 8 (78-70) with seconds left, FAU, not used to winning, tried an uncontested 360 degree dunk (failed miserably) as time ran out, unsportsmanlike to the max.  While FAU was favored, three lower seeds pulled off upsets, but with little drama at the end. 

#7E-Michigan St stunned trendy pick #2E-Marquette by going on a 7-0 run after the lead was cut to one with 3:36 left to win by 9.  #6S-Creighton never allowed #3S-Baylor to get closer than 9 in the last 11 minutes behind Ryan Nembhard’s 30 points.  After #4MW-Indiana went up 49-47, #5MW-Miami (Florida) went on a 16-2 run to win by 16. 

#3MW-Xavier led by 20 and held on to a 9-point win.  #3E-Kansas St trailed by one to #6E-Kentucky with 2:39 left but a couple of clutch 3s and hitting all 8 free throws propelled them to a 75-69 win.  #4W-UConn trailed by one to #5W-St. Mary’s with 16:06 left but went on a 22-7 run to win by 15.  Both #6W-TCU (12/20 60%) and #3W-Gonzaga (16/25 64%) struggled from the line but it was the Zags who pulled away late (buzzer beater three by TCU made the final margin close at 3).

The Big Ten just has one team left (Michigan St) after starting with 8 and the ACC has just one thanks to Miami, who extended the ACC’s streak of at least one team the last 16 to 43 straight.  Only three conferences have multiple teams (Big East and SEC with 3 each and Big 12 with two) which means 11 different conferences are represented in the Sweet 16.

After being the first person to go 0-8 on Day 1 of the Sweet 16, BulbaGrrrl (96th-Tied, 68 pts) bounced back and was one of 7 to go 6-2 today.  Overall, YoHomieLoanMeYoGun and PopTop1 went 12-4 for the round are both tied for 2nd (82).  But Jah Lives-2 remains in the lead with 85 points.  17 picked Michigan St, 57 Creighton, and 61 Miami.  Nine actually had FAU in the Sweet 16! 

Sweet 16 LowsOn the flip side, Emilybama3 (191st, 48) became the 8th entry to go 0-8 on Day 2 of the Sweet 16.  With 7 lower seeds winning, Emilybama3 and That’s Right (194th, 34) are just the 2nd and 3rd entries to go 2-14 in the Sweet 16, joining Dagger in 2021.  That’s Right total of 34 points is a new record low (was 41 by Maitai in 2019) and can’t finish with more than 38, assuring the worst point total ever (49 by GoBay and Hendo in 2002 and Maitai in 2019).  This Sweet 16 was brutal for many entries.

Three each lost Marquette and Baylor as their champion while SlumDawg 1 (156th-T, 60) lost Indiana and Fabio (163rd-T, 59) lost Kentucky.  Three still have 7 of their Elite 8 teams alive while That’s Right has just one (Houston).  Eight still can get all four Final Four teams while That’s Right can get none.  Of teams that were still alive at the start of the Sweet 16, Firewire (141st-T, 63) lost 5 of the Elite 8 teams and three lost 3 Final Four teams after the Sweet 16. 

Since we have more than 190 entries, for the first time an 8th place prize has been created which kept five more entries alive than if we had just 7 money spots.  With 32,768 possible outcomes, just 60 entries were eliminated, leaving 134 still alive.  51 can still win the pool with Soccerwife (13th-T, 78) with the best chance at 17.3% thanks to a Michigan St over Xavier final and Creighton and the Zags joining the Final Four.  Jah Lives-2 has the best chance at money with 61.9% with 6 others with a better than 30% chance.

PopTop1 is tied for 2nd but can’t win the pool while Eggman 1 is tied for 153rd (61) and can still win the pool (Zags in final and Miami in Final Four).  Bobby Cee Racer is tied for 52nd (72) but is eliminated while Dagger is tied for 186th but can still get 7th place.  ZippysWife (13th-T, 78) is the highest entry without a champion (Arizona). 

Later this week, the $40 Bonus and Prize Distribution will be revealed.

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   Tids & Bits – Gonzaga made their 8th straight Sweet 16… Kansas was the 6th straight defending champion to fail to make the Elite 8… ESPN’s top 7 BPI teams are still alive (Houston, Alabama, Tennessee, UCLA, Texas, UConn, Gonzaga) after #8 Purdue was knocked out… TCU’s buzzer beating three which cut the loss from 6 to 3 affected the line as the Zags were 4.5-point favorites… the AAC, Ivy, MWC, Pac 12, Conference USA, and WCC each have one team in the Sweet 16… just 7 of 48 games were one possession games (3 point margin or less) while 25 were double-digit wins… no overtime games or buzzer beaters (yet)… UCLA has the largest margin of victory (33) while Alabama and Kansas each scored 96 points… today, entries averaged just 3.6 wins for a total of 8.1 for the round… 164 picked Gonzaga, 146 Xavier, 135 UConn, and 111 Kansas St… two So Cal teams still alive (UCLA, San Diego St)… 

Not as disastrous as I still can finish 2nd-7th somehow, albeit with very low probability (3.2%)…

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