Issue # 11.4.3 “Who Can Stop UConn?” (F4 Preview & FF for Charity) (4/4)

Lymphoma Research Foundation
2024 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ Phoenix, Arizona
2nd Final Four (’17)

Hosted by Arizona St. U. (Pac 12 Conf) (2nd Final Four)
 – The Floor
First SemifinalSecond Semifinal
(Seed #45, NET #63, AP #29)

Dallas, Texas (6th Regional)

Hosted by Big 12 Conference
(Seed #3, NET #3, AP #3)

Detroit, Michigan (5th Regional)
Hosted by U. of Detroit Mercy and Oakland U.
(Seed #16, NET #9, AP #19)

Los Angeles, California (10th Regional)

Hosted by Pepperdine U.
(Seed #1, NET #2, AP #1)

Boston, Massachusets (4th Regional)

Hosted by Boston College
North Carolina State University Wolfpack (26-14)Purdue University Boilermakers (33-4)University of Alabama Crimson Tide (25-11)University of Connecticut Huskies (35-3)
Atlantic Coast Conf – Tourney Champs
Raleigh, North Carolina
4th Final Four (’50, ’74’83)
def #6 Texas Tech 80-67
def #14 Oakland 79-73 (OT)
def #8 Marquette 67-58
def #4 Duke 76-64
Big Ten Conf – Regular Season Champs
West Lafayette, Indiana
3rd Final Four (’69, ’80)
 def #16 Grambling State 78-50
def #8 Utah State 106-67
def #5 Gonzaga 80-68
def #2 Tennessee 72-66
Southeastern Conf – 5th Place
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
1st Final Four
def #13 Charleston 109-96
def #12 Grand Canyon 72-61
def #5 North Carolina 89-87
def #6 Clemson 89-82
Big East Conf – Reg Season & Tourney Champs
Storrs, Connecticut
7th Final Four (’99’04, ’09, ’11’14’23)
def #16 Stetson 91-52
def #9 Northwestern 75-58
def #5 San Diego State 82-52
def #3 Illinois 77-52

Thursday, April 4, 2024  ***HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD… RIP***  
At least $477 will be donated to Lymphoma Research Foundation; over $5,168 donated over 14 years

LA MIRADA, CA (smt) – After last year where the top 12 teams (all #1/2/3 seeds) were eliminated before the Final Four, we do have two #1 seeds for the first time since 2021.  The one thing that remains the same is #1W-UConn, who are trying to become the first back-to-back champions since Florida did it in 2007.  #1MW-Purdue will try to do what Virginia did in 2019 and that is lose to a #16 seed the year before and then win the title.  #11S-NC State will try to continue their amazing run, winning 5 games-in-5 days to claim the auto bid for the ACC and then winning the first four games of the tourney including surviving an overtime game vs #14S-Oakland (of Massachusetts, not California).  #4W-Alabama is making its first Final Four and while they have not played a better seed yet, they have eliminated two straight ACC teams.

The first round saw 11 upsets including three #11 seeds, two #12 seeds, and #13E-Yale (who knocked off #4E-Auburn) and #14S-Oakland (who knocked off #3S-Kentucky).  The second round saw just two worse seeds (#6W-Clemson over #3W-Baylor and #5MW-Gonzaga over #4MW-Kansas) win which led to the Sweet 16 netting all the #1 and #2 seeds for the just the fifth time (but saw just 3 of the 8 make the Elite 8).  UConn has built a 30-point lead in all four games and has beaten ten straight tourney opponents by 13 points or more.  Purdue’s only trouble was in their last game against #2MW-Tennessee but with Zach Edey scoring 14 straight points for Purdue, ending up winning by six. 

With the top two teams still alive, a record 28 entries still have a chance to win money (Byron W (Flying Ace) already has).  Current leader Rod P (Concrete Kid) has a 50% chance to win the pool but has UNC as his champ so will need a little help (wins if NC State is the champ or Alabama beats NC State in the final).  Jessica H (JessaFish) wins the pool if UConn beats NC State in the final.  Byron W wins the pool if UConn beats Purdue in the final.  Andy F (Joey JoJo Jr Shabadoo) wins if Purdue beats UConn in the final.  Greg P (Eggman1) wins the pool if Purdue beats Alabama in the Final.  If Alabama beats Purdue in the final, we will have a 4-way tie for first between Greg P, Emma J (Emmadness), Byron W, and Rod P and a tie for 1st if the total points in the final is 111.  All six potential winners would be winning their first HWCI NCAA pool.  Greg P (9 years), Emma J (2 years), and Rod P (9 years) are going after their first money placement.  And, yes, Greg and Rod are related.  As a refresher, the top 8 prizes are:  $740/$370/$255/$185/$130/$95/$75/$60.

If NC State wins the title, Jonna J (Jonna) will win the $40 Bonus for getting the winningest conference as she is the only one with the ACC with 14 wins.  The ACC will win with either 12, 13, or 14 wins (if NC State wins the title).  Any other outcome, then the Bonus2 would be in effect, the total points in final tiebreaker.

For our 14th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity free contest, 22 people participated.   Eileen E (Jouez Bien in the pool) was the only one to go 4-0.  David A (Cupset City) was the only one to go 0-4.  Three picked the correct team and point margin exactly (Chris B (Arizona Bailing) and Ron E (Slamjam51 1) each picked Wagner by 3 and Eric C (Kona Coast Sliders) picked Colorado by 7.  Ken B (Gator Glory) had the worst pick, off by 37 picking #10aMW-Virginia to win by 12 (they lost by 25).

Regardless of finish, the great news is that the Lymphoma Research Foundation, whose mission is to eradicate lymphoma and serve those impacted by this blood cancer, will be getting a donation of at least $477 (third highest total ever).  As part of the free contest, I (Fabone’s Leap Year) will chip in $42 ($2 for each entry) plus $25 for breaking the record number of entries of 194 (195).  In honor of my Mom who has already finished treatment for lymphoma, I chipped in an extra $78 (her age).  But thanks to the generosity of the people of this pool, David A, Annie F (Lady Chocoholic), Tom J (Kds911-1), and Andy F have all donated a combined total of $93.50!  A heartfelt thanks and remember the final total will be doubled by my company (RTX).  The donation will be made in late April/early May so there is still time. 

We have averaged around $369.16 per year in donations and have contributed over $5,168 to help a variety of causes and organizations.  I’m taking suggestions for next year (barring a natural or human-made disaster forcing my hand to help).

  Tids & Bits – the top 2 picked teams are still alive (UConn (71) and Purdue (32)); no one picked Alabama or NC State but each got picked by two entries to make the final… Men: UConn and Purdue are heavy favorites, by 11.5 and 9.5 points, respectively… BetMGM odds to win title: UConn 1:2.25(!), Purdue 1.9:1, Alabama 17:1, NC State 18:1… at the start of the tournament, UConn was 4.25:1 odds to win title, Purdue 6:1, Alabama 40:1, NC State 160:1… Purdue was the lone Big Ten team making the Final Four, meaning the Big Ten is 1 of 34 the past four years… Women:  the Women’s Final Four is living up to its hype (if you thought the Edey (40 pts/16 rebounds) vs Knecht (37 pts, 6 threes) battle was epic, the Caitlin Clark (41 pts, 9 threes, 12 assists) vs Angel Reese battle was just as much so (even if Reese got slightly injured, she still had 20 rebounds)… don’t sleep on the Women’s Final Four which features undefeated South Carolina and legacy powerhouse UConn (who knocked off my #1 seed USC) against Iowa… while this year is the first time the women’s can officially use March Madness and other trademarks, they still have just two region hosts (called Albany 1 and 2 and Portland 3 and 4 (not W/E/MW/W) and they couldn’t draw a 3-point line correctly on one side of the court in Portland; it wasn’t even discovered until 4 games had been played (and NC State and Texas (5th game) coaches agreed to play with this instead of waiting hours for it to corrected), which for a 9-inch error, I guess it’s true what women say, size matters not… for the first time, the two Final Fours features 2 of the same schools (UConn and NC State)… TV ratings show if the play is good, people will watch, and a record 12.3 million watched Clark’s Iowa v Reese’s LSU re-match of the 2023 final; in fact, the men’s game the past two years is up as well… NIT: the two First Out teams that accepted the NIT invitation (Oklahoma and Pitt declined) made it to the Finals, which in my mind, showed these were the correct 2 First Out teams, not that they would have crushed the NCAA tournament or did better than Virginia… in that final played today, Seton Hall scored the last 9 points to beat Indiana St 79-77… Pool:  if you picked chalk, you would’ve won nothing, again – in fact, picking chalk every year would only yield a 2nd place money spot in 1997 (29 tourneys x $10 = $290 in, $60 won)… but that is not as bad as Dan H (Hendo) who is 0 for 22 years and David S (Dr Fun), Joe D (Darth Vader), Jane D (Crazy Janey), and Devon K (SlumDawg 1) who are each 0-20…

An Snead injury away from possibly having Houston in Final Four, sigh…

© 1995-2024 HWCI Productions
HWCI circa 1990

Spread the love