2023 HWCI NCAA Pool

The latest on our HWCI NCAA Pool…
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  • Issue # 2.1.1 “One Bad Pass”

    Posted on March 17th, 2023 - 2:08 am Scott No comments


    Thursday, March 16, 2023 

    A record 194 entries from a record 126 people with 19 teams picked to win it all

    HOME, CA (smt) – At least 4S-Virginia can say they are a champion because other than their 2019 title, they have stunk up the pools.  For the second straight time (they missed the tourney last year) they lost to a #13 seed and of course, they remain the only team to lose to a #16 seed (2018).  This time, leading by 2 and with the ball with less than 10 seconds left, a bad hail mary pass (Virginia had a time out!) was easily intercepted by #13S-Furman who quickly nailed a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to win 68-67.  But that wasn’t the biggest shocker as #15S-Princeton (no stranger to shock wins, just ask UCLA) scored the last 9 points to stun #2S-Arizona 59-55.  The Pac 12 champions may be out but the regular season champ #2W-UCLA routed #15-UNC Asheville by 33. 

    #5S-San Diego St, #7S-Missouri, #4E-Tennessee, and #1MW-Houston struggled with close wins while #1W-Kansas (though it was tied 33-33), #1S-Alabama, #5E-Duke, #2MW-Texas won by at least 20 points.  #8S-Maryland survived a last second three, #8W-Arkansas never let #9W-Illionois get within 5 in the second half, #9MW-Auburn never let #8MW-Iowa get within 4 in the second half, and #7W-Northwestern never let #10W-Boise St (who are now 0-9 in the tourney) get within 4 in the last 5 minutes.  #10MW-Penn St routed #7MW-Texas A&M as the fourth lower seeded team to win today.

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  • Admin Picks

    Posted on March 16th, 2023 - 12:56 am Scott No comments

    This is our 28th pool and considering February typically has just 28 days and that is my birth month, I am February Fabone (feel free to nitpick my picks).

    My 2nd and last entry is in tribute to my Dad, Belucky2, and I even have Kansas winning it all since that is what he picked when he won the pool in 2008.

    We set a record with 79 entries on Wednesday (was 76 in 2022) and ended the day with 156 entries, also a record (145 in 2017).

    Currently, we have 160 entries so we are still 18 off the record of 178 set in 2017. Good luck to all!

    Edit (8:32 AM PDT): And here is Dave’s bracket: The Mighty Mobelfakta (same nickname all 28 years!)

  • Indiana is not Oral Roberts!

    Posted on March 13th, 2023 - 11:49 pm Scott No comments

    There was a bug where if you clicked INDIANA (vs Kent St) that ORAL ROBERTS (30-4) would show up. Rest assured, INDIANA was still your pick (the confirmation page would show INDIANA) but thanks for pushing through anyway. We now have 34 entries (which is shy of our first day record of 35 last year) and you can always view your bracket here (or the Your Picks button above).

  • Issue # 1.0.1 “Top to Bottom”

    Posted on March 13th, 2023 - 7:55 am Scott No comments


    American Lung Association - When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters

    Sunday, March 12, 2023  **HELP support the American Lung Association (deadline Tue 4:00 pm PDT **)

    Our 28th pool will test UCLA loyalists again

    OFF STREET CAFE, CERRITOS, CA (smt) – 2W-UCLA was this close to a #1 seed but lost to #2S-Arizona in the Pac 12 final and is on a collision course once again with 3W-Gonzaga (would be 4th tourney meeting since ’06).  Can UCLA do it?  Defending champ 1W-Kansas, who lost to 2MW-Texas in Big 12 final, fell to the #3 overall seeding, missing out on the Midwest, as SEC champ #1S-Alabama was the #1 overall seed with #1MW-Houston (who also lost in the final) second.  #1E-Purdue rounded out the top seeds.  Who we won’t see is #1 preseason pick UNC, who failed to qualify and then turned down the #1 seed in the NIT (as one of the First Four out) because they are too big for the NIT (plus, the NIT won’t be playing its final in NYC for the first time, not counting the pandemic 2021 reduced tourney in Dallas) and too much pressure to beat Youngstown St.  I feel bad for the players.

    After 42 years of Coach K, 5E-Duke won the ACC tournament with Jon Scheyer to start the new era and after feeling “snubbed” last year, #7MW-Texas A&M is back in.  And a team with twenty (20!) losses, #16bE-Texas Southern, won the SWAC tournament after entering it 11-20 and will play in their fourth straight First Four game where they are 3-0 (’18, ’21, ’22). 

    The SEC and Big Ten (boy, can’t wait until UCLA and #10E-USC switch to the Big Ten) got 8 teams in with the Big 12 seven.  The ACC and Big East each got 5 and the Pac-12 and MWC got 4 each.  31 of 36 at-large bids went to the power conferences (with MWC getting 3 of the 5).

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  • 13th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity (Due 4 pm PDT Tuesday)

    Posted on March 12th, 2023 - 11:43 pm Scott No comments

    While you decide who will win the tourney, for the 13th year I’m doing the HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity, where I will donate $2 per entry to a charity (and if we get more than 25 responses, I’ll chip in an additional $25), this year to the American Lung Association, the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. Over the past six years, it has risen from a 3-star to 4-star charity which is why I probably didn’t consider them way back then. I considered the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation but that has dropped from a 4-star to 3-star rating.

    My hero, my Dad, passed away late February after battling for a while with interstitial lung disease. He was a heavy smoker and quit cold turkey a long, long time ago, but the after effects caught up to him. I am hoping the ALA will continue education (especially younger folks) and research into more effective oxygen therapy for the home. He lived to a good age of 82 so I’ll kick start the giving with $82 off the bat. Plus, my company will match so every dollar will be doubled.

    Last year, a record $1,406.12 was raised by us (that’s you!) to go to International Rescue Committee. In 12 years, we have raised $3,137.20 for 12 different organizations.

    This First Four for Charity is free and you just have to submit (you can comment on this post to enter, email, post to Facebook, tweet @HWCI_Pools) who the four First Four winners will be and by what point margin. The First Four games:

    • SE Missouri St vs Texas A&M Corpus Christi
    • Pittsburgh vs Mississippi St
    • Fairleigh Dickinson (FDU) vs Texas Southern
    • Nevada vs Arizona St

    For example: TAM-CC by 2 points, Mississippi St by 3 points, FDU by 9 points, and Arizona St by 4 points. Get your entry by 4 pm PDT Tuesday.  As a bonus, in the end, if we top our record of 178 entries this year, I’ll donate an additional $25.  Also, invite your friends and people can enter (since it’s free) this charity contest but not our main pool.

    My picks: TAM-CC by 2, MS-St by 3, FDU by 9, and AZ-St by 4.

  • Exciting Saturday

    Posted on March 10th, 2023 - 11:19 pm Scott No comments

    Wow. Just watched play-by-play as Utah Valley blew a 17-point lead in the last 6:42 left (missing at one point 4 straight free throws and getting 0 FGs in that span) to miss their chance to make the WAC final and a chance for their first berth. Up by 3, they lost fouling on a 3-point that was made with 4 seconds left as Southern Utah completed the 4-point play. Overall, they had a 23-point second half lead. There’s a reason why these young teams can’t win the big one.

    But since we started the pool in 1995, we have six teams playing in a conference final Saturday that could join our pool (though Marist’s 13-19 record will definitely relegate them to the First Four if they win), two of them hoping to be first-time entrants. Could any of these join Kennesaw St and Furman in our pool for the first time?

    • 8 am PST America East – UMass Lowell will try to make their first appearance but are 5.5 point underdogs to Vermont
    • 10 am MEA – Howard will try to make their first tourney since 1992 and have a better conference record than Norfolk St but are still 2 point underdogs
    • 12:30 pm Atlantic 10 – Fordham will also try to make their first tourney since 1992 and although they have identical 12-6 conference record with Dayton, they are 6.5 point underdogs
    • 2:30 pm SWAC – Grambling (15-3 in conference) will try to make their first tourney since 1978 and against 13-20 Texas Southern, they are a 6.5 point favorite
    • 4:30 pm MAC- Toledo will try to make their first tourney since 1980 and are actually slight 1-point favorite over Kent State
    • 4:30 pm MAAC – Marist will try for their first tourney since 1987 but against MAAC regulars season champ Iona (26-7), there isn’t even a line on ESPN
  • New Teams in Our Pool

    Posted on March 10th, 2023 - 12:42 am Scott No comments

    Well, Kennesaw State made the tourney for the first time and Furman made it for the first time since 1980. Considering both were regular season champs as well and their conferences (Atlantic Sun, Southern) typically don’t play in the First Four, it’s pretty safe that at least 2 teams will join our pool since we started in 1995. And we should’ve seen Merrimack, who won the NEC tournament, but they are not eligible until next year (5-year transition to Division I) (Fairleigh Dickinson got the bid). There are still quite a few teams still playing and might join this group of 2 when Sunday concludes.

    Our 28th HWCI NCAA Pool begins Sunday night (Web entry by Monday morning).

  • Record Donation Made!

    Posted on May 6th, 2022 - 11:38 am Scott No comments
    International Rescue Committee – Ukranian Refugees

    HOME PREPARING FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY – After some navigation on my company’s website, I was able to finally make the record $703.06 donation to International Rescue Committee. With my company’s match, that’s $1,406.12 to this worthy organization. That brings our total to $3,137.20 donated over the 12 years of doing the HWCI First Four for Charity.

    Thanks to Tom J, Greg P, Elizabeth W, Vi P, Annie F, Spencer T, Ava T, Linh T, Andy F, John S, Jeff2 H, and Stephen I for making generous donations as well.

    If you have ideas for charities or funds next year, let me know.

  • Issue # 15.6.1 “Jayhawks Rally Like it’s ’08” (4/4)

    Posted on April 5th, 2022 - 5:41 pm Scott No comments


    Disney+ Star Wars - Obi-Wan Kenobi starts May 27
    Kenobi on Disney+ Starts May 27!
    2022 NCAA Champions
     #1-Midwest Regional Champions

    University of Kansas Jayhawks (34-6)

    4th Title
    2022 Winningest Conference
    Big 12 
    The Atlantic Coast Conference (13-5)
    8th time
    The Big 12 Conference (13-5)
    5th time

    Monday, April 4, 2022   ***HAPPY 82ND BIRTHDAY DAD (BELUCKY2)!!!***

    Bob, Glen, and Greg join the winner’s circle; Chris wins Bonus

    Rebound, Put Back, Kansas up for Good

    VERY LONG BOY SCOUT MEETING IN CYPRESS, CA (smt) – In 2008, Kansas was down 9 to Memphis with 2:12 left in the Final and rallied to force overtime and pick up their 3rd NCAA title.  A 15-point halftime deficit?  No big deal.  #1MW-Kansas overcame a record 16-point overall deficit and record 15-point second half deficit to hold off a hobbled #8E-UNC team, 72-69, for their fourth title.  Three different UNC players got injured but played through in turning a 56-50 deficit into a 69-68 lead with 1:42 left.  Hobbled players affected the final minute stumbling with a couple turnovers and forcing bad threes because the quickness wasn’t there anymore.  Up by 3, Kansas ran out of bounds with 4.3 seconds left but UNC’s long three by Caleb Love (who hit deciding threes vs UCLA and Duke) was way short.

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  • Kansas vs UNC Live!

    Posted on April 3rd, 2022 - 8:44 pm Scott No comments

    8:45 pm PDT Sunday – OK, getting this link up and ready. We already know the top 3 so it will be the bottom 4 spots and the Bonus that will be of interest.

    9:35 pm Sunday – If UNC wins, there will be a 4-way tie for 4th (meaning all will win something).

    • If total points in final is
      • <=132: Larzby, SlumDawg3, MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th)
      • 133-141: SlumDawg3, Larzby, MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai
      • 142: SlumDawg3, Larzby & MizzouTgr11 2 tied, Team Samurai
      • 143-150: MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3, Larzby, Team Samurai
      • 151: MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3 & Team Samurai tied, Larzby
      • 152-160: MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai, SlumDawg3, Larzby
      • >=161: Team Samurai, MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3, Larzby

    9:41 pm Sunday – Much simpler if Kansas wins – Larzby, Bob’s Bruins, Reign of Game, DaBoyz22 (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th)

    12:30 am – SlumDawg3, who has never won in his previous 17 pools was tied for 105th after 40 games but now has a chance to nab 4th/5th/6th with a UNC win thanks to being the only entry to pick the Tar Heels as its champ. Tarheel Blue Balls will win by 11 points either way, the 2nd largest margin of victory (13 in ’98). Mia Culpa who led by 13 after the Sweet 16 (48 games) could finish behind by 24 if Kansas wins (but will still get 3rd place). 7 entries went 1-7 in the Elite 8 and that win was Kansas – just 3 picked them to win it all though.

    3:26 pm – Usually, the final tips off at 6:10 pm PDT but this time it’s 6:20 pm, which is 9:20 on the east coast. Might mean ten more minutes I get to watch while my son finishes up his Boy Scout meeting in Cypress.

    15:56 1st – Kansas jumped to 7-0 lead and it’s 9-3. This projects to 120 pts which would give Ormonde3 the Bonus.

    10:45 – Shots not falling but 10 of 12 UNC pts off offensive rebounds. 15-12 Kansas – Projects to just 118 pts (Pick 1).

    3:00 1st – UNC up by 12 (34-22). Projects 132 (Zippy). Tiebreakers for 4th-7th in play.

    Half – Wow, UNC up 40-25. 65 projects to 130 which would give Pac-10 Rules! the Bonus and Larzby, SlumDawg3, MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th).

    20:00 2nd – Kansas can’t make a layup and is giving up rebounds and shooting just 30%.

    15:40 – Kansas cuts it to 8 (45-37) with a free throw coming. Projected 135 would give Spoonceer the Bonus.

    12:41 – Kansas down by one (46-45) but could be up by 3 but have missed 4 of past 5 free throws. Projects to 133 (SlumDawg1).

    10:53 – 50 all.

    7:48 -57 all. Projects 142 ([2] Brakewey 2, Carseroni tied).

    1:41 – Another offensive rebound, UNC leads 69-68. 137 pts (Rjw615) if no else scores.

    4.6 left: Another UNC offensive rebound, but passed out for a 3 and thrown out of bounds! Kansas 72-69. 141 pts (Tiniest Prancers).

    4.3 left: Kansas runs out of bounds, UNC with a chance! Refs say only 0.3 went off the clock. For UNC to win, they need 4 pts, so 145 would be MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3, Larzby, Team Samurai. But first, UNC needs to tie!

    Final: Kansas 72, UNC 69! No dagger shot by Love this time, airball. Congrats to Larzby, Bob’s Bruins, Reign of Game, DaBoyz22 (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th). Congrats to Tiniest Prancers for winning the Bonus!

    4th NCAA Title for Kansas, biggest comeback coming back from 16 points in the 1st half and 15 points in the 2nd half.

    Had UNC fouled and Kansas made 1 free throw, Bwakewey 2 and Carseroni would have won the Bonus, splitting $40 and if Kansas made both free throws, My Sweet Mia would’ve won (making Stephen I the first person to win money and win the Bonus (two different entries, of course!).

  • Issue # 14.5.2 “A Perfect Pool, 27 Up, 27 Down” (4/3) (Finals Preview + History)

    Posted on April 3rd, 2022 - 6:55 pm Scott No comments


    Our 7th HWCI World Cup Pool begins in November...
    7th HWCI World Cup Pool in November
    2022 NCAA FINAL @ New Orleans, Louisiana
     – The Floor
    The Road Ends Here
    #1-Midwest-vs- #8-East
    Kansas Jayhawks
    UNC Tar Heels
    University of Kansas Jayhawks (33-6)University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels (29-9)
    Big 12 Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
    Lawrence, Kansas

    10th Final (’40’52’53, ’57, ’88, ’91, ’03, ’08, ’12)
    def #16a Texas Southern 83-56
    #9 Creighton 79-72
    #4 Providence 66-61
    #10 Miami of Florida 76-50
    #2S Villanova 81-65
    Atlantic Coast Conference (2nd Place)
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    12th Final (’46, ‘57’68’77’81’82’93’05’09’16, ‘17)
    def #9 Marquette 95-63
    #1 Baylor 93-86 (OT)
    #4 UCLA 73-66
    #15 Saint Peter’s 69-49
    #2W-Duke 81-77

    6 compete for 4th through 7th as 4 guaranteed money; 58 entries can win Bonus

    PORTILLO’S, BUENA PARK, CA (smt) – Full blue blood will be on display with 3-time champion #1MW-Kansas (10th final) taking on 6-time champion #8E-North Carolina (12th final) but don’t let the seed difference fool you as I could name Bacot (20+ rebounding), Manek (red hair, ejection, key 3s), and Love (dagger 3s) for UNC and just Agbaji (hot hand) for Kansas.  Star power for UNC, but Kansas once had star power back in ’20 and was the prohibitive favorite to win it all before the pandemic cancelled that year’s tournament three days before Selection Sunday.  This is rematch of the ’57 final where UNC won in triple-overtime over Kansas and Wilt Chamberlain.  Only one #8 seed (Villanova ’85) has won the title whereas the last four titles have come from #1 seeds.

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  • Issue # 13.5.1 “UNC Does it Again” (4/2)

    Posted on April 3rd, 2022 - 1:12 am Scott No comments


    Tarheel Blue Balls Wins the Pool getting both finalists; 10 still alive

    UNC dagger with 25 sec left

    CITADEL OUTLETS, LOS ANGELES, CA (smt) – #1MW-Kansas jumped to a 10-0 lead and although #2S-Villanova had pulled within six (64-58), the Jayhawks shot themselves (53.7%) to a 16-point win, 81-65.  Both teams hit 13 three-pointers (26 combined is a Final Four record) but Kansas did it at a better clip (24 shots vs 31) in making their 10th final.

    In the first-ever tournament meeting between these Tobacco Road rivals, #8E-UNC and #2W-Duke struggled early but then delivered a back-and-forth slugfest with 18 lead changes and 12 ties.  Ultimately, the Blue Devil free throws didn’t fall and a key 2-miss trip fueled the Tar Heels to build a couple of four-point leads led by the dagger of a 3 by Caleb Love (22 of his 28 points in the 2nd half) with 25 seconds left for a 78-74 lead.  The 81-77 win put UNC in its 12th final and a rematch of the ’57 final where UNC beat Kansas.  UNC ruined Coach K’s last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium and now launched his retirement.  UNC coach Hubert Davis won just his 29th game with UNC while Coach K will retire with 1,202 Duke wins. 

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  • Issue # 12.4.4 “Revenge of the Blue Bloods” (4/1)

    Posted on April 1st, 2022 - 4:43 pm Scott No comments


    International Rescue Committee - Ukraine Crisis
    2022 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ New Orleans, Louisiana

    6th Final Four (’82, ’87, ’93, ’03 (Louisiana Superdome); ’12 (Mercedes-Benz Superdome))
    Hosted by Tulane U. (American Athletic Conf) (2nd Final Four) & U. of New Orleans (Southland Conf) (2nd Final Four)
     – The Floor
    First SemifinalSecond Semifinal

    San Antonio, Texas (6th Regional)

    Hosted by U. of Texas at San Antonio (Conf USA) (6th Regional)

    Chicago, Illinois (4th Regional)

    Hosted by Northwestern U. (Big Ten) (1st Regional)

    San Francisco, California (3rd Regional)

    Hosted by Pac-12 Conf (2nd Regional)

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (5th Regional)

    Hosted by U. of Pennsylvania (Ivy League) (6th Regional)
    Villanova University Wildcats (30-7)University of Kansas Jayhawks (32-6)Duke University Blue Devils (32-6)University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels (28-9)
    Big East Conference (2nd Place) – Tourney Champs
    Villanova, Pennsylvania

    7th Final Four (’39, ‘71, ’85, ’09, ’16’18)
    def #15 Delaware 80-60
    #7 Ohio State 71-61
    #11 Michigan 63-55
    #5 Houston 50-44
    Big 12 Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
    Lawrence, Kansas

    16th Final Four (’40’52’53’57, ’71, ’74, 86, ’88’91, ’93, ’02, ’03’08, ‘12, ’18)
    def #16a Texas Southern 83-56
    #9 Creighton 79-72
    #4 Providence 66-61
    #10 Miami of Florida 76-50
    Atlantic Coast Conference – Regular Season Champs
    Durham, North Carolina

    17th Final Four (’63, ‘64, ’66, ’78, ‘86, ’88, ’89, ‘90’91, ‘92, ‘94’99, ‘01, ’04, ‘10’15)
    def #15 Cal State Fullerton 78-61
    #7 Michigan State 85-76
    #3 Texas Tech 78-73
    #4 Arkansas 78-69
    Atlantic Coast Conference (2nd Place)
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    21st Final Four (’46, ‘57, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’72, ’77’81’82, ’91, ’93, ’95, ’97, ’98, ’00, ’05, ’08, ’09’16, ‘17)
    def #9 Marquette 95-63
    #1 Baylor 93-86 (OT)
    #4 UCLA 73-66
    #15 Saint Peter’s 69-49

    Friday, April 1, 2022 **NO APRIL FOOL’S JOKE HERE**

    At least $1,366 will be donated to IRC; over $3,097 donated over 12 years

    Nothing to see in the West

    WATCHING USMNT GET DRAWN INTO ENGLAND’S GROUP, CA (smt) – While it was nice to see some fresh blood in the Final Four the past two years (Baylor & Houston’s 1st trip since before ’85, the Zags 2nd, blue-blood UCLA’s first since ’08 last year and Texas Tech & Auburn’s 1st ever, Virginia’s 3rd (and first since ’84), Michigan St’s first since ’15 in ’19), three blue bloods are back with three-time champion Villanova tagging along.  Combined, the four teams have 61 Final Fours (the previous 2 tourneys had only a combined 41 with 19 of them belonging to UCLA).  While not a blue blood in the traditional sense, Villanova has won 2 of the past 5 titles and are in their 3rd FF in six tourneys.  The top-heavy Final Four makes you forget about St. Peter’s, Providence, Miami, Iowa St and even Gonzaga and Arizona.  Remember them?  Remember the West Coast power?  Nope, it’s Kansas and three teams who you can barely see on the map on the East Coast.

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  • Star Studded Final Four

    Posted on April 1st, 2022 - 12:13 am Scott No comments

    61 Final Fours. 17 Championships. Not the Final Four many envisioned (in our pool, only Tarheel Blue Balls got all four) but what a great group and you feel like any of them, including #8 North Carolina could win the title. So what if the college teams put stars over their logos like world soccer teams do? UNC leads with 6, followed by Duke with 5 and Kansas and Villanova with 3 each. So none as crazy as Boca Juniors’ star-filled logo. Though UNC has one more title than the LA Galaxy.

  • Issue # 11.4.3 “Red Light, Green Light” (3/30)

    Posted on March 31st, 2022 - 12:28 am Scott No comments


    Previous Sweet 16 Themes: 14 – Hot tub time machine | 13 – SportsNation |  12 – Amazing Race |  11 – Year-by-Year |  10 – Health Care |  09 – American Cancer Society 08 – Who Is The Mole? | 07 – TV Shows | 06 – Awards ]

    Previous Other Themes/Lists: [ NCAA: 18 – UMBC Chances | Euro: 20 – Avenger’s Infinity Stones | WC: 06 –Les Misérables | 18 – Greatest Showman | Women’s WC: 19 -Women of Star Wars  ]  

    The best TV series in recent memory has lots of lessons to be learned

    Theme – Squid Game

    DELTA SKY WAY OPERATIONAL READINESS TRIAL, LAX TERMINAL 3, CA —  In the surprise hit Netflix show “Squid Game” (오징어 게임), recruiters searched and found 456 players who start out competing for 4.56 billion won.  In the NCAA season, 358 teams start out competing for 68 spots in the tournament.  In the TV show, there are six main games to find a winner(s) while the NCAA tournament features six rounds (not including First Four) to find one winner.  But in both versions, at times you can help each other (build up conference quality for better chance at at-large bids) or hurt others (major upsets), but at a certain point, it’s everyone for themselves (one-bid conference final, tournament time).

    I haven’t done a themed update for the NCAA Pool in 8 years.  As we head to the Final Four, I’m going to reset that clock so here are my thoughts on the pool and tournament, Squid Game-style (note:  I tried to avoid spoilers in this list, but the links below could lead to spoilers)… 

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