2021 HWCI NCAA Pool

The latest on our HWCI NCAA Pool…
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  • Admin Picks!

    Posted on March 19th, 2021 - 1:10 am Scott No comments

    Laugh or cry, we have submitted and paid for our picks. Below are my two entries. The first in reference to the 26.2 mile marathon as this is our 26th year. And my second is in awe of the incredible The Mandalorian Star Wars show gave us Baby Yoda… but where did he go to?

    The Fabone Marathon

    Where is Grogu

    (Update 3/19/21 7:51 am PDT): David’s picks, his nickname of 26 years:

    The Mighty Mobelfakta

  • Madness Begins

    Posted on March 18th, 2021 - 11:34 pm Scott No comments

    For the win… just short. #11aW-Wichita St’s buzzer beater shot hit the front of the rim (but why a 3 point if down by 1?) giving #11bW-Drake its 26th win, tying #1W-Gonzaga. Wichita St blew a second-half 12 point lead, a theme for the night. #16bE-Texas Southern rallied from a second-half 10 point deficit to win by 8. #11bE-UCLA rallied from a second-half 11 point deficit (down by 14 in the first half and by 6 with under 4 minutes left) to shock #11aE-Michigan St in overtime. #16aW-Norfolk St blew a second half 19-point lead but… rallied from their own 6-point deficit to squeak out a one-point win over #16bW-Appalachian St (who missed their first 19 3-point attempts (0/18 3PT but 8/8 FT in first half)). Norfolk St snapped a 3-game MEAC losing streak in the First Four (previous 3 lost by NC A&T) as the MEAC improves to 4-7. UCLA escaped from losing back-to-back First Four games. A great way to start after not having a March Madness game in the past 710 days.

    We have 129 entries thus far which is close to our record-breaking pace in 2017 (178) but will likely fall between 155 and 170 entries. We typically have around 100 people and we are at 77, so hopefully at least 23 more before the 9 am PDT deadline.

    In the 11th HWCI First Four for Charity contest (17 entries), Mike M anticipated close games for each (by 1 point) to win with a 3-1 record and low 14 point differential. Four were 3-1 and four were 0-4 (Eric F last with 50 pt diff). This was the third time no one went 4-0 (10 contests, last year was just pick the champ). Mike W actually picked two game exactly (Norfolk St by 1 and UCLA by 6) to finish 2nd (20 pt diff). 6 picked Texas Southern, 5 picked Drake, 7 picked Norfolk St, and 6 picked UCLA. All underdogs (by our picks) won.

  • First Tourney Game in 710 Days

    Posted on March 18th, 2021 - 3:54 pm Scott No comments

    Tipoff! The First Four has tipped off with #16bE-Mount St. Mary’s taking a 10 point halftime lead over #16aE-Texas Southern in front of around 500 fans (and no fake piped in noise on truTV) in Bloomington (the first Opening Round or First Four game not played in Dayton). I like the truTV (lower quality but you can take screenshots, unlike the March Madness app) and their break message – “truTV will return… unless the world ends or something” is hilarious!

    We got 17 entries for our free 11th HWCI First Four for Charity contest, the 4th lowest total, but will still raise at least $54 towards the Center for Disaster (CDP) Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund thanks other fellow pool entrants who chipped in.

    We got just 15 entries for the 24-hour period between Wed 9 am to Thu 9 am PDT so I have scrunched that period of time so that it can sync back up to what would be the final 24 hour push before the deadline. Below shows the 92 entries we have received thus far at Hour 66 and it is the 2nd highest total behind our record-breaking year in 2017. We’ll see if that trend holds up though.

    At Hour 66, 2nd Most Entries Received Thus Far
  • Outta Here!

    Posted on March 16th, 2021 - 4:33 pm Scott No comments

    We got the first COVID-19 casualty but it wasn’t a team (who all reported they were good Saturday night to be selected for the tournament and for the tourney teams, all reported good by the 4 pm PDT deadline today) who will go home, but six referees. So, sorry Louisville who was the first on the waiting list. #6E-BYU also won’t go home as the NCAA will swap the Midwest and East Sweet 16 dates so that BYU won’t have to play on Sunday, as per their religious principles. But first, BYU has to win 2 games this weekend. This will reduce the East rest period to just 4 days which is tenuous since a positive COVID-19 can play havoc on the 7 days of negative testing requirement for contact traced players.

    We have 35 entries thus far (Enter Now!), which is our 4th highest at this point in time (55 in 2017) and we do get one extra day (deadline 9 am PDT Friday, instead of Thursday). It’ll be interesting to see if people modify their picks based on Thursday’s First Four results or who #3W-Kansas or #4W-Virginia, both who withdrew from their conference tournament due to COVID-19, bring to their first game (Virginia won’t fly in until Friday and then quickly need Friday & Saturday negative tests in Indianapolis). Can you imagine if those teams both get a COVID-19 hiccup, that would mean #1W-Gonzaga’s biggest challenge could be just #5W-Creigton in the Sweet 16.

  • Issue # 1.0.1 “The Indy 68”

    Posted on March 15th, 2021 - 1:56 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Sunday, March 14, 2021  **HELP support Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Fund (deadline Thu 4:00 pm PDT **)

    BIG TEN GETS 4 OF TOP 8 SPOTS, ZAGS #1 OVERALL
    After a long year, our 26th year hopes to offer a distraction

    CAL POLY POMONA VAC SHOT #1, CA (smt)- After the March Sadness of 2020, where the NCAA along with all the sports leagues cancelled their seasons abruptly due to the rising COVID-19 pandemic, March Madness will try again this year, with health protocols and tournament procedures in place to enable completion of the tournament.  Soccer showed with the successful summer completions of  NWSL’s Challenge Cup and the MLS is Back tournament (which was the basis of our 11th HWCI soccer pool) in a location bubble that sports and the COVID-19 can coexist.  Going outside a bubble can lead to issues but the NCAA completed more than 80% of their scheduled games (the NFL 100%) and now all teams will descend into the Indianapolis greater area bubble. 

    The Big Ten got a conference record 9 teams in, including 4 of the top 8 spots but unbeaten Gonzaga (26-0) got the #1 overall seed in the West.  Yes, the region names remain the same even though all games will be played in the greater Indianapolis area.  Tip times and locations were not announced during the selection show (which started ten minutes late as the Big Ten final went into overtime but took just 27 minutes to reveal the entire bracket) as those came out later.  Baylor got the #1 seed in the South while Illinois and Michigan got #1s in the Midwest and East.  The other Big Ten teams in the top 8 were #2S-Ohio St and #2W-Iowa.  SEC tourney winner #2E-Alabama and AAC tourney winner #2MW-Houston were the other #2 seeds. 

    The top 41 ranked teams in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) made the tourney but so did NET70 #11bE-Michigan St while NET42 Penn St did not.  #11bW-Drake, as the final team in, has the Ivy League to thank, as with them not playing this year due to COVID-19, that allowed one more at-large bid (37) than usual.  Saturday’s upsets with #12E-Georgetown winning the Big East (were just 9-12 going into the tourney) and #12MW-Oregon St winning the Pac 12 (14-12 going into the tourney) knocked out Louisville and Colorado St, who along with St. Louis and Ole Miss, become the four alternates (in that order) if any tournament team has to withdraw by Tuesday evening.  #14S-Colgate played just 15 games but are 14-1 with a 13-game win streak.  Three teams played 30 games. 

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • 11th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity (Due 4 pm PDT Thursday)

    Posted on March 14th, 2021 - 6:03 pm Scott No comments

    Support the Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund

    While you decide who will win the tourney, for the 11th 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 Center for Disaster (CDP) Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund, which supports preparedness, containment efforts, response and recovery activities for those affected by COVID-19 and for the responders and has already distributed more than $21 million to 137 organizations in the U.S. and abroad.  With the virus still roaring across the world with different variants, this will be the 2nd straight year donating to a COVID-19 fund. 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 (played Thursday this year) will be and by what point margin. For example: Norfolk by 3, Drake by 2, Mt St Mary’s by 9, and UCLA by 1. The four games are Appalachian St vs Norfolk St, Drake vs Wichita St, Texas Southern vs Mt St Mary’s, and UCLA vs Michigan St.  Get your entry by 4 pm PDT Thursday.  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. Last year, we set a record with $325 donated to Direct Relief COVID-19 Response Fund.

    My picks: Norfolk St by 5, Wichita St by 7, Texas Southern by 3, and UCLA by 2.

  • Uncontested

    Posted on March 12th, 2021 - 11:01 pm Scott No comments

    ESPN will display “Uncontested” for games won by forfeit, giving us a possible sign of things to come in the tournament if teams can’t field five (yes, just 5) healthy players. Kansas, Virginia, and NC A&T had to withdraw from their conference tournaments due to positive test(s) just as Duke did earlier. The opponent advances (no word on if both teams have to withdraw) to the next round as usual. The First Four starts Thursday (rather than Tuesday) to allow for any positive test to work through its cycle (minimum 7 days of negative testing) which may allow Kansas, et al to field full strength teams by the time they play Friday or Saturday. NC A&T comes from the MEAC (one-bid league typically in the First Four) so despite being ranked #1 in the tournament, they won’t get an at-large bid like Kansas and Virginia. Even worse, with the NIT going from 32 to 16 teams for this year, there is no guarantee NC A&T will get an at-large invite to the tournament (normally they would’ve as regular season champ if they didn’t win the tourney).

    So, write letters to your champion pick to stay safe, follow protocols, and be smart to avoid any chance of a positive test. Because if #1 Gonzaga tests positive next week, the #16 seed will get to play a #11/#12 seed alternate team in their first round game.

  • IEEE & Rutgers Again (Duke Out?)

    Posted on March 11th, 2021 - 11:45 am Scott No comments

    So more than a year ago, I was excited that Rutgers was slated to be making the tournament for the first time in our pool era (ensuring at least one new team has appeared every year of our pool). Not only that, but it’s walking distance from the hotel we stay when we visit IEEE headquarters (the largest professional engineering society with over 400,000 members) in Piscataway, NJ. So, today, it seems Rutgers’ final conference win (after an embarrassing loss to Nebraska) has punched them through as one of at least 9 teams from the Big Ten.

    Yes, so after a year of COVID-19 disruptions, loss of life (we hope everyone is doing okay and condolences for any loss), and coping, the NCAA tournament is back… moved to Indiana (Bloomington, West Lafayette, and Final Four host Indianapolis) for travel and safety concerns. And fans will be able to attend, at no more than 25% capacity. And our pool, the 26th (again), will be back. The NCAA has outlined that the bracket won’t be re-seeded or changed 48 hours after Selection Sunday, which means if your team can’t play due to COVID-19, they forfeit that game and the opponent advances to the next round (no-contest rule). We also get an extra day, as the proper 64 won’t start until Friday morning (First Four is Thursday). Now if both teams can’t play, don’t know… best mascot?

    While several teams and the entire Ivy League canceled their seasons due to COVID-19, COVID-19 may just have knocked Duke out of the tourney for the first time since 1995, our first year of the pool. After getting above .500, they needed a strong run in the ACC tournament to secure an at-large bid. That won’t happen after withdrawing from the ACC tournament due a positive test (conspiracy theorists will say Duke will be an alternate team, then one tourney team will withdraw within 48 hours of the bracket and Duke will be back in…).

    More to come!

  • Issue # 25.6 “25 Years: The Prizes”

    Posted on April 23rd, 2020 - 1:12 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Wednesday, April 22, 2020  **HAPPY 50th EARTH DAY**
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs  | 4-Charities  | 5-Payments ]

    25 YEARS:  $23,650 HAVE BEEN WON BY  88 PEOPLE
    Bob G is all-time earner with $1,120  but Robinson C and Darryn B are only two-time champs

    The Winners

    SAFER-AT-HOME W/REQUIRED FACE COVERING, CA (smt)- While a lot of American citizens will receive up to $1200 from the Federal government (and the rich getting some as well), a good number of us middle class folks won’t, and so we hope to win in the pool (not this year though).  While our largest pot was $1780, what was the largest prize an individual could win?  So here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on the various HWCI NCAA prizes.

    Prize Distribution

    As stated in the last issue, 100% of each entry fee (including ours) goes into prizes.  Always has, always will.  So if there are 100 entries, then there will be $1,000 doled out.  I started doing an update on prizes but started getting into how intricate the payments worked and when I was done, wrote more than 1,900 words, so this was split up (Payments and Prizes).  So we’ve had 2,365 total entries over 25 years which means we have doled out $23,650 ($940.60 avg). 

    While we started off with just 3 prizes in ’95 (1st/2nd/3rd) we have expanded over the years to as many as 8 prizes in ’17 (1st-7th, Bonus).  We added a 4th place prize in ’98 if we got 25 or more entries and Scott H (1 year/1 entry, 1 prize/$20 total winnings) won the first 4th place prize ($20).  We added a $40 Bonus Prize in ’03 and Scott T (25/42, 5/$630) won the first Bonus.  We added a 5th place prize in ’08 if we got 100 or more entries and Jeff H (16/16, 3/$340) won the first 5th place prize ($60).  We added a 6th place prize in ’11 if we got 125 or more entries and Charles D (1 0/28, 1/$60) won the first 4th place prize ($60) with his 2nd entry.   We added a 7th place prize in ’17 if we got 165 or more but have only hit that once (’17).  Alex K (3/4, 1/$60) won the first 7th place prize ($60).

    We never thought the pool would be as big as it today which is why the 5th place prize never really crossed our minds until we hit the magic 100 entry milestone.  So while there were 75 entries in between 4th and 5th (25:100), we quickly added another prize 25 entries later (100:125).  When we jumped 29 entries from 149 to 178, it was so big that another prize seemed warranted, though we were hesitant.  But we decided to add the 7th place prize to get the top 7 prizes back up to over 4% of the total entries (7/165 4.2%).  We may not add an 8th until we hit 200 (8/200 4%) but we shall see.  We have dipped below that 165 entry mark for the last two years.  That “4%” has been keeping an average of 75% of the entries still alive after the first weekend which is good.  We don’t want too few top prize spots that too many entries are eliminated and skip the Sweet 16 but we want some stress and mortality.  We do have outliers such as the upset-heavy ’18 pool where 51.9% of the 156 entries were eliminated (’cause a lot of favorites lost including #1 Virginia losing to #16 UMBC) and the mostly chalk ’09 pool where just 7.0% of the 114 entries were eliminated.

    There have been 136 total prizes won by 96 different entries (88 people).  A quite healthy 24.1% (88/365) of all people have won something which I’m quite proud of because I like spreading the wealth and no one person has dominated.  Each person is allowed to enter up to 3 times.  Scott T has won the most times with 5 prizes ($630) including winning the pool in ’02.  He has submitted 42 total entries over 25 years.  His first entry has won 4 times (25 yrs, 4/$540), tying David F (25/26, 4/$490) for the most wins for an entry.  Including Scott T, a total of 7 people have won on at least two different entries.  Eric F is the only person to win on 3 different entries (1st entry in ’14, 2nd in ’17, and 3rd in ’19; 9/15, 3/$620).  Blakely H (10/28, 2/$315) is the only person to win on his/her 3rd entry twice.  Mike W (4/12, 1/$170) and Ron E (12/28, 1/$320) are the only others to win on his/her 3rd entry.  Dual and triple entries are quite common but no one has won a prize twice in the same year.  Yet.

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 25.5 “25 Years: The Payments”

    Posted on April 18th, 2020 - 10:03 pm Scott No comments

    Archive

    Saturday, April 18, 2020 
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs  | 4-Charities ]

    25 YEARS:  ONLINE PAYMENTS RULE TODAY
    Cash, check, and even money orders were how we got our money in the beginning

    1995 to 2020 Inflation

    SAFER-AT-HOME W/FACE COVERING, CA (smt)- With unemployment claims at record levels due to the effects of COVID-19, ten dollars is something to save now rather than spend on a really, cool betting pool.   While $10 in 1995 is now worth almost $17 ($16.97) in today’s dollars, our entry fee has never gone up.  Or think of it this way, the entry fee back in 1995 would be less than $6 ($5.90) today.  So you are getting more bang for you buck with each passing year.  What has been going up is the number of entries, and thus, the challenge of collecting all that money.  I the beginning there was just cash which would be handed to Andy F or David F and we had just 12 people to worry about in ’95.  But with 111 people like last year?  How do we do that?  So here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on the various HWCI NCAA payments.

    Unlike a lot of other paid tournament pools out there, there is no administrative fee, free entry by the admins, or kickbacks taken by David or I, despite the vast number of hours working on the pool (and David funding to run the server our pool is run on).  100% of each entry fee (including ours) goes into prizes.  Always has, always will.  Like I said in the previous issue, any tips or “extra” people try to sneak in as “thanks”, I put right into the First Four for Charity donation.

    So if there are 100 entries, then there will be $1,000 doled out.  Now, every year, there are always stragglers and regulars that pay late or sometimes miss (when I get too lazy to remind again), but I always cover so there will be $1,000 to give out regardless if I’ve collected it all by the end of the tournament.  Most of these are my dear longtime friends who I think I’ll see soon to collect but family and work get in the way.  A lot have given up and gone the online payment or check way but there are a few I’ll have to remind at the next BBQ. 

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 25.4 “25 Years: The Charities”

    Posted on April 17th, 2020 - 11:48 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Thursday, April 16, 2020  ***HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON!!!***
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs ]

    25 YEARS:  10 DIVERSE CHARITIES
    A total of $325 this year donated to Direct Relief – COVID-19 Fund

    SAFER-AT-HOME, CA (smt)- Well, they cancelled the tournament.  But they can’t cancel our good will.  For the 10th straight year, the HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity asked pool friends to reply back with quick answers to enter this free contest where I would donate $2 per entry to a worthy charity or cause.  This year, due to the extreme times we live in, was coronavirus-related and picked Direct Relief since they had a dedicated COVID-19 fund to donate directly to.  Direct Relief is coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the U.S. and globally to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus.

    1st First Four for Charity Email

    Because there was no tournament, this year the question was “Who would you have picked to win the tournament?” instead of the usual First Four winners and margin of victory.  We did get 20 responses back and although we didn’t hit my stated target goal of 25 entries, I still will add in $25 for a total of $65.  Michael W and a very kind-hearted friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) will separately donate (since there is no pool, no sense for me to be the middle-man to collect funds) and add a combined $260 for a grand total of $325, our second highest donation-ever, after last year’s $460 to the Boys and Girls Club of America.  How did we get here?  Here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on our HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity contest.

    Curse the NCAA and their greed!  In ’11, there were going to be 68 teams (instead of 65) but instead of the worst 8 conferences playing for the four games, it would be just four, and the other four would be the last four at-large berths.  This meant that we went from a “don’t care” for Tuesday (didn’t matter who won #64/#65 Opening Round, every sane person would pick them to lose) to how do we deal with the 2 games featuring at-large teams on Tuesday/Wednesday?  Surely, #11-#13 teams have won before and people could pick them depending which team won.  Do we make them pick these First Four games by Tuesday?  No, not feasible.  We would just allow people to change their picks if they wanted after the First Four games.  Luckily, not many people did so it wasn’t a big logistical nightmare we thought (100 people suddenly changing their picks Wed night/Thu morning).

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 25.3 “25 Years: The Conferences”

    Posted on April 16th, 2020 - 10:49 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Tuesday, April 7, 2020 [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams ]

    25 YEARS:  38 CONFERENCES HAVE EXISTED IN OUR POOLS
    30-32 automatic bids each year, 9 conf never getting more than 1 bid

    Teams and Titles by Conference

    EL SEGUNDO/HOME, CA (smt)- Would the Big Ten (B10) have gotten a record 12 (of 14) teams into the tournament?  More likely 10 which would’ve been the second-highest ever (Big East (BE) 11 in ’11).  Would the Big Ten top the record 19 wins by the Atlantic Coast (ACC) in ’16?  But we’ll never know.  So without a tournament, here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time focusing on the conferences who have made the tournament (the proper 64 that is).

    What we do know is that for the past 25 years, 38 conferences have existed with only the American West (AW) (’95-’96) and Great West (GW) (’10-’13) not putting any teams in (no automatic bid due to not enough teams in conference those years).  Currently, all 32 Division I conferences get an automatic bid (though again, four of the worst conference tournament winners will vie in First Four).  Nine conferences have never gotten an at-large bid.  From ’01-’10 the two lowest auto bid tournament champions (team #64 and #65) played in the Opening Round game.  From ’11 to present, the four lowest auto bid champions play in the First Four.  13 conferences have put their auto bid team in the Opening Round/First Four with the Southwestern Athletic (SWA) doing it 11 of 19 years.  Because they have lost 9 of those Opening Round/First Four games, the SWA have only placed a team in the proper 64 bracket 16 of 25 years.

    The Atlantic 10 (A10) is a perfect 3-0 in the First Four with five others 2-0 (America East (AE) – keeping a streak of all 25 years with just one team in proper 64, Big West (BW), Colonial Athletic (CAA), Ohio Valley (OVC), and Summit (SUM)).  The Pac-12 (P12) is 3-4 (including losing both in ’18, the only conference to ever have 2 teams in First Four) while the Big 12 (B12) has appeared just once (won in ’17).  The Northeast (NEC) has appeared in 7 straight First Four games (’13 to present) going 3-4 (4-5 overall).  The Mid-Eastern Athletic (MEA) has lost 3 straight First Four games (’17 to present) (3-6 overall).  Despite this, the MEA actually has 3 wins in the tournament (#15 Coppin St ’97, #15 Hampton ’01, and #15 Norfolk St in ’12).

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 25.2 “25 Years: The Teams”

    Posted on March 25th, 2020 - 2:30 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Tuesday, March 24, 2020
    25 YEARS:  281 TEAMS HAVE MADE PROPER 64 IN OUR POOLS
    Ignoring Opening Round and First Four losers, we have seen at least one new team each year

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- In the final AP pool, teams 2 through 7 are not your usual suspects with only Florida St (ACC), Baylor (Big 12), and Creighton (Big East) coming from the Power 5 conferences.  Gonzaga (WCC), Dayton (Atlantic 10), and San Diego St (Mountain West) would have provided some much needed parity.  But alas, none of those teams will count.  So without a tournament, here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time focusing on the teams who have made the tournament (the proper 64 that is). 

    Top Seed in NCAA Tournament
    Top Ranked Team to Win it All

    So when the NCAA tried to mess up brackets by adding a 65th team (Opening Round 64v65) in 2001 due to the new Mountain West Conference taking away an at-large bid or when they added three more at-large teams to create the First Four (well, the First Round until 2016) in 2011, we ignored them.  The proper 64 bracket that starts Thursday at 9:15 am is what matters in this pool.  If you pick your bracket early you’ll just select “Team A/Team B” to advance and as always, you can change your picks up until the deadline.

    Duke has been the top seed (#1 overall) 6 times including four in a row from ’99-’02  with Kentucky (4) and Kansas (3) right behind as shown in the table on the left.  From ’95-’03 the top seed was determined by the final AP pool before the tournament and from ’04-present the top seed is announced as part the NCAA’s ranked seeds listing.  UMass (’96) is probably the oddest top seed and local favorite UCLA was only the top seed in our first pool in ’95.  Five top seeds went on to win the tournament (’95 UCLA, ’01 Duke, ’07 Florida, ’12 Kentucky, ’13 Louisville).  Only twice did the top 2 seeds make the final (’99 Duke v UConn, ’05 Illinois v UNC) and twice did none of the top 4 seeds make the Final Four (’06, ’11).   UConn, however, has won the most titles (4) with Duke, UNC, and Kentucky winning 3 each in the past 25 years.  A #1 seed has won the title 17 times with UConn (#7E) the worst seed to win the title. 

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 25.1 “25 Years: The Entries”

    Posted on March 19th, 2020 - 1:55 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Wednesday, March 18, 2020  **HELP support Direct Relief’s COVID-19 Response Fund (deadline Thu 9:15 am PDT) **

    25 YEARS:  365 PEOPLE HAVE PLAYED IN OUR POOLS
    As deadline nears, we can predict how many entries we might get

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- Could a non-power 5 school such as Dayton, Gonzaga, or San Diego St have won it all?  We’ll never know.  Well, Sportsline ran a simulation and Dayton won (yay, Flyers).  This is the start of a series of updates reflecting on the 25 years of our HWCI NCAA pool and a peak behind the curtain of how the pool is run.  Kind of a nice number to do so, so thanks NCAA for cancelling this year’s tournament due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns.  Whereas pro athletes can wait this out and as leagues have previously self-inflicted on their seasons voluntarily (NBA lockout 8 months in 2011-12 (82->66 game season), NHL lockout 1994-95 (84->48 game season), NHL lockout 2004-05 (cancelling entire season and Stanley Cup), MLB strike in 1994 (cancelling the World Series!), NFL strike 7 weeks in 1982 (16->9 game season)), these amateur athletes have worked hard for years for an opportunity to play in March Madness and will move on to their next phase in life (attempt to go pro, graduate school, the working world).

    When CBS (or that awful year it was on TBS) finally gets through announcing the bracket on Selection Sunday, where feasible, David and myself are busy reading up the homepage (http://www.hwci.com/ncaa) for people to enter their picks.  Sometimes, this is very late Sunday (or very early Monday) and sometimes, like in 2006 where a hard drive crash kept the online entry disabled until 1 pm Monday or in 2014 where java security errors kept the updated form down until 2 am Tuesday, we experience anti-technology days that wreak havoc on our sanity!

    Table of entries since 1999
    Read the rest of this entry »
  • 10th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity

    Posted on March 15th, 2020 - 10:10 am Scott No comments
    Direct Relief
    COVID-19 Response Fund

    Wow, in a span of a couple days, dominos fell and hit every corner of the sport world, with the NCAA cancelling March Madness on March 12.  Today was supposed to be Selection Sunday and the kickoff for our 26th HWCI NCAA Pool.  So the 26th will have to wait until March 18, 2021.  BUT, I have decided to continue with the free 10th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity where we have raised $1,158.08 to 9 different charities including a record-breaking $460 last year to the Boys & Girls Club of America.  

    So I want every one of you to reply (Comment, Email,
    post to Facebook, tweet @HWCI_Pools) with the TEAM you were going to pick to win the tournament (Kansas #1 AP, Gonzaga #1 NET, Dayton the darling fav).  Deadline will be the 9 am PDT Thursday.  Goal is 25+ replies!

    For every reply back (anyone can reply, friends, family, etc), I will donate $2 to Direct Relief’s COVID-19 campaign where they are coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the U.S., China and globally to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus (COVID-19). This is one of the highest rated charities that has a way to direct the donation directly to the response to the coronovirus.

    Also, I don’t want to be the middle man with no pool, so if you donate to Direct Relief yourself, please email me the amount (up to $10) and I will include the numbers in the final total.

    As a bonus, in the end, if we top 25 replies 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. Last year, we not only set a record of $230 in donations from myself and fellow pool players, my company was able to match (such a painful process and never did see the final confirmation) making the donation total $460!