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  • Issue # 6.2.3 “Hello 7th Place, We Missed Ya” (3/26)

    Posted on March 26th, 2021 - 4:21 pm Scott No comments
    Rebel Kicks are an alt-rock/pop band based out of NYC
    Alt-rock band Rebel Kicks

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    JUST 2ND TIME 7TH PLACE OFFERED
    For Bonus, all but two entries could guess conference wins correct

    Seed total of Sweet 16

    NOT IN EL SEGUNDO,CA (smt) – While the last tournament (’19) saw a record low seed total in the Sweet 16 (four #1, four #2, four #3, two #4, #5, #12) of 49, this year saw a record high seed total of 94 (three #1, two #2, #3, #4, two #5, #6, #7, #8, two #11, #12, #15) (was 89 in ’86).  The four double-digit seeds are not a record (6) but it is nice that we have at least one #1-#8 seed (large-large-large-large straight) in the Sweet 16.  While #1MW-Illinois bit the dust the other three #1 seeds are still chugging along, with #1W-Gonzaga getting #5W-Creighton, and if past that, Pac 12 winner between #6W-USC and #7W-Oregon.  While there were four overtime games in the first 16 games of the tourney (including First Four), there have been none since.  9 of the past 10 have been double-digit wins.  The Big Ten (9 teams before First Four) saw its first three teams bow out in overtime (including #2S-Ohio St to #15S-Oral Roberts, who are in the Sweet 16) and then 5 of 6 lose in the 2nd round.  The Big 12 (7 teams) won its first 5 games and then lost 6 of the next 7.  But the SEC, ACC, and Big East managed to two teams in the Sweet 16.

    While you are taking an extended break (next game isn’t until Saturday!), take a listen to “Fall of the American Dream” (no, it’s not dire like that) from one of the unsigned bands Paul T (Poolraider (121st-T, 58 pts) helps promote (always his 3rd entry, Rebel Kicks (142nd-T, 55)), an alt-rock band from NYC).  Though I prefer the acoustic version.  Our 26th year saw a second-best 165 entries from 101 people.  Of the 101, 20 entered twice and a record 22 entered three times.  But thanks to all, we hit the magic number of 165 entries (I had to look at my own history links page to find out what I had set it to years back) which means we will have a 7th place prize (only other time was in ’17 when we got 178 entries).  We will have eight money spots (top 7 plus Bonus) and we have $1,650 to divvy out. The top prize will be $640, $5 less than last year to accommodate the 7th place prize. The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all fee money goes into prizes. What’s the Bonus? Read on

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  • Issue # 5.2.2 “The Pac 12, Yes, That Pac 12, Dominates” (3/22)

    Posted on March 23rd, 2021 - 1:04 am Scott No comments

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    THREE TRADITIONAL PAC 12 TEAMS CRUSH OPPONENT
    BamaG jumps to 1st but 6 others have better chance to win the pool

    USC beats Kansas by 34; Game over w/3.8 sec left
    Game over despite 3.8 seconds left

    EL SEGUNDO,CA (smt) – Traditional Pac 10 teams #7W-Oregon, #11E-UCLA, and #6W-USC ran all over their opponents while added Pac 12 team (along with Utah) #5E-Colorado got beat handily by #4E-Florida St.  The Pac 12 got four of its 5 teams in the Sweet 16 while the mighty Big Ten (9 teams before First Four) is just left with #1E-Michigan, who had to turn a 5-point second half deficit into a comfortable victory.  Oregon (finally playing after winning the first round by forfeit) broke a 46-46 tie by scoring the last 10 points of the half and never let up against #2W-Iowa, UCLA scored 18 straight points and led by as many as 26 in their win over #14-Abilene Christian, and in a game you had to see to believe, USC scored the last 11 points of the first half and then built as much as a 35-point lead over Oral Rob…, oh wait, over Norfolk St, oh wait, it was #3W-Kansas.  Kansas who had never lost a tournament game by more than 18, got routed by 34.  It was such a shock, the timekeeper left and didn’t even run down the last 3.8 seconds, leaving it to the refs to call mercy and end the game.

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  • Issue # 4.2.1 “Sister Jean to Sweet 16” (3/21)

    Posted on March 22nd, 2021 - 12:14 am Scott No comments

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    3 DOUBLE DIGIT SEEDS + RAMBLERS MAKE SWEET 16
    License to ILL remains in 1st but lost champ Illinois

    Sister Jean

    DREAMING THROUGH AN UPSET, CA (smt)- So this was the morning I was going to sleep in, after working most weekends the past month, to get some good REM sleep.  I mean, #1MW-Illinois was the first game.  So if my phone was buzzing, I didn’t hear it.  Woke up and saw #1MW-Illinois was upset by fellow Illinois-team #8MW-Loyola Chicago.  And not really close at all, never letting the Illini get closer than 7 in the second half.  Sister Jean apparently gave a pre-game speech and magic happened.  The Ramblers were a top 10 team by statistics, which no one believed, and thus made an 8 seed.   They now get #12MW-Oregon St who withheld several rallies by #4MW-Oklahoma St to keep the Pac 12 perfect (6-0, 7-0 including First Four).  Elite 8?  We’ll see.

    Two other double-digits seeds advanced with #11MW-Syracuse nearly blowing a late 9 point lead to beat #3MW-West Virginia (battle of the 900 win coaches) and #15S-Oral Roberts overcoming an 11-point deficit with under 10 minutes left to stun #7S-Florida.  Oral Roberts becomes just the second #15 seed in the Sweet 16 (Florida Gulf Coast ’13).  #10MW-Rutgers nearly joined them but blew a 9-point lead with under 5 minutes left as #2MW-Houston scored the last 7 points of the game (making just one shot, 5 points on free throws) in losing by 3.  Rutgers did the “prevent defense” which took them out of their rhythm, trying to hold the ball before the shot clock ran out, scoring just two points in the final 4:55.

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  • Issue # 1.0.1 “The Indy 68”

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

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    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. 

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  • Issue # 25.3 “25 Years: The Conferences”

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

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    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).

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  • Issue # 2.1.1 “Darlings Mostly Disappoint”

    Posted on March 22nd, 2019 - 11:28 am Scott No comments

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    Thursday, March 21, 2019 
    A BIG TEN GOES 5-0 WHILE BIG EAST DOWN TO ONE
    Our 25th year saw an increase to 162 entries from 1l3 people

    GOLETA, CA (smt)- Potential Cinderella darlings #14E-Yale, #12MW-New Mexico St, #11E-Belmont, and #11S-St. Mary’s all faltered leaving head coachless #3E-LSU, #5MW-Auburn, #6E-Maryland, and the defending champ #6S-Villanova heading into the 2nd Round.  Yale sure did look like they were looking forward to Belmont in the next round and forgot they had to win the first one.  New Mexico St bypassed an easy layup to tie the match, missed 2 of 3 free throws with 1.7 seconds left when down by 2, and the airballed a wide open three at the buzzer in losing by one.  Auburn was tying to give the game away blowing a late 13 point lead and committing six turnovers in the last nine minutes or so and missing front ends of one-and-one free throws.  The only team that fulfilled people’s upset brackets was #12W-Murray St led by Ja Morant’s triple double (17 pts-16 ast-12 reb), the first in tournament play since ’12 in a rout of #5W-Marquette.  There were a few other upsets as #10E-Minnesota, #10W-Florida, and #9W-Baylor picked up wins.  Still upset at their placement, #2E-Michigan St trailed #15E-Bradley by one at halftime before pulling away.  #4W-Florida St, #7MW-Wofford, and #3S-Purdue ended strong while #4MW-Kansas, #2MW-Kentucky (winning the Wildcats vs Wildcats battle), #1W-Gonzaga, and #2W-Michgan rolled to easy victories. 

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