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  • Record Donation!

    Posted on June 18th, 2023 - 3:31 pm Scott No comments
    Will receive $1,554 from HWCI NCAA

    On May 25th, I made an HWCI NCAA record $777.00 (I added to get to the lucky 7’s, as my Dad was fond of the slots) donation via my company, who will match that amount. That means, $1,554 will go the American Lung Association. Thanks to the dozen of you for helping make this record donation.

    A grand total of $4,691.20 have been donated to 13 charities over 13 years. Thank you! I’m taking suggestions for charities/causes/funds for 2024 so let me know.

  • Issue # 11.4.3 “What Happened?” (F4 Preview + FF Recap)

    Posted on March 31st, 2023 - 1:03 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    American Lung Association
    2023 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ Houston, Texas

    4th Final Four (’71 (Astrodome), ’11 (Reliant Stadium), ’16 (NRG Stadium))
     –  –  – 
    Hosted by U. of Houston (American Athletic Conf) (3rd Final Four), Rice U. (Conf USA) (4th Final Four), Houston Christian U. (Southland Conf) (1st Final Four), and Texas Southern U. (Southwestern Athletic Conf) (2nd Final Four)
     – The Floor
    First SemifinalSecond Semifinal
    #5-South
    (Seed #17, NET #14, AP #18)

    Louisville, Kentucky (7th Regional)

    Hosted by U. of Louisville
    #9-East
    (Seed #33, NET #13, AP #25)

    New York City, New York (12th Regional)
    – Hosted by Big East Conf and St. John’s U.
    #5-Midwest
    (Seed #20, NET #35, AP #16)

    Kansas City, Missouri (16th Regional)

    Hosted by Big 12 Conf
    #4-West
    (Seed #13, NET #8, AP #10)

    Las Vegas, Nevada (1st Regional)

    Hosted by U. of Nevada, Las Vegas
    San Diego St 
    Florida Atlantic 
    Miami (Florida) 
    UConn (4 star) 
    San Diego State University Aztecs (31-6) Florida Atlantic University Owls (35-3) University of Miami Hurricanes (29-7) University of Connecticut Huskies (29-8)
    Mountain West Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
    San Diego, California
    1st Final Four
    def #12 College of Charleston 63-57
    #13 Furman 75-52
    #1 Alabama 71-64
    #6 Creighton 57-56 
    Conference USA – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
    Boca Raton, Florida
    1st Final Four
     def #8 Memphis 66-65
    #16 Fairleigh Dickinson 78-70
    #4 Tennessee 62-55
    #3 Kansas St 79-76
    Atlantic Coast Conference – Regular Season Co-Champs
    Coral Gables, Florida

    1st Final Four
    def #12 Drake 63-56
    #4 Indiana 85-69
    #1 Houston 89-75
    #2 Texas 88-81
    Big East Conference (4th Place)
    Storrs, Connecticut
    6th Final Four (’99’04, ’09, ’11’14)
    def #13 Iona 87-63
    #5 Saint Mary’s 70-55
    #8 Arkansas 88-65
    #3 Gonzaga 82-54

    Thursday, March 30, 2023 

    UCONN JOINS 3 NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
    At least $1,332 will be donated to American Lung Association; over $4,470 donated over 13 years

    HOME, CA (smt) – Whereas last year we had four teams with a combined 61 Final Fours and 17 championships (20 including pre-NCAA) and each with at least 3 titles, this year we have 3 newbies joining #4W-UConn, who have 4 titles but all won in the past 24 years (this, its 6th Final Four).  Joining the Big East’s UConn is a member from the ACC, but not Duke, UNC, or Virginia, but #5MW-Miami (of Florida, not Ohio). Mid-majors join the fun as the Mountain West has #5S-San Diego St and Conference USA (who just won the NIT with North Texas beating fellow CUSA member UAB taking the title Wednesday in not-NYC) has #9E-Florida Atlantic.  Who would’ve thought the local team would be San Diego St and that two teams from Florida would be in the Final Four?

    Seems like a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away that we were talking about defending champion #1W-Kansas not getting the Kansas City regional (they lost in the 2nd round), #1S-Alabama leading a strong SEC contingent (they lost in the Sweet 16 and the SEC had 9 wins after the first weekend but then went 0-3 in the Sweet 16), #1MW-Houston becoming the second team to play in their home city (Butler in Indy in 2010) since 1972 (they lost in Sweet 16), and #2W-UCLA succumbing to injuries (they did, losing to #3W-Gonzaga in another classic in Sweet 16).

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • 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.

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

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

    Archive

    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
    #2-South

    San Antonio, Texas (6th Regional)

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

    Chicago, Illinois (4th Regional)

    Hosted by Northwestern U. (Big Ten) (1st Regional)
    #2-West

    San Francisco, California (3rd Regional)

    Hosted by Pac-12 Conf (2nd Regional)
    #8-East

    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**


    THE ELITE TAKE OVER THE FINAL FOUR
    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.

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 2.1.1 “Déjà Vu” (3/17)

    Posted on March 18th, 2022 - 12:04 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Thursday, March 17, 2022  **HAPPY ST PATTY’S DAY**

    4 DOUBLE-DIGITS WIN, KY TRANSFERRED OUT
    Our 27th pool nets second-best 169 entries from 106 people

    Here she comes to save the day!

    DEMOING THE WALK-IN, WALK-OUT AMAZON FRESH, CA (smt) – Hmm… last year, Day 1 saw 6 upsets, 3 overtimes (4 including First Four), a Big Ten disappointment (3-4 including First Four), the Big 12 was perfect (4-0), and a #15 upset a #2.  Today, 6 upsets, 3 overtimes (4 including FF), a Big Ten disappointment (2-3 including FF), the Big 12 was perfect (2-0) and a #15 upset a #2.  One difference was last year #8E-UNC lost in the 1st Round for the first time in 18 tries (also an #8 seed) and this year they routed #9E-Marquette.

    The first two games set the tone with trendy upset picks #11S-Michigan and #13MW-South Dakota St playing.  Michigan, despite 14 losses, pulled away for the upset but #4MW-Providence denied the haters by beating SDSU (South Dakota St, not San Diego St).  Michigan led a total of 6 upsets on Day 1, the only bright spot for the Big Ten today… well, the other bright spot was an Indiana cheerleader rising high to rescue a stuck basketball above the backboard (they did lower the backboard and the excited guy holding her up nearly ran her head into it).  #12E-Indiana got routed by #5E-St Mary’s and supposed sleeper team and Big 10 champion #5MW-Iowa lost to #12MW-Richmond, a team that only got in by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament.  But the Big Ten troubles weren’t as bad as the Mountain West, who in addition to losing #12aW-Wyoming in the First Four, lost #6S-Colorado St, #8W-Boise St, and #8MW SDSU (San Diego St this time) to finish 0-4 and have lost their last 9 tourney games. 

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • First Four Underway, Deadline Thursday

    Posted on March 15th, 2022 - 11:02 pm Scott No comments

    The tournament is done with its first day with #16aMW-Texas Southern and #12E-Indiana using late strong runs to advance to the proper 64. Whereas last year the Big Ten lost in the First Four (portending what turned out to be a dismal 8-9 record), the first of 2 Big Ten teams in the First Four was successful. #11W-Rutgers plays tomorrow.

    We got 22 entries in our 12th HWCI First Four for Charity and 10 got both games correct. With the relative large margins of victory by both teams, Scott D still nailed the Indiana win by 8 exactly and leads with a 4 pt differential. Three went 0-2 with Michael W last with a 27 pt diff. Greg J was 20 pts off of Texas Southern’s 9 pt win.

    While we were just short of hitting the 25 entries and triggering a $25 bonus, I’ll still be donating $44 to International Rescue Committee. And if we hit 178 total entries in the pool, another $25 could be donated. But thanks to at least Tom J (last year’s HWCI Euro winnings plus additional tip), Greg P, Ken B, Vi P, Annie F, Spencer T, Ava T, and Linh T, about another $279 will be donated. With my company match, that will blow past the record $460 donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in 2018. Thank you all!

    We have 57 entries with an hour left in the day. While we got a record 35 on Monday, the 22 today is our lowest since 19 in 2013 (at least 26 each year since). But still a lot of time and remember the deadline is Thursday at 9 am PDT.

  • Issue # 1.0.1 “Back to Normal?” (3/13)

    Posted on March 13th, 2022 - 11:11 pm Scott No comments

    Archive

    International Rescue Committee - Crisis in Ukraine

    Sunday, March 13, 2022  **HELP support Ukrainian refugees via International Rescue Committee (deadline Tue 4:00 pm PDT **)

    BLUE BLOODS BACK, ZAGS #1 OVERALL AGAIN
    Our 27th pool is as normal as it gets – same fee, same rules, same heartbreak

    NO SCHOOL MASK MANDATE AS OF MARCH 12, CA (smt) – After a year where we didn’t see any blue bloods in the top 8 seeds (with  Duke, Indiana, and Kentucky not even qualifying and only Kansas seeded 7 or better) with the likes of Illinois, Baylor, Houston, Alabama, and Iowa breaking through, this year the blue bloods are out for vengeance with #2W-Duke, #1MW-Kansas, and #2E-Kentucky among the favorites to win it all with #4E-UCLA, #8E-UNC, and #12bE-Indiana also joining the fun.  No longer confined to a single city and partial crowds, the NCAA returns to normal with full capacity crowds across 14 cities and optional masking (though testing before travel is still required).  Just one game (VCU had to forfeit against Oregon) was a no-contest and produced a first-time winner in Baylor.

    #1W-Gonzaga repeated as the #1 overall seed (5th time as a 1 seed, third straight (would’ve been 4 if ’20 wasn’t cancelled)) with S-Arizona (who was ineligible last year due to a self-ban), Kansas, and E-Baylor also netting #1 seeds.  This was only the 2nd time two #1 seeds heralded from the Western USA (’00 with Zona and Stanford) and all four are not in the Eastern Time Zone (btw, Happy Daylight Savings).  The Big 12 got two #1 seeds for the first time since ’03 (OK and TX).  The three local teams were spread across regions with #7-USC in the Midwest and #15-Cal State Fullerton in the West.

    Bubble team #11E-Virginia Tech not only played spoiler denying Coach K a 16th ACC title in his final year but also likely knocked Oklahoma to last out, by winning 13 of its last 15 games, including 4 in 4 days in the ACC tourney.  #12MW-Richmond’s upset of #10W-Davidson today knocked Dayton out of the tourney (who could have played on their home floor in the First Four).  But somehow #11S-Michigan not only snuck in but avoided the First Four.

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • 12th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity (Due 4 pm PDT Tuesday)

    Posted on March 13th, 2022 - 9:47 pm Scott No comments
    Help Ukrainian families displaced by the war.

    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 International Rescue Committee, who are providing urgent support to people forced from their homes by the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as other crises around the world.  The IRC is consistently awarded top marks by charity watchdog groups and my company will also match the donation. The unfortunate timing of the invasion mirrors our past two years dealing with COVID-19 and our first year responding to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster (2011). Hopefully next year we can pick a non-disaster response charity!

    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:

    • Texas Southern vs Texas A&M Corpus Christi
    • Wyoming vs Indiana
    • Wright St vs Bryant
    • Rutgers vs Notre Dame

    For example: Texas So by 3 points, Wyoming by 2, Bryant by 1, and Notre Dame by 5. 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 donated with my company match $248 to the Center of Disaster Philanthropy.

    My picks: TXSO by 3, Wyoming by 2, Bryant by 1, and Rutgers by 5.

  • Donation Made!

    Posted on May 29th, 2021 - 11:09 am Scott No comments
    Center for Disaster Philanthropy

    SANTA BARBARA, CA — Just made the $124 donation thanks to our generous folks to the COVID-19 Response Fund at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. I’ll fill out the form to get this doubled by my company. The total of $248 will mean that myself and others have donated $1,731.08 to 11 charities in the past 11 years. Thank you!

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

  • Issue # 11.4.3 “Our Pool Has an Efficacy of 66.4%” (4/1)

    Posted on April 2nd, 2021 - 1:30 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Center for Disaster Philantrophy - COVID-19 Response Fund
    2021 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ Indianapolis, Indiana
    8th Final Four (’80 (Market Square Arena); ’91, ’97, ’00, ’06 (RCA Dome); ’10, ’15 (Lucas Oil Stadium))
    Hosted by Indiana U.-Purdue U. Indianapolis (IUPUI) (Horizon League)
    Lucas Oil Stadium – Unity & Equality Floor
    First SemifinalSecond Semifinal
    #1-South
    Hinkle Fieldhouse
    Bankers Fieldhouse
    Lucas Oil Sta (South)
    #2-Midwest
    Bankers Fieldhouse
    Hinkle Fieldhouse
    Lucas Oil Sta (North)
    #1-West
    Hinkle Fieldhouse
    Bankers Fieldhouse
    Lucas Oil Sta (North)
    #11-East
    Bankers Fieldhouse
    Hinkle Fieldhouse
    Lucas Oil Sta (South)
    Baylor BearsHouston CougarsGonzaga BulldogsUCLA Bruins
    Baylor University Bears (26-2)University of Houston Cougars (28-3)Gonzaga University Bulldogs (30-0)University of California, Los Angeles Bruins (22-9)
    Big 12 Conference – Regular Season Champs
    Waco, Texas

    3rd Final Four (’48, ’50)
    def #16 Hartford 79-55
    #9 Wisconsin 76-63
    #5 Villanova 62-51
    #3 Arkansas 81-72
    American Athletic Conference (2nd Place) – Tourney Champs
    Houston, Texas

    6th Final Four (’67, ’68, ’82, ’83, ’84)
    def #15 Cleveland St 87-56
    #10 Rutgers 63-60
    #11 Syracuse 62-46
    #12 Oregon St 67-61
    West Coast Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
    Spokane, Washington

    2nd Final Four (’17)
    def #16a Norfolk St 98-55
    #8 Oklahoma 87-71
    #5 Creighton 83-65
    #6 USC 85-66
    Pac 12 (4th Place)
    Los Angeles, California

    19th Final Four (’62, ’64, ’65, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71, ’72, ’73, ’74, ’75, ’76, ’80, ’95, ’06, ’07, ’08)
    def #11a Michigan St 86-80 (OT)
    #6 BYU 73-62
    #14 Abilene Christian 67-47
    #2 Alabama 88-78 (OT)
    #1 Michigan 51-49

    11-TIME CHAMP WITH 3 SEEKING THEIR FIRST TITLE
    At least $248 will be donated to CDP; over $1,731 donated over 11 years

    Largest bracket on the JW Marriott in downtown Indy

    DIGNITY HEALTH SPORTS PARK, CARSON, CA (smt) – If you saw the largest bracket on the JW Marriott in downtown Indy, you would not see a lot of familiar names.  The tournament didn’t feature Blue Bloods such as Duke, Kentucky, and Indiana with UNC making it as an #8 seed and Kansas joining after having to quit their Big 12 tournament due to COVID-19 after struggling the first half of the year.  UNC lost in the first round and Kansas in the second.  That left UCLA.  The 11-time national champions lost their last four games and squeaked into the First Four game against a wanna-be Blue Blood, Michigan St.  The Bruins rallied from five down with 90 seconds left to force overtime to beat the Spartans, allowed a 3-pointer with less than a second left to Alabama and then routing them in overtime 23-13, and then survived three open three attempts by another Michigan team to hold on to defeat the Wolverines in the Elite 8.

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

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  • 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!