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  • 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.

  • 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 »
  • Issue # 2.1.1 “Oral Robs Buckeyes” (3/19)

    Posted on March 19th, 2021 - 10:50 pm Scott No comments

    Archive
    SIX UPSETS, THREE OVERTIMES, MADNESS IS BACK!
    After a long 2-years, pool back with 2nd most entries ever

    15 seed Oral Roberts shocks 2 seed Ohio St

    WORK FROM HOME, CA (smt)- #2S-Ohio St was playing one of the best free-throw shooting teams in #15S-Oral Roberts and that was the difference.  Up by two with a one-and-one, the Buckeyes missed (9/18 for the game) allowing Oral Roberts to tie with a couple of free throws (at the time 9/10) to send the game to overtime.  The Golden Eagles jumped to a six-point and lead and held on as Ohio St had a great open look to tie but missed.  Oral Roberts is just the 9th #15 seed to beat a #2, the first since ’16 when Middle Tenn beat Michigan St.  It was not the only upset as #13S-North Texas beat (essentially) host #4S-Purdue in overtime, #12MW-Oregon St, #9S-Wisconsin, and #11MW-Syracuse breezed to victories over #5MW-Tenn, #8-UNC (giving coach Roy Williams his first 1st Round loss ever (29-1); UNC’s last 1st Round loss was in ’99 (17 in a row)), and #6MW-San Diego St, respectively.  #10MW-Rutgers held on in their first appearance since ’91 (and first win since ’83).

    UNC had won 17 straight 1st Round games

    #7S-Florida blew a late six-point lead, missed 2 free throws to seal the game and had to instead battle and win in overtime.  #3S-Arkansas (though #14S-Colgate did jump to a 33-19 lead but allowed the next 19 points), #1MW-Illinois, #1S-Baylor, #2MW-Houston, and #3MW-West Virginia won easily.  #6S-Texas Tech,  #8MW-Loyola Chicago (welcome back 101-year old Sister Jean!), and #5S-Villanova posted double-digit wins.  #4MW-Oklahoma St held off #13MW-Liberty.

    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.

  • 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
  • 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).

    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!

  • #NotMe! See you in 2021!

    Posted on March 13th, 2020 - 9:33 am Scott No comments

    Less than a day after announcing going ahead with the tournament without fans, the NCAA decided to pull the plug and cancelled March Madness. After the NBA had suspended play due to a Utah player testing positive for the coronavirus, Duke and Kansas strongly hinting they wouldn’t travel for the NCAA tournament, and after major leagues such as MLS and NHL paused their regular seasons (even minor ones like XFL), it was only a matter of time before everyone else followed suit. No one wants to be the “one” league that was defiant and then had an incident where players, coaches, and fans were exposed to the coronavirus. Better to be safe than sorry. Whether you agree or disagree, having a united front makes these decisions easier and will help slow the spread of the coronavirus. For some reason the USA cases went down 44 to 1,268 now (was 1,312). The USA only has 0.9% of all confirmed cases but that is likely to go up as more people get tested.

    Despite California Governor’s call for no mass gatherings, after filling up gas I walked into Costco in Hawthorne, and they are definitely not following the rules! More than 150+ people packed like sardines, most standing in line all the way to the back of the store, everyone less than 6 feet from each other!

    I am impressed with both the NCAA (all sport tournaments in Winter/Spring were cancelled as well) cancelling their big moneymaker (though the cynical side says it would have cost them more headaches and money holding games in empty arenas) and the lowly XFL which says they will still pay players and allow them to sign early with the NFL. Very classy.

    Of course, thousands of athlete’s dreams (especially those who weren’t going to go pro) were crushed (#1 Kansas might get the title?), lots of Average Joes/Janes are now out of a job, and coaches may not get their postseason bonus money. Okay, that last one I don’t feel too sorry for.

    As for our 26th HWCI NCAA Pool, the 26th will now be in 2021. At least the cancellation came before Selection Sunday so I don’t have to refund payments. Turning lemons into lemonade, this will give me a stress-free opportunity to reflect on the 25 years of the pool and will post periodically throughout March.

    Also, while there is no First Four, there will still be the 10th HWCI NCAA First Four For Charity and an email will go out on no-longer-Selection Sunday on details on the charity and how I/you could donate to it.

  • Issue # 11.4.3 “Certified Fresh*” *-Once we deleted all the negative comments

    Posted on April 5th, 2019 - 12:41 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
    2019 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ Minneapolis, MN
    4th Final Four (’51 (Williams Arena), ’92 & ’01 (Metrodome))
    Hosted by U. of Minnesota (Big Ten)U.S. Bank Stadium
    Second SemifinalFirst Semifinal
    #2-East
    Washington, DC

    Hosted by Georgetown U. (Big East)
    Capital One Arena
    #3-West
    Anaheim, CA

    Hosted by Big West Conference
    Honda Center
    #1-South
    Louisville, KY

    Hosted by U. of Louisville (ACC)
    KFC Yum! Center
    #5-Midwest
    Kansas City, MO

    Hosted by Missouri Valley Conference
    Sprint Center
    Michigan State University Spartans (32-6)Texas Tech University Red Raiders (30-6)University of Virginia Cavaliers (33-3)Auburn University Tigers 
    (30-9)
    Big Ten Conference – Reg. Season Co-Champs & Tourney Champs
    East Lansing, Michigan

    10th Final Four (’57, ’79, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’05, ’09, ’10, ’15)
    2-time champions
    def #15 Bradford 76-65
    #10 Minnesota 70-50
    #3 LSU 80-63
    #1 Duke 68-67
    Big 12 Conference – Regular Season Co-Champs
    Lubbock, Texas

    1st Final Four
    def #14 Northern Kentucky 72-57
    #6 Buffalo 78-58
    #2 Michigan 63-44
    #1 Gonzaga 75-69

    Atlantic Coast Conference – Regular Season Co-Champs
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    3rd Final Four (’81, ’84)
    def #16 Gardiner-Webb 71-56
    #9 Oklahoma 63-51
    #12 Oregon 53-49
    #3 Purdue 80-75 (OT)

    Southeastern Conference – Tournament Champs
    Auburn, Alabama

    1st Final Four
    def #12 New Mexico St 78-77
    #4 Kansas 89-75
    #1 North Carolina 97-80
    #2 Kentucky 77-71 (OT)

    Thursday, April 4, 2019  

    TWO NEWBIES AND VIRGINIA JOIN MICHIGAN ST IN FINAL FOUR
    At least $85 will be donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of America; over $783 donated in 9 years

    SANTA BARBARA, CA (smt)- It is so nice that if you don’t like how something is being viewed, you canjust force a company like Rotten Tomatoes to change their scoring methods or delete a bunch of data until it comes out positive.  Luckily, the HWCI NCAA Pool will not bow to trolls and will continue to press on, year after year, this being our 25th silver anniversary.  Considering we have had at least 125 entries the past 9 years with 89.5% of the entries returning players this year, I say we are Certified Fresh

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