Issue # 25.4 “25 Years: The Charities”


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

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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Beginner Patron Paid!

Earlier this year, the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) was selected as the beneficiary of our HWCI First Four for Charity contest.  This conference is a global humanitarian technology conference focused on bringing together people to address the critical issues for the benefit of the resource-constrained and vulnerable populations in the world and starts in two weeks, October 19-22 in San Jose, California.

Thanks to additional generous donations by Charles D, Bob S, and Jeff2 H the final total was $85.10 (including my contribution) and I just donated that amount to the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference as a Beginner Patron.  In total, the 7 years has raised $593.98 $649.08.  The receipt is here:  GHTC_BeginnerPatron_171004_$85.10.  With the recent natural disasters in recent weeks in the southern U.S. and Caribbean (including complete loss of power for Puerto Rico), this will be a hot topic at GHTC and money raised will help provide an interactive forum to bring graduate students, professors, business people, and innovators together for a common cause.

Issue # 11.4.3 “Carolinas vs Pacific Northwest”


2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
First Semifinal Second Semifinal
New York, NY
2017 New York
San Jose, CA
2017 San Jose
Kansas City, MO
2017 Kansas City
Memphis, TN
2017 Memphis
University of South Caroina Gamecocks Gonzaga University Bulldogs University of Oregon Ducks University of North Carolina Tar Heels
University of South Carolina
Gamecocks (26-10) 
Gonzaga University
Bulldogs (36-1) 
University of Oregon
Ducks (33-5)
University of North Carolina
Tar Heels (31-7)
Southeastern Conference
Columbia, SC
First Final Four (est. 1908)
def. #10 Marquette 93-73
#2 Duke 88-81
#3 Baylor 70-50
#4 Florida 77-70
West Coast Conference
Spokane, WA
First Final Four (est. 1958)
def. #16 South Dakota St. 66-46
#8 Northwestern 79-73
#4 West Virginia 61-58
#11 Xavier 83-59
Pac-12 Conference
Eugene, OR
2nd Final Four (
1-time champion
def. #14 Iona 93-77
#11 Rhode Island 75-72
#7 Michigan 69-68
#1 Kansas 74-60
Atlantic Coast Conference
Chapel Hill, NC
20th Final Four (’46,
’57, ’67’ 68, ’69, ’72, ’77, ’81, ‘82, ’91, ’93, ’95, ’97, ’98, 00, ’05, ’08, ’09, ’16)
5-time champions
def. #16 Texas So. 103-64
#8 Arkansas 72-65
#4 Butler 92-80
#2 Kentucky 75-73

Thursday, March 30, 2017 

21 battle for 7 spots; More than $85 raised for GHTC

EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- North Carolina is making its record 20th appearance in the NCAA Final Four which is 18 more than the other three schools combined.  Both Gonzaga and South Carolina are making their first Final Four appearance and Oregon is making its first since the very first year the NCAA tournament was held, 1939.  Each team has had a close call while each team has had a double-digit win in the Regional semifinal or final.  South Carolina and Gonzaga have had a pair of 20+ point wins while UNC has broken 90 points twice.  South Carolina, a 7 seed is representing the strength of the SEC who have the most wins in the tournament while North Carolina is representing the last vestige of the powerful ACC which had 9 teams to start and are down to one.

Twenty-one entries still have a chance to finish in the top 7 money spots and we won’t know who the pool champion is unless Oregon and South Carolina win.  After the semifinals, the Bonus scenarios will be listed for the total points in final tiebreaker.

Craig H (who didn’t participate in the main pool) was the only person to get all four First Four games correct (Mt. St. Mary’s, Kansas St, UC Davis, USC) to win the 7th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity.  With 16 entries I will donate $32 and since we got more than 161 entries (new record 178), I will donate another $25.  Generous donations by Charles D, Bob S, and Jeff2 H has brought the total to $85.10 that I will donate to the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference as a Beginner Patron.  More money could still trickle in and the donation will be made when registration opens in June.  In total, the 7 years has raised $593.98.

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   Tids & Bits – South Carolina has set a school record with 26 wins and won their first tourney game since ’73… This is the first time Continue reading »

7th HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity (Due: 3:40 pm PDT Tuesday)

While you decide who will win the tourney, for the 7th year I’m doing the HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity, where I will donate $2 per entry to a charity, this year to IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, which is the flagship IEEE Conference focusing on innovation, deployment and adaptation of Technology for Humanitarian Goals and Sustainable Development.  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. For example: Wake Forest by 8, New Orleans by 3, UC Davis by 1, and Providence by 4.   The four games are Kansas St vs Wake Forest, Mt. St. Mary’s vs New Orleans, NC Central vs UC Davis, and Providence vs Southern Cal.  Get your entry by 3:40 pm PDT Tuesday.  As a bonus, in the end, if we top our record of 161 entries this year, I’ll donate an additional $25.  Also, invite your friends and people can enter this charity contest but not our main pool.

Our Generosity

A few new things this year in the tournament in general — the NCAA released an early projection of the top 16 teams back on February 11 for the first-time ever and the Ivy League now has a conference tournament (though just 4 teams qualify).  It’s interesting that much has changed in the top 4 seeds but hopefully UCLA improves on their four seed and hoping USC sneaks in as a First Four team, as they have done well from that position.  Now, instead of the Ivy League regular season champion being the first automatic bid in the tournament (if there’s no extra game tiebreaker) to one of the last, as the final is on Sunday (though next year it will move up in the week).

This is an early heads-up as after the brackets are released, we will have our 7th HWCI First Four for Charity contest.  This is where we took the headache of having 68 teams (instead of 65) and made it into a fundraiser.  More than $556 has been donated to six various charities or efforts.  There is no fee to enter and you just pick the four First Four winners and margin of victory of each.  I will donate $2 per entry (remember, the entry is free and you don’t have to play in our normal $10 pool so friends and family are welcome!) and usually by the end of the tournament, my fellow players will donate a matching set or more!  Luckily, no major disasters this season so I’m open to suggestions for charity options.

My fallback will be a donation to the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference — the flagship IEEE Conference focusing on innovation, deployment and adaptation of Technology for Humanitarian Goals and Sustainable Development.  For nearly all technical conferences, you have to pay to access papers, sometimes even your own!  At this conference, it’s Open Access — that means the papers are free to anyone so that the ideas can be shared with the most people because the goal is IMPLEMENTING the technology to those in need in the fastest way possible (boots on the ground).

Until then, Sunday is coming up fast!