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  • Issue # 9.4.1 “Buzzer Beater”

    Posted on March 31st, 2019 - 3:19 am Scott No comments

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    Saturday, March 30, 2019 

    MISTAKE COSTS ZAGS; HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHT WON BY VIRGINIA
    Carseroni is one of 11 to get both games and jumps to 4 point lead; Just 7 can win pool

    Zags' Perkins technical foul

    HOME/LABCORP, LOS ALAMITOS, CA (smt)- After falling behind 69-62 with 52 seconds left, #1W-Gonzaga got within two at 71-69 before Josh Perkins made the accidental mistake heard around the world with 11 seconds left when his hand knocked the inbound player’s hand meaning it was a 2-shot technical foul plus #3W-Texas Tech got to keep the ball.  The resulting four free throws gave the Red Riders their first Final Four ever in their 75-69 upset of the Zags.  It was a harsh penalty but it’s there to prevent intentional delay tactics which this wasn’t.  Texas Tech hit their last six free throws and the best defense held off the best offense as the Zags shot just 42.4% and had 16 turnovers.

    The second half of the #1S-Virginia-#3S-Purdue game had everything a fan would want with clutch shots, clutch rebounds, a buzzer beater, and a mano y mano matchup between the Cavs’ Kyle Guy and the Boilermakers’ Carsen Edwards. Guy hit 3 threes to start the second half in helping build a 45-37 lead but then Edwards caught fire hitting 6 of 8 three pointers and 24 points in a 32-22 run to put Purdue up by 2 with 1:11 left (Guy had 10 of those 22 points).  But Purdue’s Ryan Cline missed a free throw leaving the game at 70-67 and Purdue smartly fouled before Guy or anyone else could take a three with 5 seconds left.  The second free throw was missed and a long rebound was won by Virginia in the back court and a great pass up to Mamadi Diakite in the arc was put in at the buzzer sending the game into overtime tied at 70.  The overtime was tight as Guy was held to just two late free throws and Edwards had just a jumper (finished with 42 points and 10 threes) and then missed a three with 7 seconds left down 76-75.  The Cavs hit their final four throws to win 80-75.  So surprised that the clutch three specialist from the last game, Ryan Cline, didn’t get a chance to shoot a three late in overtime.  Just six of 58 games have been one possession games (9 if you just include regulation) and 37 of 58 have been double-digit blowouts.  

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 7.3.1 “Ones and Threes”

    Posted on March 29th, 2019 - 3:11 am Scott No comments

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    Thursday, March 28, 2019 

    ONE VS THREE IN BOTH WEST AND SOUTH
    ChuckPersonCellBlock leads by two while 99 entries are still alive

    Tennessee last second "foul"

    HOME, CA (smt)- #1W-Gonzaga held #4W-Florida St to just two points in the last 4:11 to expand a scant four point lead (60-56) to a 72-58 victory while #1S-Virginia held #12S-Oregon to no field goals in the last 5:43 to turn a 45-42 deficit into a 53-49 win.  The Cavs actually shot worse (35.7%) than the Ducks (37.8%) but pulled out the win after Oregon scored more points in their 23-12 run than in the first half (22).  #3W-Texas Tech held #2W-Michigan to just 16 first-half points en route to Wolverine-record tourney low 44 for the game in their 63-44 victory.  Michigan missed their first 18 three-point attempts (finished 1 of 19) and shot just 32.7% from the field. 

    #2S-Tennessee who blew a large lead (25 points) and needed overtime to win in the 2nd round saw their fortunes reverse, as they rallied from a large deficit (18 points) but lost in overtime to #3S-Purdue, 99-94.  Both teams shot as well or better from the field than the free throw line (Purdue 54.0% FG, 48.4% FT; Tennessee 50.0% FG, 50.0% FT) so this game could’ve been won easily by either team if they just hit their free throws (Purdue missed 17 including two front ends of a one-and-one and were at one point 3 of 13; Tennessee missed 12).  Tennessee had an 82-80 lead but with 1.7 seconds left they “fouled” (Purdue player may have kicked out but if you lean into the player, the ref may call it, ticky-tack as it was) on a 3-point attempt and Purdue only made 2 of 3 to send the game to OT.  Tennessee lived too much on the edge blowing a 16-point lead to #15S-Colgate and the aforementioned 25-point lead to #10S-Iowa.  Purdue did have Ryan Cline who not only hit four 3-pointers in the last five and a half minutes, he hit fadeaways and shots the defender knew he was going to take, a la Stephen Curry… but did it with class.  A joy to watch even though I picked Tennessee.

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 1.0.1 “The Silver Age of Brackets”

    Posted on March 18th, 2019 - 4:39 am Scott No comments

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    Monday, March 18, 2019  **HELP support Boys & Girls Clubs of America (deadline Tue 3:40 pm PDT **

    ACC NABS 3 #1 SEEDS, DUKE #1 OVERALL
    Our 25th year offers a consistent experience, unlike the new NCAA Evaluation Tool

    Seed List

    CERRITOS/SANTA BARBARA, CA (smt)- The Big Ten got 8 teams in but it was the ACC who was king as #1E-Duke (with sensation Zion (Williamson)), #1S-Virginia, and #1MW-North Carolina (record 17th #1 seed) got the top three #1 seeds.  #1W-Gonzaga, despite losing to #11S-St. Mary’s in the WCC final, got the last #1 seed.  The Cavs are back as a #1 seed a year after becoming the first team to lose to a #16 seed (no UMBC in sight this year).  The top 32 ranked teams in the new NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) made the tourney but so did NET73 St. John’s while NET33 NC State did not.  #12S-Oregon’s upset of #9MW-Washington in the Pac 12 final likely sent UNC Greensboro (60NET) home.  The ACC and SEC got 7 teams in with the Big 12 (6), AAC (4), Big East (4), and Pac 12 (3) getting at least three teams.  The mid-majors managed to snag seven at-large bids (including the AAC’s 3) and almost a eighth (the aforementioned UNCG) in a nice change of pace.  Somehow #9S-Oklahoma (7-12) and #11MW-Ohio St. (9-13) made the tourney with horrible losing conference records.  No sign of UCLA or USC but the #13S-Anteaters of UC-Irvine made it to be our only local team, their 2nd appearance after making it in 2015 also as a 13 seed and nearly knocking off Louisville.  #2E-Michigan St and #2W-Michigan (with the Spartans beating the Wolverines 3 times in 15 days) were both shipped to Hartford but Michigan St got Duke’s region due to the fact the regional (Washington DC) is much closer than their normal position as 5th seed in the West (Anaheim).  #7S-Cincy gets to play in the same state (Columbus) with #4MW-Kansas hoping to make the regional in Kansas City.  Streaking MW-Auburn who beat #2S-Tennessee for their first SEC title in 34 years only earned a 5 seed.

    Wow, the Selection show brought back memories of a simpler time when all picks were done in just over a half-hour, none of this NBA analyst nonsense of last year,  none of the leaked brackets of the past, none of the dragging out the picks over an hour.   And back on CBS where it belongs.

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 14.6.1 “Ugly Redemption”

    Posted on April 4th, 2017 - 3:09 am Scott No comments

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    2017 NCAA Champions
    University of North Carolina Tar Heels
    #1-South (Memphis, TN)
    University of North Carolina
    Tar Heels
    (33-7)

    6th Title: ’57, ’82, ’93, ’05, ’09, ’17
    2017 Winningest Conference
    SEC Conference

    ACC Conference

    The Southeastern Conference
    (11-5)

    4th Time: ’06, ’07, ’14, ’17
    &
    The Atlantic Coast Conference
    (11-8)

    6th Time: ’04, ’05, ’10, ’15, ’16, ’17

    Monday, April 3, 2017 

    UNC WINS 6TH TITLE DESPITE POOR SHOOTING; ZAGS 2ND HALF FUNK
    Dboyz17 holds on to win pool while ChasCroix1 wins tiebreaker for 6th

    CERRITOS APT, CA (smt)- #1S-North Carolina shot 35.6%, only made 4 of 27 from long range (14.8%), and missed 11 free throws (57.7%) yet were able to hold off #1W-Gonzaga, 71-66, in a foul-marred game (22 fouls on each team).  With two injured ankles, Joel Berry made four threes (the rest of the team was 0 for 14) and scored 22 points (second straight final with 20+ points) to lead UNC to redemption after last year’s final loss to Villanova.  It was an ugly contest with UNC shooting 30% in the 1st half and Gonzaga shooting 28% in the second half and the refs plagued the game with fouls, a ticky tack flagrant 1 at a key point in the game, and missing an out-of-bounds hand by a UNC player in a tie-up that was possession UNC with under a minute left.  Despite the poor shooting all-around the teams did manage to combine to score 136 points which is more than the other mid-major finals involving Butler (120 and 94 points in back-to-back finals).

    UNC’s win gave Dboyz17 the 2017 HWCI NCAA Pool title and record $690 win (out of a record $1,780 pot), finishing with 148 points followed by MarchMindlessness (143), Alternative Picks (142), Agnes Scheweizhofer (135), and Flying Elvi (133).  The 136 total points gave ChasCroix1 the tiebreaker over The Juggernaut to win 6th.  Bigtenfan was in position to win the Bonus but a late foul put that in jeopardy; luckily UNC made just one of two free throws and he finished off by one point and was still the best finisher (32nd) among the 12 entries who were one off.

    Place Amount Winner Nickname Pts (Place) Yrs in Pool (#Ent) # Times Won (Total $)
    1st $690 Greg Z Dboyz17 148 (1st) 4 (5) 1st win
    2nd $355 Eric F MarchMindlessness  143 (2nd) 7 (9) 2 ($450; 5th ’14 )
    3rd $240 Nelson P  Alternative Picks 142 (3rd) 11 (14) 1st win
    4th $180 Andy F  Agnes Schweitzhofer 135 (4th) 20 (20) 2 ($212.50; 6th(Tied) ’12)
    5th $130 Brian S  Flying Elvi 133 (5th) 21 (21) 2 ($190; 2nd ’97)
    6th $ 85 Chuck D  ChasCroix1 132 (6th) 9 (16) 1st win
    7th $ 60 Alex K  The Juggernaut 132 (7th) 2 (2) 1st win
    Bonus $ 40 Benjamin D  Bigtenfan 116 (32nd) 6 (11) 2 ($330; 2nd ’14)

    [Twitter]We are now on Twitter (@HWCI_Pools).  Please follow!  I will post using #hwcincaa mini-updates during the day so you can follow without being on Twitter (and if you are, please use #hwcincaa).  Please join our Facebook HWCI NCAA Pool Group or post comments on our blog Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 13.5.2 “23 Paths to Success” (History of our Pool)

    Posted on April 3rd, 2017 - 5:48 pm Scott No comments

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    2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
    The Final at University of Phoenix Stadium
    #1-West
    San Jose, CA
    vs. #1-South
    Memphis, TN
    Gonzaga University Bulldogs University of North Carolina Tar Heels
    Gonzaga University
    Bulldogs (37-1) 
    University of North Carolina
    Tar Heels (32-7)
    West Coast Conference
    Spokane, WA
    First Final (est. 1958)
    def. #16 South Dakota St. 66-46
    #8 Northwestern 79-73
    #4 West Virginia 61-58
    #11 Xavier 83-59
    #7E-South Carolina 77-73
    Atlantic Coast Conference
    Chapel Hill, NC
    11th Final (’46,
    ’57, ‘ 68, ’77,
    ’81, ‘
    82, ’93, ’05, ’09, ’16)
    def. #16 Texas So. 103-64
    #8 Arkansas 72-65
    #4 Butler 92-80
    #2 Kentucky 75-73
    #3MW-Oregon 77-76

    Sunday, April 2, 2017 

    CLASSIC BATTLE OF MAJOR VS MID-MAJOR #1’S
    11 can finish in top 7 and 65 can win Bonus

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- Gonzaga has only lost one time all year and some blame the weak West Coast Conference but has beaten a Big Ten, a Big East, a Big 12, and an SEC team en route to the finals.  North Carolina is representing the so-called best conference, the mighty ACC, who got 9 teams in but only they survived into the Sweet 16.  While the Bulldogs are making their first-ever finals appearance, the Tar Heels are making their 11th and second straight.  UNC is a slight 1.5 point favorite with an over/under of 153.5 points.

    In our 23rd year, there are 11 people still alive (once again, no one has more than one entry in the running) with 8 trying to win money for the first time with the Brian S (Flying Elvi) last winning in ’97, a span of 19 pools (17 years in the pool).  John W (Jbwsaijo) is the only person who is playing for the first time.  Nelson P (Alternative Picks) last played in ’12 being winless in all 10 years but his return will net him at least 6th place.  Andy F (Anges Schweizhoffer) has played 20 years and his only win was a share of 6th place in ’12 ($32.50 which was less than the $40 Bonus!).  Michael G (Spermicidal State) will try to win money in his 10th try.  John W (Jbwsaijo) will try to become the 24th person to win money in the first year of playing (just the 14th since ’99).  65 entries have a chance at the $40 Bonus.  Since final pool placement counts, it means that although 16 entries picked 144 as their total points in final tiebreaker, if the total ends up being 144, Jason R (Buccos 3) will win (finish with 119 pts) if Gonzaga wins or Greg Z (Dboyz17-2) will win if UNC wins (finish with 128 pts) (and would be the first person to get more than one entry in the money in the same year).

    If Gonzaga wins… If UNC wins…
    Place Amount Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won) Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won)
    1st $690 Parched Fatness (Mike M) (3) Dboyz17 (Greg Z) (4)
    2nd $355 Spermicidal State (Michael G) (10) MarchMindlessness (Eric F) (7-5th ’14)
    3rd $240 Dboyz17 (Greg Z) (4) Alternative Picks (Nelson P) (11)
    4th $180 GonzagaGirl (Angelina K) (5) Agnes Schweitzhofer (Andy F) (20-6th(Tied) ’12)
    5th $130 MarchMindlessness (Eric F) (7-5th ’14) Flying Elvi (Brian S) (21-2nd ’97)
    6th $ 85 Alternative Picks (Nelson P) (11) ChasCroix1 (Chuck D) (9)
    7th $ 60 Jbwsaijo (John W) (1) The Juggernaut (Alex K) (2)
    Bonus $ 40 TBD TBD

    A little history of our humble pool…
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 12.5.1 “#1 vs #1”

    Posted on April 2nd, 2017 - 4:57 am Scott No comments

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    Saturday, April 1, 2017 

    SMART FOUL BY ZAGS AND SMART REBOUNDING BY UNC
    Dboyz17 takes lead and only Parched Fatness can dethone

    SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA (smt)- #1W-Gonzaga had a 14-point second-half lead only to see #7E-South Carolina score 16 straight points in 3 1/2 minutes to lead by 2 with 7:06 left.  The Zags then responded with a 7-0 run of their own in the next 3 1/2 minutes and then held on to a 77-73 win to advance to their first Final.  Up by 3 with 13 seconds left and playing defense, the Zags did what every person always yells at the TV, FOUL to give two free throws instead of allowing a game-tying three.  Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins did thisperfectly leaving just three seconds left (of course, USC helped by taking their time for the shot).  As expected, South Carolina made the first, missed the second but couldn’t get the rebound and the Zags sealed the game with two free throws.

    Trying to get the rebound off a missed free throw, however, was no problem for #1S-North Carolina.  The Tar Heels were comfortable with a six-point lead with under a minute left only to see #3MW-Oregon cut it to one.  UNC missed two free throws but they got the offensive rebound so Oregon fouled again.  Incredibly, UNC missed both free throws again, and more incredibly, UNC got the offensive rebound again running out the final four seconds for a 77-76 victory to return to the final for the second consecutive year and 11th overall (5-5).

    Dboyz17 was one of 11 to get both teams correct to take a five-point lead with 136 points.  If UNC wins he will be our 21st different champion of our pool.  But if Gonzaga wins, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 11.4.3 “Carolinas vs Pacific Northwest”

    Posted on March 31st, 2017 - 2:45 am Scott No comments

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    2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
    First Semifinal Second Semifinal
    #7-East
    New York, NY
    2017 New York
    #1-West
    San Jose, CA
    2017 San Jose
    #3-Midwest
    Kansas City, MO
    2017 Kansas City
    #1-South
    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 (
    ’39)
    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 

    UNC BACK IN FINAL FOUR WHILE OTHER THREE TEAMS IT’S A NEW EXPERIENCE
    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.

    [Twitter]We are now on Twitter (@HWCI_Pools).  Please follow!  I will post using #hwcincaa mini-updates during the day so you can follow without being on Twitter (and if you are, please use #hwcincaa).  Please join our Facebook HWCI NCAA Pool Groupor post comments on our blog

       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 Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 9.4.1 “The Other #1 and the Other Pac 12 Team”

    Posted on March 26th, 2017 - 10:57 am Scott No comments

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    Saturday, March 25, 2017 

    LEAST LIKELY #1 ZAGS AND INJURED OREGON MAKE FINAL FOUR
    Dagny Taggart takes lead and is one of 7 who can win pool

    CERRITOS APT (smt)- #1W-Gonzaga hit 7 three-pointers in the first half and never looked back in beating #11W-Xavier, 83-59.  It was the Zags 23rd win by 20 or more points (yes, most in the WCC, of course).  Of the four #1 seeds, the Zags were the least likely to survive with hot #2W-Arizona in the region.  Speaking of Arizona, the Pac 12 had two popular picks to make it far and it would’ve been three if Oregon didn’t suffer the season-ending injury to Chris Boucher.  But Boucher or not, #3MW-Oregon scored the last 8 points in the first half to build an 11-point halftime lead and held off #1MW-Kansas, 74-60 and remains the last Pac 12 team standing.

    Dboyz17 was one of eight to get both games correct to move into 1st place (118 pts) with GonzagaGirl and Jbwsaijo tied for 2nd (115).  97 went 0-2.

    19 lost Kansas as their champ and 82 more lost them in their Final Four.  No one will get all four Final Four teams while at least 31 will go 0-for-the-Final-Four.

    There are still 33 entries that can finish in the top 7 and just 7 can still win the pool.  Danny Taggart has the best chance to win the pool (31.3%) with GonzagaGirl right behind (25.0%). However, it’s GonzagaGirl who has the best chance for money (75.0%) with four others with at least a 50/50 chance.

    Despite being 5th (110), Sisyphus86 can’t finish higher Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 4.2.1 “Badgered & T’d”

    Posted on March 19th, 2017 - 4:41 am Scott No comments

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    Saturday, March 18, 2017 

    DEFENDING CHAMPS DETHRONED WHILE ZAGS GET LUCKY
    King Kobra leads by a point over Hrosen2 while Air Fabone 23 deflates to 5th

    CERRITOS APT/NORWALK, CA (smt)- #8E-Wisconsin rallied from a 7-point deficit with six minutes left to stun the top overall seed #1E-Villanova, 65-62.  If you notice at the end, Wisconsin put players on the life for the free throw and after the miss, Villanova had trouble getting the ball out for a buzzer beating shot.  I never understood why coaches sometimes empty the foul line giving the opponent a free rebound if there’s a miss.  #4MW-Purdue blew a 19-point second half lead but rebounded their way to victory.  #2W-Arizona and #4S-Butler struggled to put their opponent away with each holding on for a 9-point win while #4W-West Virginia, #11W-Xavier, and #4E-Florida rolled to easy victories.

    Gonzaga goaltendingSeems like every day there is one big play that is debated.  #8W-Northwestern trailed by 20 early and rallied to cut it to three… oh, wait, no goaltending after all.  And add a dumb coach Chris Collins technical.  Momentum killed and now down by 7.  Collins said it should’ve been a 3-point game, well, without his running onto the court while the ball was live, it would’ve still been a 5-point game.  He made it a 7-point game with under 5 minutes left.  Congrats.

    Hrosen2 (2nd, 77 pts) and Biggie’s Back (3rd-Tied, 75) went 7-1 but it is King Kobra(78) who leads the pool by one.  The air went out of Air Fabone 23 (5th-T, 74) as he went 4-4 after a 31-1 first round.  Six picked Wisconsin and 17 picked Xavier in only two upsets of the day.  Fourteen (14) went 2-6 and Samurai Jack was one of them and is last with 46 points.  In fact Robinson C has the bottom two entries with Flip Fighters in 177th at 48 points.

    With Villanova out, Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 5.2.1 “Zig Zagged”

    Posted on March 24th, 2013 - 4:40 am Scott No comments

    GONZAG-aniYou know, the Gonzaga has not advanced past the Sweet 16 since their incredible Elite 8 run in 1999… that’s 14 years ago yet some of us still think of the Zags as this great mid-major team. And once as a #2 and once as a #3 they lost in the Round of 32.  Like this year but as a #1 seed.  Below is Saturday’s update (original).

    Saturday, March 23, 2013 
    Issue # 5.2.1 "Zig Zagged"
    [ Home | Blog  | Twitter | Facebook | Updates ]

    ZAGS ONE AND DONE’D
    Macie’s Mom regains lead
    THE HOME DEPOT CENTER IN CARSON, CA/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Sometimes it hard to admit, but the critics were right, Read the rest of this entry »