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  • Issue # 14.5.3 “Offense and Offensive Rebounds” (4/5)

    Posted on April 6th, 2021 - 1:13 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Star Wars: The Bad Batch premiers May the Fourth!
    2021 NCAA Champions
    Baylor Bears 2021 Champions#1- South Regional Champions

    Baylor University Bears (28-2)
    1st Title
    2021 Winningest Conference
    Pac 12 ConferenceThe Pac 12 Conference
    (13-5)


    1st Time

    BAYLOR OUT-MUSCLES ZAGS FOR FIRST TITLE
    MizzouTgr11 2 wins pool in his 6th year, Wuk#3 wins 3-way tie for 7th

    Mark Vital Bear Hug

    EL SEGUNDO/CYPRESS, CA (smt) – #1S-Baylor jumped out to a 9-0 and 29-10 lead en route to a 86-70 drubbing of previously unbeaten #1W-Gonzaga for their first national title.  The Zags still did what they do in the first half, shooting 54.5%, but the Bears had 16 more shots thanks to 9 offensive rebounds and forcing 8 turnovers in taking a 10-point lead into the half.  There was no 2nd half momentum as Baylor poured it on again and when the deficit got cut to 9, Baylor ran off 7 straight points.  Baylor dominated in the tournament, only trailing once (by 2) in the 2nd half of all six games.  The Bulldogs’ hangover from their dramatic overtime win did them in, as the 19-point early deficit was too much to overcome.  At one point, Baylor made 10 threes to Gonzaga’s one.  At one point when they were threatening, Gonzaga missed four of five free throws (including the front end of a 1-and-1, a loss of 5 crucial points).

    To me, the MVP was Baylor’s Mark Vital, who had 8 offensive rebounds (3 more the whole Zags team), 2 steals, 6 pts, and a great “bear” hug of his coach.  How nice one of the mascots “Joy” gets etched into the championship logo.  Gonzaga finishes 31-1 and their lowest point total of the season.  More impressively, all the sacrifices of the players, coaches, and staff to live in the Indy bubble gave us a great tournament (except poor VCU) with all the highs and lows we missed last year and maybe, just maybe, the Pac 12 will be respected (UCLA #1?) once again. 

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  • Gonzaga vs Baylor Live!

    Posted on April 5th, 2021 - 1:06 pm Scott No comments

    1:00 pm – I’ll be taking my son to Boy Scouts tonight so we’ll see how the WordPress app works with updating. Pac Attack wins the pool if the Zags win, MizzouTgr11 2 wins if the Bears win (see Final Possibilities). Total points in Final tiebreaker will come into play (note over/under is now 159, down a point) if Gonzaga wins with Hawkeye 3 getting 5th if total pts <=147 and Gonzagafinallywinsit gets 5th if total pts >=148. If Baylor wins, with The Fabone Marathon wins 4th if <=144 and Mr Wizard wins 4th if >=145.

    If Baylor wins, 7th is a 3-way tie meaning at least one will go home empty handed.

    • Carseroni wins 7th if <=120,
    • Carseroni and Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan split $60 if 121,
    • Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan wins 7th if pts are 122 to 140,
    • Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan and Wuk#3 split $60 if 141, and
    • Wuk#3 wins 7th if >=142.

    For the $40 Bonus, 51 are tied if Gonzaga wins and 49 are tied if Baylor wins. If total points is <=103, then Thai Spice wins and if total points is >=169 then Bigtenfan wins. The rest are in the middle (see Bonus possibilities).

    3:50 pm – Ok, done with short trip to El Segundo. Now dealing with an hour of traffic. Oh, UNC has a coach now.

    15:30 – 11-1 Baylor. In the car on way to Cypress Boys & Gils Club.

    11:42 – 23-8 Baylor. Zags in trouble.

    10:00 – 29-10. (Projected total – 156)

    7:50 – 31-14. Baylor has twice as many shot attempts (24-12).

    Half – Zags score last 5 to cut deficit to 10 (47-37). Projected total points 168 (Bonus projected for Mauihammy&Jay Bilas regardless who wins). Down by as many as 19, Zags still shot 54.5% (12/22). 8 turnovers and allowing 9 offensive rebounds allowed Baylor to shoot 16 more times (19/38). After missing first free throw, Zags made last 12. Baylor just 2 free throws (2/2).

    15:51 – 56-45. Driving home now.

    11:45 – 67-53. Zags had it down to 9 but Baylor’s 3s are killing them. Projected 168.

    10:20: 20 pts! 73-53

    8:27 – 2 missed free throws. Nothing going right. 75-59. Still 168 projected.

    5:00 – Baylor 80-63, projected 163. Zags missed 4 of last 5 free throws including front end of a 1-and-1. Two more points will give Mr Wizard 4th. Wuk#3 already clinched 7th. 163 would give Dr Fun Bonus (missing out on 4th since Zags will lose).

    3:15 – Baylor 82-65, projected 160 (would give Bonus to ZarinC).

    End – Baylor ran out the clock and thus, 86-70 win produced 156 points. That gives ATI3.0 the Bonus! Perfect season ruined as Zags 35-game win streak comes to an end. Sheesh, Zags still shot 51% but just 5/17 on threes. Baylor 18 more shots with 16 offensive rebounds and forcing 14 turnovers. Baylor was 10/23 on threes and made 16/18 free throws.

  • Issue # 13.5.2 “Pool is a Marathon, Not a Sprint” (4/4)

    Posted on April 4th, 2021 - 8:01 pm Scott No comments

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    2021 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ Indianapolis, Indiana
    Hosted by Indiana U.-Purdue U. Indianapolis (IUPUI) (Horizon League)
    The Final at Lucas Oil Stadium – Unity & Equality Floor
    #1-Southvs. #1-West




    Baylor University Bears (27-2)Gonzaga University Bulldogs (31-0)
    Big 12 Conference – Regular Season Champs
    Waco, Texas

    2nd Final (’48)
    def #16 Hartford 79-55
    #9 Wisconsin 76-63
    #5 Villanova 62-51
    #3 Arkansas 81-72
    #2MW Houston 78-59
    West Coast Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
    Spokane, Washington

    2nd Final (’17)
    def #16a Norfolk St 98-55
    #8 Oklahoma 87-71
    #5 Creighton 83-65
    #6 USC 85-66
    #11E UCLA 93-90 (OT)



    THE GAME WE WAITED FOR SINCE DECEMBER
    Long droughts and deja vu as 10 battle for final four spots

    Our 3rd HWCI EURO Pool begins in May...

    HAPPY EASTER & HAPPY 81st BIRTHDAY DAD, CA (smt) – Both #1W-Gonzaga and #1S-Baylor are making just their second final and seeking their first NCAA title.  Baylor has not trailed in the second half except for a brief 2-point deficit midway through the 2nd half vs #5S-Villanova and demolished #2MW-Houston while, until the Final Four, Gonzaga had not trailed since early in the first half vs #8W-Oklahoma.  But, oh, that game vs #11E-UCLA.  The Zags, having had won 27 straight by double-digits, could have choked or played tentative when it was close late but persevered against a well-coached Bruin team (for once) and needed a denial of an easy UCLA dunk, a gutsy charge call, and buzzer beater bank shot to prevail in overtime.  Despite the close call, Gonzaga is still favored by five with a very high over/under of 160.

    While Baylor slipped to #3 after a loss in the Big 12 tournament, the past two years and this tournament has shown these have been consistently the best two teams in the country (both were #1-2 in the NET rankings though).  The highly anticipated Dec 5th matchup was cancelled due to COVID so now we get to finally see these teams play each other.  However, people still picked Illinois more than Baylor (29 vs 19, 72 vs 49 to make final) as Baylor did have a tougher region to start.  The only times the top 2 teams were picked to make the Final were in ’07 (42 Ohio St, 36 Florida), ’05 (45 Illinois, 36 UNC), and ’99 (32 Duke, 15 UConn).

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  • Issue # 12.5.1 “Buzzer Beater Bank” (4/3)

    Posted on April 4th, 2021 - 1:56 am Scott No comments

    Archive
    TOP TWO TEAMS WIN; ONE EASILY AND ONE IN OT
    Pac Attack or MizzouTgr11 2 will win the pool; 10 fighting for last 4 spots

    Zags buzzer beater bank

    FAMILY PICNIC, CA (smt) – Having just played double-digit seeds, #2MW-Houston ran into a buzz saw in #1S-Baylor and saw their 8-6 lead quickly disappear as the Bears had 10-0 and 11-0 runs in the first half.  Baylor ended the half up 45-20 and never let the Cougars get closer than 16 in a 78-59 rout for their first final appearance in 73 yeas (’48). 

    In the nightcap, #11E-UCLA played nearly flawless but #1W-Gonzaga pulled out the victory on a long buzzer beater bank three in overtime, winning their 35th straight game, 93-90.  In the instant classic, UCLA shot 57.6% and Gonzaga 58.7% and committed just 10 turnovers each in the 183 point epic battle that essentially was a one score game the whole second half and overtime (Zags briefly by 7 in 2nd half and 5 in OT) and featured 15 ties and 19 lead changes.  UCLA played out the end of the 2nd half (no timeout) and got a whistle with one second left but it was a charge, not a block… it would’ve been more unlucky had the basket went in (nullifying a buzzer beater) or had it been UCLA’s 7th foul (it was their 6th) that would’ve sent the Zags to the line for the win.  So to overtime, UCLA’s third of the tourney.  If there was one thing to fault UCLA for, it was missing the front end of a one-and-one down by 4 two minutes into OT.  Ouch.  UCLA once again played out the end and this time Johnny Juzang (29 pts) put in his own miss with 3.3 seconds left to tie it at 90 after being down by 5.  Taking UCLA’s playbook, the Bulldogs also played out (no timeout) and saw three dribbles and a 42-foot running jump shot by Jalen Suggs magically banked in at the buzzer.

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  • 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

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    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.

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  • Issue # 10.4.2 “West Coast Bias” (3/30)

    Posted on March 31st, 2021 - 12:52 am Scott No comments

    Archive
    ZAGS RUN OVER USC; UCLA SURVIVES AGAIN
    Pac Attack still leads and is guaranteed 5th; record 27 still alive
     to win money

    Three Misses at the Buzzer

    FREE KRISPY KREME, GARDENA, CA (smt) – #1W-Gonzaga somehow got 10 more shots than #6W-USC eight minutes into the game (5 Trojan turnovers in the first 6 minutes) en route to a 25-8 lead and never let USC get closer than 13 the rest of the way en route to a 85-66 rout.  It was the Bulldogs’ second Final Four (’17) and their 34th straight victory, the last 27 by double digits. 

    In the second game, #11E-UCLA used an 18-8 run to end the first half and then blew a 9-point lead before holding on for dear life three times in a 51-49 victory over #1E-Michigan.  One thing with UCLA, if you’re the opponent, you’ll get good looks for threes late – Alabama hit a game-tying three with less than a second left in the last game and Michigan had three good looks in the final seconds.  Trailing by just one and having the last possession, Michigan still decided to shoot a three which was air-balled with 12 seconds left.  Then trailing by just two thanks to a missed free throw, Michigan missed another wide open three with a few seconds left (the Bruins player kept running leaving the open three).  Then, thanks to a review that put 0.5 seconds back on the clock, a great drawn up play set up Michigan for another open three that just banked and missed at the buzzer.

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  • Issue # 1.0.1 “The Indy 68”

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

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    Sunday, March 14, 2021  **HELP support Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Fund (deadline Thu 4:00 pm PDT **)

    BIG TEN GETS 4 OF TOP 8 SPOTS, ZAGS #1 OVERALL
    After a long year, our 26th year hopes to offer a distraction

    CAL POLY POMONA VAC SHOT #1, CA (smt)- After the March Sadness of 2020, where the NCAA along with all the sports leagues cancelled their seasons abruptly due to the rising COVID-19 pandemic, March Madness will try again this year, with health protocols and tournament procedures in place to enable completion of the tournament.  Soccer showed with the successful summer completions of  NWSL’s Challenge Cup and the MLS is Back tournament (which was the basis of our 11th HWCI soccer pool) in a location bubble that sports and the COVID-19 can coexist.  Going outside a bubble can lead to issues but the NCAA completed more than 80% of their scheduled games (the NFL 100%) and now all teams will descend into the Indianapolis greater area bubble. 

    The Big Ten got a conference record 9 teams in, including 4 of the top 8 spots but unbeaten Gonzaga (26-0) got the #1 overall seed in the West.  Yes, the region names remain the same even though all games will be played in the greater Indianapolis area.  Tip times and locations were not announced during the selection show (which started ten minutes late as the Big Ten final went into overtime but took just 27 minutes to reveal the entire bracket) as those came out later.  Baylor got the #1 seed in the South while Illinois and Michigan got #1s in the Midwest and East.  The other Big Ten teams in the top 8 were #2S-Ohio St and #2W-Iowa.  SEC tourney winner #2E-Alabama and AAC tourney winner #2MW-Houston were the other #2 seeds. 

    The top 41 ranked teams in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) made the tourney but so did NET70 #11bE-Michigan St while NET42 Penn St did not.  #11bW-Drake, as the final team in, has the Ivy League to thank, as with them not playing this year due to COVID-19, that allowed one more at-large bid (37) than usual.  Saturday’s upsets with #12E-Georgetown winning the Big East (were just 9-12 going into the tourney) and #12MW-Oregon St winning the Pac 12 (14-12 going into the tourney) knocked out Louisville and Colorado St, who along with St. Louis and Ole Miss, become the four alternates (in that order) if any tournament team has to withdraw by Tuesday evening.  #14S-Colgate played just 15 games but are 14-1 with a 13-game win streak.  Three teams played 30 games. 

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  • Issue # 25.2 “25 Years: The Teams”

    Posted on March 25th, 2020 - 2:30 am Scott No comments

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    Tuesday, March 24, 2020
    25 YEARS:  281 TEAMS HAVE MADE PROPER 64 IN OUR POOLS
    Ignoring Opening Round and First Four losers, we have seen at least one new team each year

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- In the final AP pool, teams 2 through 7 are not your usual suspects with only Florida St (ACC), Baylor (Big 12), and Creighton (Big East) coming from the Power 5 conferences.  Gonzaga (WCC), Dayton (Atlantic 10), and San Diego St (Mountain West) would have provided some much needed parity.  But alas, none of those teams will count.  So without a tournament, here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time focusing on the teams who have made the tournament (the proper 64 that is). 

    Top Seed in NCAA Tournament
    Top Ranked Team to Win it All

    So when the NCAA tried to mess up brackets by adding a 65th team (Opening Round 64v65) in 2001 due to the new Mountain West Conference taking away an at-large bid or when they added three more at-large teams to create the First Four (well, the First Round until 2016) in 2011, we ignored them.  The proper 64 bracket that starts Thursday at 9:15 am is what matters in this pool.  If you pick your bracket early you’ll just select “Team A/Team B” to advance and as always, you can change your picks up until the deadline.

    Duke has been the top seed (#1 overall) 6 times including four in a row from ’99-’02  with Kentucky (4) and Kansas (3) right behind as shown in the table on the left.  From ’95-’03 the top seed was determined by the final AP pool before the tournament and from ’04-present the top seed is announced as part the NCAA’s ranked seeds listing.  UMass (’96) is probably the oddest top seed and local favorite UCLA was only the top seed in our first pool in ’95.  Five top seeds went on to win the tournament (’95 UCLA, ’01 Duke, ’07 Florida, ’12 Kentucky, ’13 Louisville).  Only twice did the top 2 seeds make the final (’99 Duke v UConn, ’05 Illinois v UNC) and twice did none of the top 4 seeds make the Final Four (’06, ’11).   UConn, however, has won the most titles (4) with Duke, UNC, and Kentucky winning 3 each in the past 25 years.  A #1 seed has won the title 17 times with UConn (#7E) the worst seed to win the title. 

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  • Issue # 9.4.1 “Buzzer Beater”

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

    Archive

    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.  

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  • Issue # 7.3.1 “Ones and Threes”

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

    Archive

    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.

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  • Issue # 1.0.1 “The Silver Age of Brackets”

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

    Archive

    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.

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  • Issue # 14.6.1 “Ugly Redemption”

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

    Archive

    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

    Archive

     

    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

    Archive

    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

    Archive

    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 »