Issue # 13.5.2 “Every Four Pools” (4/7) (Final Preview & History of the Pool)

Euro 2024 starts in June!


2024 NCAA FINAL @ Phoenix, Arizona
 – The Floor
The Road Ends Here
(Seed #3, NET #3, AP #3)
(Seed #1, NET #2, AP #1)
 Purdue - Boiler Up

 Husky Pride

Purdue University Boilermakers (34-4)University of Connecticut Huskies (36-3)
Big Ten Conf – Regular Season Champs
West Lafayette, Indiana
2nd Final (’69)
 def #16 Grambling State 78-50
def #8 Utah State 106-67
def #5 Gonzaga 80-68
def #2 Tennessee 72-66
def #11S North Carolina State 63-50
Big East Conf – Reg Season & Tourney Champs
Storrs, Connecticut
6th Final (’99’04’11’14’23)
def #16 Stetson 91-52
def #9 Northwestern 75-58
def #5 San Diego State 82-52
def #3 Illinois 77-52
def #4W Alabama 86-72

Sunday, April 7, 2024 
Two guaranteed money leaving 13 vying for final 6 money spots

YARD WORK, HOME, CA (smt) – Like a leap year which adds a 29th day to February (most years), almost every four pools has yielded something interesting with this being our 29th pool.  1995 was our first pool and the Pac-12’s last title (UCLA).  1999 saw UConn upset Duke for the 1st of 5 titles.  2003 saw Syracuse win their first title as a 3 seed (only picked by one).  2007 saw Florida go back-to-back, the last team to do so, and the last time the top 2 picked teams met in the final.  2011 saw another #3 seed, UConn, win the title.  2015 saw Coach K win his last title with Duke.  2019 saw Virginia win the title a year after losing to a #16 seed.  With 2020 canceled, 2024 is the fourth year and we will either see #1E-UConn win back-to-back titles or #1MW-Purdue do what Virginia did, win a title a year after losing to a #16 seed.

Continue reading »

Issue # 13.5.2 “28 Days of Drama” (History of the Pool)


3rd HWCI Women’s World Cup – July 2023
2023 NCAA FINAL @ Houston, Texas
 – The Floor
The Road Ends Here
(Seed #17, NET #14, AP #18)
(Seed #13, NET #8, AP #10)
 SDSU background
SDSU Aztecs
 Husky Pride
San Diego State University Aztecs (32-6) University of Connecticut Huskies (30-8)
Mountain West Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
San Diego, California
1st Final
def #12 College of Charleston 63-57
#13 Furman 75-52
#1 Alabama 71-64
#6 Creighton 57-56
#9E Florida Atlantic 72-71
Big East Conference (4th Place)
Storrs, Connecticut
5th Final (’99’04’11’14)
def #13 Iona 87-63
#5 Saint Mary’s 70-55
#8 Arkansas 88-65
#3 Gonzaga 82-54
#5MW Miami 72-59

Sunday, April 2, 2023 

Just 2 prize up for grabs as those who entered multiple times benefited this year

FIRESTONE SCOUT RESERVATION, BREA, CA (smt) – If you count the WCC final (March 7) as the first day the madness begins, as that coronates Gonzaga, the first big mid-major to qualify for the tournament, then this Final would be the 28th day of madness.  Appropriate for our 28th HWCI NCAA Pool.

It does seem like the field clears up when #4W-UConn makes the final as other than their first title against heavy favorite Duke in ’99, the past three have seen them play lower seeds, even if they were low themselves (e.g., ’14 they were #7 but faced a #8).  Hence, UConn is a perfect 4-0 in finals and face lower seed #5S-San Diego St, who have won back-to-back games by one point, the last one on a buzzer beater.  In a rematch of the 2011 Sweet 16, #3W-UConn beat #2W-SDSU 74-67 on its way to its 3rd championship.  UConn will try to win a title in Texas for the 4th straight time, winning in San Antonio (2004), Houston (2011), and North Texas (2014).  Everything is new for San Diego St (never advanced past the Sweet 16) while despite 4 titles since ’99, UConn has a hard time getting into the Blue Blood club as they have just made the tournament 4 times since ’14, losing twice in the 1st round and once in the 2nd.  A streak of five straight #1 seeds winning the title ends this year with a #4 (only one was Arizona in ’97) or #5 (first time) taking it.

Continue reading »

Issue # 14.5.2 “A Perfect Pool, 27 Up, 27 Down” (4/3) (Finals Preview + History)


Our 7th HWCI World Cup Pool begins in November...
7th HWCI World Cup Pool in November
2022 NCAA FINAL @ New Orleans, Louisiana
 – The Floor
The Road Ends Here
#1-Midwest-vs- #8-East
Kansas Jayhawks
UNC Tar Heels
University of Kansas Jayhawks (33-6)University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels (29-9)
Big 12 Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
Lawrence, Kansas

10th Final (’40’52’53, ’57, ’88, ’91, ’03, ’08, ’12)
def #16a Texas Southern 83-56
#9 Creighton 79-72
#4 Providence 66-61
#10 Miami of Florida 76-50
#2S Villanova 81-65
Atlantic Coast Conference (2nd Place)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

12th Final (’46, ‘57’68’77’81’82’93’05’09’16, ‘17)
def #9 Marquette 95-63
#1 Baylor 93-86 (OT)
#4 UCLA 73-66
#15 Saint Peter’s 69-49
#2W-Duke 81-77

6 compete for 4th through 7th as 4 guaranteed money; 58 entries can win Bonus

PORTILLO’S, BUENA PARK, CA (smt) – Full blue blood will be on display with 3-time champion #1MW-Kansas (10th final) taking on 6-time champion #8E-North Carolina (12th final) but don’t let the seed difference fool you as I could name Bacot (20+ rebounding), Manek (red hair, ejection, key 3s), and Love (dagger 3s) for UNC and just Agbaji (hot hand) for Kansas.  Star power for UNC, but Kansas once had star power back in ’20 and was the prohibitive favorite to win it all before the pandemic cancelled that year’s tournament three days before Selection Sunday.  This is rematch of the ’57 final where UNC won in triple-overtime over Kansas and Wilt Chamberlain.  Only one #8 seed (Villanova ’85) has won the title whereas the last four titles have come from #1 seeds.

Continue reading »

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


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)

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).

Continue reading »

Issue # 25.1 “25 Years: The Entries”


Wednesday, March 18, 2020  **HELP support Direct Relief’s COVID-19 Response Fund (deadline Thu 9:15 am PDT) **

As deadline nears, we can predict how many entries we might get

EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- Could a non-power 5 school such as Dayton, Gonzaga, or San Diego St have won it all?  We’ll never know.  Well, Sportsline ran a simulation and Dayton won (yay, Flyers).  This is the start of a series of updates reflecting on the 25 years of our HWCI NCAA pool and a peak behind the curtain of how the pool is run.  Kind of a nice number to do so, so thanks NCAA for cancelling this year’s tournament due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns.  Whereas pro athletes can wait this out and as leagues have previously self-inflicted on their seasons voluntarily (NBA lockout 8 months in 2011-12 (82->66 game season), NHL lockout 1994-95 (84->48 game season), NHL lockout 2004-05 (cancelling entire season and Stanley Cup), MLB strike in 1994 (cancelling the World Series!), NFL strike 7 weeks in 1982 (16->9 game season)), these amateur athletes have worked hard for years for an opportunity to play in March Madness and will move on to their next phase in life (attempt to go pro, graduate school, the working world).

When CBS (or that awful year it was on TBS) finally gets through announcing the bracket on Selection Sunday, where feasible, David and myself are busy reading up the homepage ( for people to enter their picks.  Sometimes, this is very late Sunday (or very early Monday) and sometimes, like in 2006 where a hard drive crash kept the online entry disabled until 1 pm Monday or in 2014 where java security errors kept the updated form down until 2 am Tuesday, we experience anti-technology days that wreak havoc on our sanity!

Table of entries since 1999
Continue reading »

Issue # 13.5.2 “25th Anniversary” (History of Pool)


Our HWCI Women's World Cup Pool begins in May...
Our 2nd HWCI Women’s World Cup Pool Begins in May!
2019 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ Minneapolis, MN
Hosted by U. of Minnesota (Big Ten)
The Final at U.S. Bank Stadium
Texas Tech University Red Raiders (31-6)University of Virginia Cavaliers (34-3)
Big 12 Conference – Regular Season Co-Champs
Lubbock, Texas

1st Final
def #14 Northern Kentucky 72-57
#6 Buffalo 78-58
#2 Michigan 63-44
#1 Gonzaga 75-69
#2E-Michigan St 61-51
Atlantic Coast Conference – Regular Season Co-Champs
Charlottesville, Virginia

1st Final
def #16 Gardiner-Webb 71-56
#9 Oklahoma 63-51
#12 Oregon 53-49
#3 Purdue 80-75 (OT)
#5MW-Auburn 63-62

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Six battling for final 2 money spots as 4 have clinched; 15 vying for Bonus

BANC OF CALIFORNIA STADIUM, LOS ANGELES/SANTA BARBARA, CA (smt)- Will this be a Butler-UConn type championship when just 94 points were scored?  Texas Tech has held the two Michigans to 44 and 51 points and 6th-best offense in Buffalo to 58 points while Virginia held high scoring Oklahoma and Oregon to 51 and 49 points.  Including the tournament, Virginia is #1 in scoring defense (allowing 55.5 pts/game) and Texas Tech is #3 (58.8).  Virginia is 7th in 3-point percentage (39.4%) though they take their time taking their shots. Or maybe we’ll be surprised and Texas Tech will score something like 78 or 75 like they did vs Buffalo and Gonzaga or Virginia will score 80 like they did against Purdue.  Virginia has needed luck at the buzzer twice, scoring a game-tying buzzer beater off a missed free throw against Purdue and a missed double-dribble call and foul on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot against Auburn.  Texas Tech has won each game by at least six points with four in double-digits.  With all that, Virginia is just a one-point favorite to try to complete the worst-to-first (losing to #16 seed to winning the title) and the over/under is an all-time low of 118 pts.  With so many tiebreakers in play for the top 6 and the Bonus, this low over/under is at least 10 points less than the tiebreak point giving those entries who guessed lowest a little buffer.

Continue reading »

The Year Was 1995

Our humble first pool.

1995. Before Javascript which helped run the online web entry from 1999-2013. Before debuted in 1996. Before DVDs. Before the Spice Girls. Before the Star Wars Special Editions. Our first pool was run by telephone by the HW-UCLA folks (including co-admin David (The Mighty Mobelfakta) and coercing unsuspecting victims like myself (Silver Fabone) to pony up $10 for a sport I didn’t watch. We got 12 entries that first year. And they assigned nicknames which was sometimes unflattering :-).

Continue reading »

Issue # 14.5.2 “24 Ticking Down” (4/1) (History of the Pool)


Our HWCI World Cup Pool begins in May...

2018 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ San Antonio, Texas
The Final at the Alamodome
Los Angeles, CA
Hosted by Pepperdine U. (WCC)
Staples Center
vs. #1-East
Boston, MA

Hosted by Boston College (ACC)
TD Garden
U. of Michigan Wolverines Villanova U. Wildcats
University of Michigan Wolverines (33-7) Villanova University Wildcats (35-4)
Big Ten Conference – Champs (Reg – 4th)
Ann Arbor, Michigan

7th Final (’65, ’76, ’89, ’92, ’93, ’13)
1-time champion
def #14 Montana 61-47
#6 Houston 64-63
#7 Texas A&M 99-72
#9 Florida St 58-54
#11S Loyola-Chicago 69-57
Big East Conference – Champs (Reg – 2nd)
Villanova, Pennsylvania

4th Final (’71, ’85, ‘16
2-time champions
def #16b Radford 87-61
#9 Alabama 81-58
#5 West Virginia 90-78
#3 Texas Tech 71-59
#1MW Kansas 95-79

Sunday, April 1, 2018  *** HAPPY EASTER *** or ***APRIL FOOLS! ***

Six battling for final 3 money spots as 3 have clinched and Bonus has been won

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- If #1E-Villanova can hit 13+ three-pointers like they have been doing, it will be a very long night for #3W-Michigan.  But if the Wildcats shoot like they did against Texas Tech, hitting just 4 of 24, a quality team like Michigan can easily take advantage.  So which Villanova team will show up?  Michigan has alternated between double-digit wins and close games while Villanova has won all by at least 12 points.  Michigan faced a #14 and then started facing worse and worse seeds, going from 6 to 7 to 9 to 11.  Villanova has been facing and dominating better competition, going from a 16 seed to 9 to 5 to 3 to 1.  As such, Villanova is favored by 7 points which for a single-elimination game, is pretty high.  The over/under is 145 points which will matter for the tie-breaker for 5th place (regardless who wins).

In our 24th year, for the fourth time we have our pool champion before the final and the first since 2013.  Bob G (Philly Eagles Again), after finishing as the bridesmaid in 2008 and 2012, will finally finish on top.  With the first place prize, he is now our top earner with $1,020 in 20 years.  That puts him ahead of Darryn B (Big Luther), one of only two 2-time pool champions, who has won $920.  Ron E (Slamjam51-3) will win money for the first time in his 11 years playing the pool (either 2nd or 3rd) and Janette H (SacKings4Ever) will win money in her first pool (either 3rd, 5th, or 6th).  Sam S (SamerTime) will win the $40 Bonus and be his second prize in 10 years.  The other three spots will either go to repeat wealthy winners Sam N (STORMY Fever-Catch It) (3 wins, $350), Jeff H (We Fam!) (3 wins, $340) and Lawrence M (Larzby) (2 wins, $605) or low earners Billy T (Billiam)(1st time in pool), Chuck D (ChasCroix-1) (just 6th ($85) in 2017), and Greg J (BamaG 2) (only has won $40 Bonus in 2013).  Ron E wins on his 3rd entry and Greg J would win on his 2nd entry, once again showing multiple entries usually do not have good showings in the pool.  Although Bob G was close, we still haven’t had a person place two entries in the money (including the Bonus).

If Michigan wins… If Villanova wins…
Place Amount Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won) Entry (Name) (Yrs in Pool-Won)
1st $620 Philly Eagles Again (Bob G) (20-2 (2nd ’08, 2nd ’12)) Philly Eagles Again
2nd $320 STORMY Fever-Catch It (Sam N) (21-3 (1st ’00, 5th ’10, 5th ’12)) Slamjam51-3
3rd $220 Slamjam51-3 (Ron E) (11) SacKings4Ever
4th $165 We Fam! (Jeff H) (15-3 (2nd ’02, 4th ’04, 5th ’08)) Billiam (Billy T) (1)
5th (or 6th) $120 SacKings4Ever (Janette H) (1) -or- ChasCroix-1 (Chuck D) (10-1 (6th ’17)) -or-
6th (or 5th) $ 75 Larzby (Lawrence M) (15-2 (1st ’09, 5th ’16)) BamaG 2 (Greg J) (13-1 (Bns ’13))
Bonus $ 40 SamerTime (Sam S) (10-1 (3rd ’11)) SamerTime

A little history on our Zlatan-ic pool… Continue reading »

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



2017 NCAA Final Four @ PHOENIX, AZ
The Final at University of Phoenix Stadium
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 

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…
Continue reading »

Issue # 13.5.2 “Punch Drunk Love, We’re 21!”


 – The Final @ Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium) –

(Los Angeles, CA)
(Houston, TX)

Sunday, April 5, 2015   *** HAPPY EASTER ***

 Big Luther vs BobbyCee’sRacer’sEdge for our 21st title 

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- #1W-Wisconsin got sent to the West Region and knocked off the best teams possible in #16-Coastal Carolina, #8-Oregon, #4-North Carolina, #2-Arizona, and the top seed of all #1MW-Kentucky.  Riding an 11-game winning streak, their last four wins have all been by 7 points in close battles until Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky close out the game.  The Badgers repeated their ousting of Pac-12 foes Oregon and Arizona in identical rounds as last year and avenged last year’s loss to Kentucky in the same round as last year.

#1S-Duke won 4 of its 5 games (#16-Robert Morris, #8-San Diego St, #2-Gonzaga, #7E-Michigan St) by 14 or more points, and in the 6-point win vs #5-Utah, they had a 15-point lead midway through the 2nd half.  The Blue Devils’, led by Jahlil Okafor, last Final Four appearance was in 2010 when they also rolled through the South Regional in Houston and two of their 4 title wins have been in Indy.

So we were denied a perfect season by Kentucky (38-1) and possibly another #7 seed title winner in Michigan St, but we will get to see whether Wisconsin will win their first title since 1941 or if Duke will win their 5th title (3rd in the HWCI era).  Duke beat Wisconsin in December and the past three re-matches have all gone to the winner of the regular season matchup.  The game is a pick ’em with the over/under at 141 for those concerned with the total points in final tiebreaker.

We may have our 20th different champion (BobbyCee’sRacer’sEdge) in 21 years if Wisconsin wins but Big Luther (14 years, 1st ’03) (the only one guaranteed money) will try to become only our 2nd two-time HWCI NCAA Pool champion (if Duke wins).  For the second straight year, we don’t know our pool champion. Will I Ever Win This, who had a 28 in 32 chance to win money got shut out of the finals but can still win 4th if Duke wins.  We had a record 37 people enter more than one entry but only 3 of those have a chance for money (and all with their 2nd or 3rd pick).  The other 8 only entered once (not that I’m discouraging multiple entries as it increases our pot!).  Of the 11, only Big Luther, The Bracket Awakens (21 years, 3rd ’98, 2nd ’99, 3rd ’00, 1st ’02, Bonus ’03), PRIDE OF TROY (12 years, 4th ’05, 4th ’06), and Flying Ace (15 years, 4th ’13) have won money before.  The Bracket Awakens, Patton (4 years, tearing up bracket at end of Sweet 16 each year), Spermicidal State (9 years, never being alive past Elite 8), and Buccos 2 (7 years, 14 of 15 entries dead by end of Elite 8) can win money if Wisconsin wins and PRIDE OF TROY, Dance Time Boyz (1st year, only female with a chance, great nickname, but what is it?), Wuk3 (1st year, his other 2 entries eliminated after Round of 32), and Flying Ace can win money if Duke wins.  As for the Bonus, 22 have a chance and will be counting each point the teams score.  We have given away 99 prizes in the past 20 years and will give out 7 more this year (possibly more if the tiebreaker for the Bonus ends in a tie).   Since 2002, there have only been six people to win money on their first try and we could have 2 if Duke wins.

A little history (all with the same accurate reporting as the Rolling Stone!)....

In 1995, the first year of the pool, just 12 people entered in a modest effort put forth by HW-UCLA and their close friends. Names like BAD ASS and LIVER BOY graced the pool. Of course, their interest was heightened because UCLA was favored to win it all. Indeed, 10 of 12 picked UCLA while 2 picked Kentucky. This pool featured the infamous LOSER WHO DIDN’T PICK UCLA (Dennis K) who set an all-time record (still stands today) with a 14-2 2nd Round to go from tied for 9th to tied for 1st before going 0-7 in the final 3 rounds to finish dead last (12th) with 98 points. TINA’S BOY (Mark C) became the first person to be eliminated when the 2nd round ended. He was, however, one of only 3 people (all in 1995) to correctly pick the two teams in the final and the champion prior to 1999. BIX PIX (Fernando B, 1st, 148) and MR. NELSON (Nelson B, 2nd, 146) were the other two and claimed the top two spots, winning $70 and $30, respectively. THE MIGHTY MOBELFAKTA (Dave F, 3rd, 141) claimed third prize worth $20. All but one finished with 110 points or more, the highest scoring pool ever (130.6 avg). Continue reading »

Issue # 14.5.2 “Our Vigintennial”


The Final @ North Texas (Arlington) (AT&T Stadium)
UConn Huskies
(New York, NY)
vs. Kentucky Wildcats
(Indianapolis, IN)


A record 138 entries start strong, fizzle at end
ROSEMEAD/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Two teams people would associate with titles made the final, but this year UConn was a #7 seed and Kentucky was a #8 seed.  Both teams didn’t win their conference title nor tournament (both were 12-6 in conference play).  Yet they’ve outlasted an undefeated team, last year’s champion and dark horse, curious seeding, high number of close games, and lengthy monitor replay delays.  The Wildcats have not only had a difficult route to the final (beating 3 of last year’s Final Four teams including undefeated Wichita St) but they have also closed out five straight close games, thanks to Aaron Harrison’s clutch 3-point shooting in the final minute.  The Huskies were nearly upset in overtime in their first game and then proceeded to knock off the #2, #3, and #4 seeds in the East before finally snapping #1 overall seed Florida’s 30-game win streak thanks to incredible free throw shooting.  Kentucky and their fab five starting freshmen are 3 point favorites.  Interestingly, UConn was 2-0 vs Florida while Kentucky was 0-3.

We will have our 19th different champion in 20 years as a couple of second-year players will battle for the title and get their first taste at money in our pool.  Bigtenfan2 hasn’t picked up any points since last Saturday but can win the 20th HWCI NCAA Pool title if Kentucky wins.  Otherwise, it will be Badzy and her riding UConn to the title.  The other six players are also guaranteed a chance at money with the tiebreaker Continue reading »

Issue # 14.5.2 “Leaving Our Teenage Years Behind Us” – History of the Pool

Has it really been 19 years?  Unlike most pools, we keep a very detailed history.  Today’s update chronicles that history and also as a bonus, at the end is the list of the all-time records.  Good luck to those 3 vying for the final 2 spots and the 25 vying for the Bonus.

There will be the Final update wrap-up tomorrow and the a final pool wrap-up later in the week.  I’ll also be donating $96 ($40 by me and $56 by others) to MathWorks, which unfortunately, despite being a sponsor, my company does not match (they only do educational institutions).

If you have a lot of time, read on (or read original):

The Final @ Atlanta (Georgia Dome)
[U. of Louisville Cardinals]
(Indianapolis, IN)
vs. [U. of Michigan Wolverines]
(Arlington, TX)
Sunday, April 7, 2013 
Issue # 14.5.2 "Leaving Our Teenage Years Behind Us" [ All-Time Records ]
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Our pool topped 130 for the 2nd straight year
CERRITOS, CA (smt)-  The #1 overall seed was the only survivor of the top 12 teams in the tournament in the Final Four and needed every ounce of their toughness to sneak into the Final.  #1MW-Louisville is using inspiration of fallen comrade Kevin Wade but will it be enough Continue reading »