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  • Issue # 15.6.1 “Jayhawks Rally Like it’s ’08” (4/4)

    Posted on April 5th, 2022 - 5:41 pm Scott No comments

    Archive

    Disney+ Star Wars - Obi-Wan Kenobi starts May 27
    Kenobi on Disney+ Starts May 27!
    2022 NCAA Champions
     #1-Midwest Regional Champions

    University of Kansas Jayhawks (34-6)

    4th Title
      
    2022 Winningest Conference
    ACC
    Big 12 
    The Atlantic Coast Conference (13-5)
    8th time
    &
    The Big 12 Conference (13-5)
    5th time

    Monday, April 4, 2022   ***HAPPY 82ND BIRTHDAY DAD (BELUCKY2)!!!***

    KANSAS RALLIES FROM 16 DOWN TO STUN UNC
    Bob, Glen, and Greg join the winner’s circle; Chris wins Bonus

    Rebound, Put Back, Kansas up for Good

    VERY LONG BOY SCOUT MEETING IN CYPRESS, CA (smt) – In 2008, Kansas was down 9 to Memphis with 2:12 left in the Final and rallied to force overtime and pick up their 3rd NCAA title.  A 15-point halftime deficit?  No big deal.  #1MW-Kansas overcame a record 16-point overall deficit and record 15-point second half deficit to hold off a hobbled #8E-UNC team, 72-69, for their fourth title.  Three different UNC players got injured but played through in turning a 56-50 deficit into a 69-68 lead with 1:42 left.  Hobbled players affected the final minute stumbling with a couple turnovers and forcing bad threes because the quickness wasn’t there anymore.  Up by 3, Kansas ran out of bounds with 4.3 seconds left but UNC’s long three by Caleb Love (who hit deciding threes vs UCLA and Duke) was way short.

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  • Kansas vs UNC Live!

    Posted on April 3rd, 2022 - 8:44 pm Scott No comments

    8:45 pm PDT Sunday – OK, getting this link up and ready. We already know the top 3 so it will be the bottom 4 spots and the Bonus that will be of interest.

    9:35 pm Sunday – If UNC wins, there will be a 4-way tie for 4th (meaning all will win something).

    • If total points in final is
      • <=132: Larzby, SlumDawg3, MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th)
      • 133-141: SlumDawg3, Larzby, MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai
      • 142: SlumDawg3, Larzby & MizzouTgr11 2 tied, Team Samurai
      • 143-150: MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3, Larzby, Team Samurai
      • 151: MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3 & Team Samurai tied, Larzby
      • 152-160: MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai, SlumDawg3, Larzby
      • >=161: Team Samurai, MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3, Larzby

    9:41 pm Sunday – Much simpler if Kansas wins – Larzby, Bob’s Bruins, Reign of Game, DaBoyz22 (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th)

    12:30 am – SlumDawg3, who has never won in his previous 17 pools was tied for 105th after 40 games but now has a chance to nab 4th/5th/6th with a UNC win thanks to being the only entry to pick the Tar Heels as its champ. Tarheel Blue Balls will win by 11 points either way, the 2nd largest margin of victory (13 in ’98). Mia Culpa who led by 13 after the Sweet 16 (48 games) could finish behind by 24 if Kansas wins (but will still get 3rd place). 7 entries went 1-7 in the Elite 8 and that win was Kansas – just 3 picked them to win it all though.

    3:26 pm – Usually, the final tips off at 6:10 pm PDT but this time it’s 6:20 pm, which is 9:20 on the east coast. Might mean ten more minutes I get to watch while my son finishes up his Boy Scout meeting in Cypress.

    15:56 1st – Kansas jumped to 7-0 lead and it’s 9-3. This projects to 120 pts which would give Ormonde3 the Bonus.

    10:45 – Shots not falling but 10 of 12 UNC pts off offensive rebounds. 15-12 Kansas – Projects to just 118 pts (Pick 1).

    3:00 1st – UNC up by 12 (34-22). Projects 132 (Zippy). Tiebreakers for 4th-7th in play.

    Half – Wow, UNC up 40-25. 65 projects to 130 which would give Pac-10 Rules! the Bonus and Larzby, SlumDawg3, MizzouTgr11 2, Team Samurai (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th).

    20:00 2nd – Kansas can’t make a layup and is giving up rebounds and shooting just 30%.

    15:40 – Kansas cuts it to 8 (45-37) with a free throw coming. Projected 135 would give Spoonceer the Bonus.

    12:41 – Kansas down by one (46-45) but could be up by 3 but have missed 4 of past 5 free throws. Projects to 133 (SlumDawg1).

    10:53 – 50 all.

    7:48 -57 all. Projects 142 ([2] Brakewey 2, Carseroni tied).

    1:41 – Another offensive rebound, UNC leads 69-68. 137 pts (Rjw615) if no else scores.

    4.6 left: Another UNC offensive rebound, but passed out for a 3 and thrown out of bounds! Kansas 72-69. 141 pts (Tiniest Prancers).

    4.3 left: Kansas runs out of bounds, UNC with a chance! Refs say only 0.3 went off the clock. For UNC to win, they need 4 pts, so 145 would be MizzouTgr11 2, SlumDawg3, Larzby, Team Samurai. But first, UNC needs to tie!

    Final: Kansas 72, UNC 69! No dagger shot by Love this time, airball. Congrats to Larzby, Bob’s Bruins, Reign of Game, DaBoyz22 (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th). Congrats to Tiniest Prancers for winning the Bonus!

    4th NCAA Title for Kansas, biggest comeback coming back from 16 points in the 1st half and 15 points in the 2nd half.

    Had UNC fouled and Kansas made 1 free throw, Bwakewey 2 and Carseroni would have won the Bonus, splitting $40 and if Kansas made both free throws, My Sweet Mia would’ve won (making Stephen I the first person to win money and win the Bonus (two different entries, of course!).

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

    Posted on April 3rd, 2022 - 6:55 pm Scott No comments

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    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
    Kansas
    UNC Tar Heels
    Carolina
    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

    WILL KANSAS SHOW ’22 WAS WHAT WOULD’VE HAPPENED IN ’20?
    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.

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  • Issue # 13.5.1 “UNC Does it Again” (4/2)

    Posted on April 3rd, 2022 - 1:12 am Scott No comments

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    KANSAS AND UNC IN FINAL FOUR, REMATCH OF ’57
    Tarheel Blue Balls Wins the Pool getting both finalists; 10 still alive

    UNC dagger with 25 sec left

    CITADEL OUTLETS, LOS ANGELES, CA (smt) – #1MW-Kansas jumped to a 10-0 lead and although #2S-Villanova had pulled within six (64-58), the Jayhawks shot themselves (53.7%) to a 16-point win, 81-65.  Both teams hit 13 three-pointers (26 combined is a Final Four record) but Kansas did it at a better clip (24 shots vs 31) in making their 10th final.

    In the first-ever tournament meeting between these Tobacco Road rivals, #8E-UNC and #2W-Duke struggled early but then delivered a back-and-forth slugfest with 18 lead changes and 12 ties.  Ultimately, the Blue Devil free throws didn’t fall and a key 2-miss trip fueled the Tar Heels to build a couple of four-point leads led by the dagger of a 3 by Caleb Love (22 of his 28 points in the 2nd half) with 25 seconds left for a 78-74 lead.  The 81-77 win put UNC in its 12th final and a rematch of the ’57 final where UNC beat Kansas.  UNC ruined Coach K’s last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium and now launched his retirement.  UNC coach Hubert Davis won just his 29th game with UNC while Coach K will retire with 1,202 Duke wins. 

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  • Issue # 12.4.4 “Revenge of the Blue Bloods” (4/1)

    Posted on April 1st, 2022 - 4:43 pm Scott No comments

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    International Rescue Committee - Ukraine Crisis
    2022 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ New Orleans, Louisiana

    6th Final Four (’82, ’87, ’93, ’03 (Louisiana Superdome); ’12 (Mercedes-Benz Superdome))
     –  
    Hosted by Tulane U. (American Athletic Conf) (2nd Final Four) & U. of New Orleans (Southland Conf) (2nd Final Four)
     – The Floor
    First SemifinalSecond Semifinal
    #2-South

    San Antonio, Texas (6th Regional)

    Hosted by U. of Texas at San Antonio (Conf USA) (6th Regional)
    #1-Midwest

    Chicago, Illinois (4th Regional)

    Hosted by Northwestern U. (Big Ten) (1st Regional)
    #2-West

    San Francisco, California (3rd Regional)

    Hosted by Pac-12 Conf (2nd Regional)
    #8-East

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (5th Regional)

    Hosted by U. of Pennsylvania (Ivy League) (6th Regional)
    Villanova University Wildcats (30-7)University of Kansas Jayhawks (32-6)Duke University Blue Devils (32-6)University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels (28-9)
    Big East Conference (2nd Place) – Tourney Champs
    Villanova, Pennsylvania

    7th Final Four (’39, ‘71, ’85, ’09, ’16’18)
    def #15 Delaware 80-60
    #7 Ohio State 71-61
    #11 Michigan 63-55
    #5 Houston 50-44
    Big 12 Conference – Regular Season and Tourney Champs
    Lawrence, Kansas

    16th Final Four (’40’52’53’57, ’71, ’74, 86, ’88’91, ’93, ’02, ’03’08, ‘12, ’18)
    def #16a Texas Southern 83-56
    #9 Creighton 79-72
    #4 Providence 66-61
    #10 Miami of Florida 76-50
    Atlantic Coast Conference – Regular Season Champs
    Durham, North Carolina

    17th Final Four (’63, ‘64, ’66, ’78, ‘86, ’88, ’89, ‘90’91, ‘92, ‘94’99, ‘01, ’04, ‘10’15)
    def #15 Cal State Fullerton 78-61
    #7 Michigan State 85-76
    #3 Texas Tech 78-73
    #4 Arkansas 78-69
    Atlantic Coast Conference (2nd Place)
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    21st Final Four (’46, ‘57, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’72, ’77’81’82, ’91, ’93, ’95, ’97, ’98, ’00, ’05, ’08, ’09’16, ‘17)
    def #9 Marquette 95-63
    #1 Baylor 93-86 (OT)
    #4 UCLA 73-66
    #15 Saint Peter’s 69-49

    Friday, April 1, 2022 **NO APRIL FOOL’S JOKE HERE**


    THE ELITE TAKE OVER THE FINAL FOUR
    At least $1,366 will be donated to IRC; over $3,097 donated over 12 years

    Nothing to see in the West

    WATCHING USMNT GET DRAWN INTO ENGLAND’S GROUP, CA (smt) – While it was nice to see some fresh blood in the Final Four the past two years (Baylor & Houston’s 1st trip since before ’85, the Zags 2nd, blue-blood UCLA’s first since ’08 last year and Texas Tech & Auburn’s 1st ever, Virginia’s 3rd (and first since ’84), Michigan St’s first since ’15 in ’19), three blue bloods are back with three-time champion Villanova tagging along.  Combined, the four teams have 61 Final Fours (the previous 2 tourneys had only a combined 41 with 19 of them belonging to UCLA).  While not a blue blood in the traditional sense, Villanova has won 2 of the past 5 titles and are in their 3rd FF in six tourneys.  The top-heavy Final Four makes you forget about St. Peter’s, Providence, Miami, Iowa St and even Gonzaga and Arizona.  Remember them?  Remember the West Coast power?  Nope, it’s Kansas and three teams who you can barely see on the map on the East Coast.

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  • Star Studded Final Four

    Posted on April 1st, 2022 - 12:13 am Scott No comments

    61 Final Fours. 17 Championships. Not the Final Four many envisioned (in our pool, only Tarheel Blue Balls got all four) but what a great group and you feel like any of them, including #8 North Carolina could win the title. So what if the college teams put stars over their logos like world soccer teams do? UNC leads with 6, followed by Duke with 5 and Kansas and Villanova with 3 each. So none as crazy as Boca Juniors’ star-filled logo. Though UNC has one more title than the LA Galaxy.

  • Issue # 10.4.2 “In the End, Blue Bloods Advance” (3/27)

    Posted on March 27th, 2022 - 11:22 pm Scott No comments

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    FAMILIAR TEAMS KANSAS AND UNC IN FINAL FOUR
    Mia Culpa lead cut to 4 as Tarheel Blue Balls Gets All 4 Teams; 18 still alive

    Gator-fetti (or Powerade)

    PLAYING TENNIS WITH MY KIDS IN OUR CUL-DE-SAC, CA (smt) – As the lone #1 seed, MW-Kansas struggled in the first half trailing by 6 at the break (35-29) but came on strong in the second half, outscoring #10MW-Miami (FL) 47-15 to win easily, 76-50.  Kansas shot 50% en route to winning the Midwest Regional for the 13th time.  In the destroyed East Regional, #8E-UNC jumped to a 9-0 lead and never looked back in routing Cinderella #15E-St. Peter’s, 69-49 for their record 21st trip to the Final Four.  Unlike in other sports, playing on a court means that a Gator-fetti bucket was dumped on the players and coaches instead of Gatorade (I guess in this case, the sponsor is Powerade).

    Both underdogs suffered from relentless defense as Miami missed 36 shots but only got 5 offensive rebounds and St. Peter’s missed 42 shots but only got 7 offensive rebounds.  This sets up a first that doesn’t sound like a first, the first tournament match-up between ACC rivals #2W-Duke and UNC.  For two teams that have reached the Final Four a total of 38 times, never have they met.  The other semifinal will be Kansas and #2S-Villanova, a team that has eliminated Kansas in the past two times they met (’18 Final Four and ’16 Elite 8).  In the end, with all the upsets and teams that disappointed, it’s three Blue Bloods (UNC, Kansas, Duke) and one wannabe Blue Blood (Villanova) in the Final Four.

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  • Issue # 8.3.2 “Love Conquers All” (3/25)

    Posted on March 26th, 2022 - 2:37 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    ST PETER’S DOES IT, ACC ROLLS IN
    Mia Culpa lead by 13, clinches at least 4th; 33 still alive

    UNC save nets game-tying 3; Ugly UCLA yellow graphic

    3.5 HOUR LONG DRIVE GOLETA TO HOME, CA (smt) – In the city of brother love, #4E-UCLA had a three-point lead under 2 minutes and UNC clanked a bad shot but a hustle play to save the ball created a UNC three-point opportunity by Caleb Love (who had a jaw-dropping 27 points in the 2nd half – UCLA had 35 total in the 2nd half) to tie and later allowed another offensive rebound that UNC tipped in to go up by 5.  UNC hit their free throws to win 73-66, outscoring the Bruins 12-2 to end the game.  The west coast is toasted, once again.  UCLA played well committing just 6 turnovers but it was two hustle plays that doomed them.  I also blame the telecast using UCLA in ugly yellow background for the scoreline.

    #15E-St Peter’s played well and didn’t panic when #3E-Purdue went up 56-52 and went on a 9-1 run, hit 19/21 free throws, and their defense made Purdue miss their first 10 threes of the 2nd half in winning 67-64.  In a rare one possession game, Purdue actually had a very decent look to tie as the buzzer-beater just missed.  St Peter’s is the first team to win twice as double-digit underdogs and becomes the first 13/14/15/16 seed to make the Elite 8.

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  • Issue # 1.0.1 “Back to Normal?” (3/13)

    Posted on March 13th, 2022 - 11:11 pm Scott No comments

    Archive

    International Rescue Committee - Crisis in Ukraine

    Sunday, March 13, 2022  **HELP support Ukrainian refugees via International Rescue Committee (deadline Tue 4:00 pm PDT **)

    BLUE BLOODS BACK, ZAGS #1 OVERALL AGAIN
    Our 27th pool is as normal as it gets – same fee, same rules, same heartbreak

    NO SCHOOL MASK MANDATE AS OF MARCH 12, CA (smt) – After a year where we didn’t see any blue bloods in the top 8 seeds (with  Duke, Indiana, and Kentucky not even qualifying and only Kansas seeded 7 or better) with the likes of Illinois, Baylor, Houston, Alabama, and Iowa breaking through, this year the blue bloods are out for vengeance with #2W-Duke, #1MW-Kansas, and #2E-Kentucky among the favorites to win it all with #4E-UCLA, #8E-UNC, and #12bE-Indiana also joining the fun.  No longer confined to a single city and partial crowds, the NCAA returns to normal with full capacity crowds across 14 cities and optional masking (though testing before travel is still required).  Just one game (VCU had to forfeit against Oregon) was a no-contest and produced a first-time winner in Baylor.

    #1W-Gonzaga repeated as the #1 overall seed (5th time as a 1 seed, third straight (would’ve been 4 if ’20 wasn’t cancelled)) with S-Arizona (who was ineligible last year due to a self-ban), Kansas, and E-Baylor also netting #1 seeds.  This was only the 2nd time two #1 seeds heralded from the Western USA (’00 with Zona and Stanford) and all four are not in the Eastern Time Zone (btw, Happy Daylight Savings).  The Big 12 got two #1 seeds for the first time since ’03 (OK and TX).  The three local teams were spread across regions with #7-USC in the Midwest and #15-Cal State Fullerton in the West.

    Bubble team #11E-Virginia Tech not only played spoiler denying Coach K a 16th ACC title in his final year but also likely knocked Oklahoma to last out, by winning 13 of its last 15 games, including 4 in 4 days in the ACC tourney.  #12MW-Richmond’s upset of #10W-Davidson today knocked Dayton out of the tourney (who could have played on their home floor in the First Four).  But somehow #11S-Michigan not only snuck in but avoided the First Four.

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  • Issue # 5.2.2 “The Pac 12, Yes, That Pac 12, Dominates” (3/22)

    Posted on March 23rd, 2021 - 1:04 am Scott No comments

    Archive
    THREE TRADITIONAL PAC 12 TEAMS CRUSH OPPONENT
    BamaG jumps to 1st but 6 others have better chance to win the pool

    USC beats Kansas by 34; Game over w/3.8 sec left
    Game over despite 3.8 seconds left

    EL SEGUNDO,CA (smt) – Traditional Pac 10 teams #7W-Oregon, #11E-UCLA, and #6W-USC ran all over their opponents while added Pac 12 team (along with Utah) #5E-Colorado got beat handily by #4E-Florida St.  The Pac 12 got four of its 5 teams in the Sweet 16 while the mighty Big Ten (9 teams before First Four) is just left with #1E-Michigan, who had to turn a 5-point second half deficit into a comfortable victory.  Oregon (finally playing after winning the first round by forfeit) broke a 46-46 tie by scoring the last 10 points of the half and never let up against #2W-Iowa, UCLA scored 18 straight points and led by as many as 26 in their win over #14-Abilene Christian, and in a game you had to see to believe, USC scored the last 11 points of the first half and then built as much as a 35-point lead over Oral Rob…, oh wait, over Norfolk St, oh wait, it was #3W-Kansas.  Kansas who had never lost a tournament game by more than 18, got routed by 34.  It was such a shock, the timekeeper left and didn’t even run down the last 3.8 seconds, leaving it to the refs to call mercy and end the game.

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  • Outta Here!

    Posted on March 16th, 2021 - 4:33 pm Scott No comments

    We got the first COVID-19 casualty but it wasn’t a team (who all reported they were good Saturday night to be selected for the tournament and for the tourney teams, all reported good by the 4 pm PDT deadline today) who will go home, but six referees. So, sorry Louisville who was the first on the waiting list. #6E-BYU also won’t go home as the NCAA will swap the Midwest and East Sweet 16 dates so that BYU won’t have to play on Sunday, as per their religious principles. But first, BYU has to win 2 games this weekend. This will reduce the East rest period to just 4 days which is tenuous since a positive COVID-19 can play havoc on the 7 days of negative testing requirement for contact traced players.

    We have 35 entries thus far (Enter Now!), which is our 4th highest at this point in time (55 in 2017) and we do get one extra day (deadline 9 am PDT Friday, instead of Thursday). It’ll be interesting to see if people modify their picks based on Thursday’s First Four results or who #3W-Kansas or #4W-Virginia, both who withdrew from their conference tournament due to COVID-19, bring to their first game (Virginia won’t fly in until Friday and then quickly need Friday & Saturday negative tests in Indianapolis). Can you imagine if those teams both get a COVID-19 hiccup, that would mean #1W-Gonzaga’s biggest challenge could be just #5W-Creigton in the Sweet 16.

  • Uncontested

    Posted on March 12th, 2021 - 11:01 pm Scott No comments

    ESPN will display “Uncontested” for games won by forfeit, giving us a possible sign of things to come in the tournament if teams can’t field five (yes, just 5) healthy players. Kansas, Virginia, and NC A&T had to withdraw from their conference tournaments due to positive test(s) just as Duke did earlier. The opponent advances (no word on if both teams have to withdraw) to the next round as usual. The First Four starts Thursday (rather than Tuesday) to allow for any positive test to work through its cycle (minimum 7 days of negative testing) which may allow Kansas, et al to field full strength teams by the time they play Friday or Saturday. NC A&T comes from the MEAC (one-bid league typically in the First Four) so despite being ranked #1 in the tournament, they won’t get an at-large bid like Kansas and Virginia. Even worse, with the NIT going from 32 to 16 teams for this year, there is no guarantee NC A&T will get an at-large invite to the tournament (normally they would’ve as regular season champ if they didn’t win the tourney).

    So, write letters to your champion pick to stay safe, follow protocols, and be smart to avoid any chance of a positive test. Because if #1 Gonzaga tests positive next week, the #16 seed will get to play a #11/#12 seed alternate team in their first round game.

  • Issue # 25.4 “25 Years: The Charities”

    Posted on April 17th, 2020 - 11:48 am Scott No comments

    Archive

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

    25 YEARS:  10 DIVERSE CHARITIES
    A total of $325 this year donated to Direct Relief – COVID-19 Fund

    SAFER-AT-HOME, CA (smt)- Well, they cancelled the tournament.  But they can’t cancel our good will.  For the 10th straight year, the HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity asked pool friends to reply back with quick answers to enter this free contest where I would donate $2 per entry to a worthy charity or cause.  This year, due to the extreme times we live in, was coronavirus-related and picked Direct Relief since they had a dedicated COVID-19 fund to donate directly to.  Direct Relief is coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the U.S. and globally to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus.

    1st First Four for Charity Email

    Because there was no tournament, this year the question was “Who would you have picked to win the tournament?” instead of the usual First Four winners and margin of victory.  We did get 20 responses back and although we didn’t hit my stated target goal of 25 entries, I still will add in $25 for a total of $65.  Michael W and a very kind-hearted friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) will separately donate (since there is no pool, no sense for me to be the middle-man to collect funds) and add a combined $260 for a grand total of $325, our second highest donation-ever, after last year’s $460 to the Boys and Girls Club of America.  How did we get here?  Here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on our HWCI NCAA First Four for Charity contest.

    Curse the NCAA and their greed!  In ’11, there were going to be 68 teams (instead of 65) but instead of the worst 8 conferences playing for the four games, it would be just four, and the other four would be the last four at-large berths.  This meant that we went from a “don’t care” for Tuesday (didn’t matter who won #64/#65 Opening Round, every sane person would pick them to lose) to how do we deal with the 2 games featuring at-large teams on Tuesday/Wednesday?  Surely, #11-#13 teams have won before and people could pick them depending which team won.  Do we make them pick these First Four games by Tuesday?  No, not feasible.  We would just allow people to change their picks if they wanted after the First Four games.  Luckily, not many people did so it wasn’t a big logistical nightmare we thought (100 people suddenly changing their picks Wed night/Thu morning).

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  • Issue # 25.2 “25 Years: The Teams”

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

    Archive

    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. 

    Read the rest of this entry »
  • Issue # 12.4.4 “Two 1-Time Champs and Two #1s Battle It Out” (3/30)

    Posted on March 31st, 2018 - 3:47 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    1st ever matchup: LAFC v LA Galaxy

    2018 NCAA FINAL FOUR @ San Antonio, Texas
    [Alamodome]
    First Semifinal Second Semifinal
    #11-South
    Atlanta, GA

    Hosted by Georgia Tech (ACC)
    Phillips Arena
    #3-West
    Los Angeles, CA

    Hosted by Pepperdine U. (WCC)
    Staples Center
    #1-East
    Boston, MA

    Hosted by Boston College (ACC)
    TD Garden
    #1-Midwest
    Omaha, NE

    Hosted by Creighton U. (Big East)
    CenturyLink Center
    Loyola U. Chicago Ramblers U. of Michigan Wolverines Villanova U. Wildcats Kansas U. Jayhawks
    Loyola University Chicago Ramblers (32-5) University of Michigan Wolverines (32-7) Villanova University Wildcats (34-4) Kansas University Jayhawks (31-7)
    Missouri Valley Conference – Champs
    Chicago, Illinois

    2nd Final Four (’63
    )
    1-time champion
    def #6 Miami (Fla) 64-62
    #3 Tennessee 63-62
    #7 Nevada 69-68
    #9 Kansas St. 78-62

    Big Ten Conference – Champs
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

    8th Final Four (’64, ’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
     
    Big East Conference – Champs
    Villanova, Pennsylvania

    6th Final Four (’39, ’71, ’85, ’09, ‘16
    )
    2-time champions
    def #16b Radford 87-61
    #9 Alabama 81-58
    #5 West Virginia 90-78
    #3 Texas Tech 71-59
     
    Big 12 Conference – Champs
    Lawrence, Kansas

    15th Final Four (’40, ‘52, ’53, ’57, ’71, ’74, ’86, ’88, ’91, ’93, 02, ’03, ’08, ’12)
    3-time champions
    def #16 Penn 76-60
    #8 Seton Hall 83-79
    #5 Clemson 80-76
    #2 Duke 85-81 (OT)

    ALL FOUR TEAMS WON THEIR CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT EN ROUTE TO FINAL FOUR
    Five can win pool and 18 are still alive in race to finish

    LEGOLAND IN CARLSBAD, CA (smt)- On the road to San Antonio, all four teams managed to get the automatic bid as their conference tournament champion.  Coincidentally, Loyola-Chicago and Michigan both won their tournaments a week before Selection Sunday and face each other in the first semifinal.  The Big Ten, in an effort to get their tournament at Madison Square Garden, held their tourney a week earlier than usual.  That’s because Madison Square Garden hosts the Big East tournament, which was won by Villanova.  Both Villanova and Kansas won the day before Selection Sunday, earned #1 seeds, and will face each other in the second semifinal.  This left only the SEC with their championship on Selection Sunday (oh yeah, the Pac 12 final was also on Saturday though it’s debatable if they are still one of the Big Five conferences after their poor showing) as more one-bid leagues have the championship on Selection Sunday.

    Both Loyola-Chicago and Michigan faced their expected seeded teams in the first weekend but then faced #7 and #9 seeds in the second weekend.  Both have also won just one championship and are in the midwest United States.  Both Villanova and Kansas have faced their expected seeded teams within one rank (2/3, 4/5, 8/9) and will face each other, the best possible matchup.  Villanova has won all four games in double-digits while Kansas has won their last three games by four points, needing overtime vs. Duke.

    As we look forward to crowning our 22nd different champion in 24 years, 18 entries are still hoping to finish in the top 6.  The difference between 1st and 6th is $545.  No one picked Loyola-Chicago but Read the rest of this entry »