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

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

    Archive

    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

    Archive

    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 # 9.4.1 “Beauty and the Beast” (3/29)

    Posted on March 30th, 2021 - 1:43 am Scott No comments

    Archive
    HOUSTON SURVIVES RALLY, BAYLOR WINS SHOOTOUT
    Pac Attack is now in the lead; just 7 can
    win the pool

    Baylor 38-25 13 minutes in
    Baylor 38, Arkansas 25

    CYPRESS BOY SCOUTS, CA (smt) – #2MW-Houston blew a 17-point lead but then held #12MW-Oregon St. without a field goal until the final seconds to reach their first Final Four since ’84, 67-61.  Houston led 34-17 at the half despite shooting 29% thanks to their defense and offensive rebounding.  They held the Beavers without a field goal (or a point) in the last 4:49 of the first half as well as no field goals for more than 3 minutes after the Beavers incredibly tied it at 55.  Houston missed 42 shots (Oregon St only took 47 shots) but got 19 offensive rebounds and made 11 threes.

    Whereas the first match were clanks everywhere in the first half, the second match was beauty.  The score was already 38-25 just 13 minutes into the game (projected 194 total at end of game) with both teams shooting better than 59%.  Unfortunately, #3S-Arkansas lost their shooting touch late, going more than 8:10 without a field goal (0/12) to allow #1S-Baylor take a 62-58 lead to 74-64 with 1:20 left.  The Bears made their first Final Four since 1950 with the 81-72 victory.

    In the pool, 22 got both teams correct sending Pac Attack to the lead with 105 pts.  Suznana (101), Mr. & Mrs. Dreamboat (100), The Fabone Marathon (99), and Matsuz (98) take up spots 3-6.  License to ILL fell a spot to 2nd (102) but can’t finish higher than 5th.  53 went 0-2 sending Big Luther and Flamingo22 into a tie for last (58).

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  • Issue # 8.3.2 “Bruins & Trojans Joined at the Hip” (3/28)

    Posted on March 28th, 2021 - 11:41 pm Scott No comments

    Archive
    UCLA ROUTS (IN OVERTIME), USC BEATS OREGON
    License to ILL holds on to 3-pt lead while 
    only 12 can win pool

    Ball grazed off long shorts

    RELAXING AT HOME, CA (smt) – The Pac 12 continues to roll on as #11E-UCLA, without its leading scorer who fouled out with 2:27 left in regulation, upset #2E-Alabama in overtime, thanks to the Tide missing 14 of 25 free throws including two with 6 seconds left.  UCLA scored 23 points in overtime after scoring just 25 in the 2nd half.  Alabama trailed 40-29 at the half and made adjustments to roar back to tie it at 40 but then regressed back to long threes and individual efforts again for some reason.  After taking a 58-56 lead, Alabama missed four of their next six free throws, any one make and Bama’s Alex Reese’s near long 3-point buzzer beater (0.4 seconds left) would have been to win instead of a tie.  Or with tighter and shorter shorts.  A big call reversal with 1:54 left that gave the ball back to UCLA after a dribble went off the foot of UCLA but grazed the long shorts of Alabama.  The Bruins will be joined by their cross-town rivals as #6W-USC (10/17 from three-point range) easily won the first battle of Pac 12 teams in the tournament, defeating #7W-Oregon 82-68.

    Meanwhile, #1W-Gonzaga shot 60.7% in the first half to torch #5W-Creigthon and #1E-Michigan stifled #4E-Florida St.  The Pac 12’s three teams (at seeds #6, #11, and #12) ties their record in ’01 (USC, Stanford, Arizona).  The ACC has no teams in the Elite 8 for the first time since ’14.  With the extended break (5 days vs 3-4) plus staying in the same city the whole time (vs flying back home), teams came out sluggish and forced the top seeds to pick it up in the second half.

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  • Issue # 7.3.1 “Ramblers a Pretender, Pac 12 Rolls On” (3/27)

    Posted on March 27th, 2021 - 10:15 pm Scott No comments

    Archive
    LOYOLA CHICAGO CHOKES; ARKANSAS SURVIVES AGAIN
    License to ILL regains lead while Mrs Meghan&Mr Meghan goes 4-0

    Oral Roberts Buzzer Beater Miss

    HOME EASTER EGG HUNT, CA (smt) – #12MW-Oregon St didn’t pay well but used an 11-0 run to end the first half to put away the hapless darlings of #8MW-Loyola Chicago, who did not know how to play as a favorite, rather than the lovable underdog.  There were no adjustments in the second half as the Ramblers just continued to struggle against the zone and shot just 33.3% and missed 7 free throws, seemingly missing a key one every time they had some momentum.  Other favorites had sluggish first halves as well, with #1S-Baylor scoring just 23 points in the first half but used a 14-2 run in the second half to hold off #5S-Villanova and #3S-Arkansas trailing by 12 in the second half to #15S-Oral Roberts before going ahead with 3.1 seconds left and surviving their second straight buzzer-beater attempt. 

    #2MW-Houston broke the zone and a 20-20 tie by scoring the last 10 points of the half and outscored #11MW-Syracuse 21-9 to end the game to advance to the Elite 8, winning by 16.  Houston’s three wins were against double-digit seeds (#15MW-Cleveland St, #10MW-Rutgers) and now will face yet another double-digit seed in #12MW-Oregon St, who wouldn’t be in the tourney if they didn’t win the Pac 12 tournament.

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  • Issue # 6.2.3 “Hello 7th Place, We Missed Ya” (3/26)

    Posted on March 26th, 2021 - 4:21 pm Scott No comments
    Rebel Kicks are an alt-rock/pop band based out of NYC
    Alt-rock band Rebel Kicks

    Archive
    JUST 2ND TIME 7TH PLACE OFFERED
    For Bonus, all but two entries could guess conference wins correct

    Seed total of Sweet 16

    NOT IN EL SEGUNDO,CA (smt) – While the last tournament (’19) saw a record low seed total in the Sweet 16 (four #1, four #2, four #3, two #4, #5, #12) of 49, this year saw a record high seed total of 94 (three #1, two #2, #3, #4, two #5, #6, #7, #8, two #11, #12, #15) (was 89 in ’86).  The four double-digit seeds are not a record (6) but it is nice that we have at least one #1-#8 seed (large-large-large-large straight) in the Sweet 16.  While #1MW-Illinois bit the dust the other three #1 seeds are still chugging along, with #1W-Gonzaga getting #5W-Creighton, and if past that, Pac 12 winner between #6W-USC and #7W-Oregon.  While there were four overtime games in the first 16 games of the tourney (including First Four), there have been none since.  9 of the past 10 have been double-digit wins.  The Big Ten (9 teams before First Four) saw its first three teams bow out in overtime (including #2S-Ohio St to #15S-Oral Roberts, who are in the Sweet 16) and then 5 of 6 lose in the 2nd round.  The Big 12 (7 teams) won its first 5 games and then lost 6 of the next 7.  But the SEC, ACC, and Big East managed to two teams in the Sweet 16.

    While you are taking an extended break (next game isn’t until Saturday!), take a listen to “Fall of the American Dream” (no, it’s not dire like that) from one of the unsigned bands Paul T (Poolraider (121st-T, 58 pts) helps promote (always his 3rd entry, Rebel Kicks (142nd-T, 55)), an alt-rock band from NYC).  Though I prefer the acoustic version.  Our 26th year saw a second-best 165 entries from 101 people.  Of the 101, 20 entered twice and a record 22 entered three times.  But thanks to all, we hit the magic number of 165 entries (I had to look at my own history links page to find out what I had set it to years back) which means we will have a 7th place prize (only other time was in ’17 when we got 178 entries).  We will have eight money spots (top 7 plus Bonus) and we have $1,650 to divvy out. The top prize will be $640, $5 less than last year to accommodate the 7th place prize. The prize distribution is listed below and as always, all fee money goes into prizes. What’s the Bonus? Read on

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  • Issue # 4.2.1 “Sister Jean to Sweet 16” (3/21)

    Posted on March 22nd, 2021 - 12:14 am Scott No comments

    Archive
    3 DOUBLE DIGIT SEEDS + RAMBLERS MAKE SWEET 16
    License to ILL remains in 1st but lost champ Illinois

    Sister Jean

    DREAMING THROUGH AN UPSET, CA (smt)- So this was the morning I was going to sleep in, after working most weekends the past month, to get some good REM sleep.  I mean, #1MW-Illinois was the first game.  So if my phone was buzzing, I didn’t hear it.  Woke up and saw #1MW-Illinois was upset by fellow Illinois-team #8MW-Loyola Chicago.  And not really close at all, never letting the Illini get closer than 7 in the second half.  Sister Jean apparently gave a pre-game speech and magic happened.  The Ramblers were a top 10 team by statistics, which no one believed, and thus made an 8 seed.   They now get #12MW-Oregon St who withheld several rallies by #4MW-Oklahoma St to keep the Pac 12 perfect (6-0, 7-0 including First Four).  Elite 8?  We’ll see.

    Two other double-digits seeds advanced with #11MW-Syracuse nearly blowing a late 9 point lead to beat #3MW-West Virginia (battle of the 900 win coaches) and #15S-Oral Roberts overcoming an 11-point deficit with under 10 minutes left to stun #7S-Florida.  Oral Roberts becomes just the second #15 seed in the Sweet 16 (Florida Gulf Coast ’13).  #10MW-Rutgers nearly joined them but blew a 9-point lead with under 5 minutes left as #2MW-Houston scored the last 7 points of the game (making just one shot, 5 points on free throws) in losing by 3.  Rutgers did the “prevent defense” which took them out of their rhythm, trying to hold the ball before the shot clock ran out, scoring just two points in the final 4:55.

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  • Issue # 3.1.2 “Pac 12 Perfect” (3/20)

    Posted on March 20th, 2021 - 11:59 pm Scott No comments

    Archive
    DIFFERENT OHIO PREVAILS, FIRST UNCONTESTED
    License to ILL is 1 of 3 to go 14-2 to lead pool with 52 points

    #15 ACU upsets #3 Texas

    TORRANCE TAX TIME, CA (smt)- With huge pressure in the final seconds, #13W-Ohio not only hit the front end of the one-and-one, but both free throws twice as those four points were the margin in a 62-58 upset over defending champion #4W-Virginia.  The Cavs, who only flew into Indianapolis yesterday (just in time to take the two COVID-19 tests) led by 7 but were then outscored 14-2.  #14E-Abilene Christian, who was only was eligible for the tourney in ’18 and made it in ’19, forced 23 #3E-Texas turnovers and hit two free throws with two seconds left to prevail 53-52.  Texas was the first Big 12 team to lose (Big 12 went 6-1) had an early second-half 9 point lead but then were outscored 18-4.  While the Big 12 had a blemish, the Pac 12 ended the 1st Round a perfect 5-0 (6-0 if you include the First Four).  #11E-UCLA led wire-to-wire to upset #6E-BYU (I guess the NCAA won’t have to switch Sat/Sun games now), and of course, their 73 points had to be one higher than their cross-town rival #6W-USC, who won easily as well.

    Uncontested or a 2-0 win

    The big news though was that #10W-VCU had to withdraw from the tourney due to multiple positive tests and gave #7W-Oregon a free pass to the 2nd Round.  It gave 128 entries who picked the Ducks a stress-free evening.  Along with the disappointment, VCU does not know how early they can send the players back home to their families yet.

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  • Issue # 2.1.1 “Oral Robs Buckeyes” (3/19)

    Posted on March 19th, 2021 - 10:50 pm Scott No comments

    Archive
    SIX UPSETS, THREE OVERTIMES, MADNESS IS BACK!
    After a long 2-years, pool back with 2nd most entries ever

    15 seed Oral Roberts shocks 2 seed Ohio St

    WORK FROM HOME, CA (smt)- #2S-Ohio St was playing one of the best free-throw shooting teams in #15S-Oral Roberts and that was the difference.  Up by two with a one-and-one, the Buckeyes missed (9/18 for the game) allowing Oral Roberts to tie with a couple of free throws (at the time 9/10) to send the game to overtime.  The Golden Eagles jumped to a six-point and lead and held on as Ohio St had a great open look to tie but missed.  Oral Roberts is just the 9th #15 seed to beat a #2, the first since ’16 when Middle Tenn beat Michigan St.  It was not the only upset as #13S-North Texas beat (essentially) host #4S-Purdue in overtime, #12MW-Oregon St, #9S-Wisconsin, and #11MW-Syracuse breezed to victories over #5MW-Tenn, #8-UNC (giving coach Roy Williams his first 1st Round loss ever (29-1); UNC’s last 1st Round loss was in ’99 (17 in a row)), and #6MW-San Diego St, respectively.  #10MW-Rutgers held on in their first appearance since ’91 (and first win since ’83).

    UNC had won 17 straight 1st Round games

    #7S-Florida blew a late six-point lead, missed 2 free throws to seal the game and had to instead battle and win in overtime.  #3S-Arkansas (though #14S-Colgate did jump to a 33-19 lead but allowed the next 19 points), #1MW-Illinois, #1S-Baylor, #2MW-Houston, and #3MW-West Virginia won easily.  #6S-Texas Tech,  #8MW-Loyola Chicago (welcome back 101-year old Sister Jean!), and #5S-Villanova posted double-digit wins.  #4MW-Oklahoma St held off #13MW-Liberty.

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  • Issue # 1.0.1 “The Indy 68”

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

    Archive

    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 # 25.6 “25 Years: The Prizes”

    Posted on April 23rd, 2020 - 1:12 am Scott No comments

    Archive

    Wednesday, April 22, 2020  **HAPPY 50th EARTH DAY**
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs  | 4-Charities  | 5-Payments ]

    25 YEARS:  $23,650 HAVE BEEN WON BY  88 PEOPLE
    Bob G is all-time earner with $1,120  but Robinson C and Darryn B are only two-time champs

    The Winners

    SAFER-AT-HOME W/REQUIRED FACE COVERING, CA (smt)- While a lot of American citizens will receive up to $1200 from the Federal government (and the rich getting some as well), a good number of us middle class folks won’t, and so we hope to win in the pool (not this year though).  While our largest pot was $1780, what was the largest prize an individual could win?  So here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on the various HWCI NCAA prizes.

    Prize Distribution

    As stated in the last issue, 100% of each entry fee (including ours) goes into prizes.  Always has, always will.  So if there are 100 entries, then there will be $1,000 doled out.  I started doing an update on prizes but started getting into how intricate the payments worked and when I was done, wrote more than 1,900 words, so this was split up (Payments and Prizes).  So we’ve had 2,365 total entries over 25 years which means we have doled out $23,650 ($940.60 avg). 

    While we started off with just 3 prizes in ’95 (1st/2nd/3rd) we have expanded over the years to as many as 8 prizes in ’17 (1st-7th, Bonus).  We added a 4th place prize in ’98 if we got 25 or more entries and Scott H (1 year/1 entry, 1 prize/$20 total winnings) won the first 4th place prize ($20).  We added a $40 Bonus Prize in ’03 and Scott T (25/42, 5/$630) won the first Bonus.  We added a 5th place prize in ’08 if we got 100 or more entries and Jeff H (16/16, 3/$340) won the first 5th place prize ($60).  We added a 6th place prize in ’11 if we got 125 or more entries and Charles D (1 0/28, 1/$60) won the first 4th place prize ($60) with his 2nd entry.   We added a 7th place prize in ’17 if we got 165 or more but have only hit that once (’17).  Alex K (3/4, 1/$60) won the first 7th place prize ($60).

    We never thought the pool would be as big as it today which is why the 5th place prize never really crossed our minds until we hit the magic 100 entry milestone.  So while there were 75 entries in between 4th and 5th (25:100), we quickly added another prize 25 entries later (100:125).  When we jumped 29 entries from 149 to 178, it was so big that another prize seemed warranted, though we were hesitant.  But we decided to add the 7th place prize to get the top 7 prizes back up to over 4% of the total entries (7/165 4.2%).  We may not add an 8th until we hit 200 (8/200 4%) but we shall see.  We have dipped below that 165 entry mark for the last two years.  That “4%” has been keeping an average of 75% of the entries still alive after the first weekend which is good.  We don’t want too few top prize spots that too many entries are eliminated and skip the Sweet 16 but we want some stress and mortality.  We do have outliers such as the upset-heavy ’18 pool where 51.9% of the 156 entries were eliminated (’cause a lot of favorites lost including #1 Virginia losing to #16 UMBC) and the mostly chalk ’09 pool where just 7.0% of the 114 entries were eliminated.

    There have been 136 total prizes won by 96 different entries (88 people).  A quite healthy 24.1% (88/365) of all people have won something which I’m quite proud of because I like spreading the wealth and no one person has dominated.  Each person is allowed to enter up to 3 times.  Scott T has won the most times with 5 prizes ($630) including winning the pool in ’02.  He has submitted 42 total entries over 25 years.  His first entry has won 4 times (25 yrs, 4/$540), tying David F (25/26, 4/$490) for the most wins for an entry.  Including Scott T, a total of 7 people have won on at least two different entries.  Eric F is the only person to win on 3 different entries (1st entry in ’14, 2nd in ’17, and 3rd in ’19; 9/15, 3/$620).  Blakely H (10/28, 2/$315) is the only person to win on his/her 3rd entry twice.  Mike W (4/12, 1/$170) and Ron E (12/28, 1/$320) are the only others to win on his/her 3rd entry.  Dual and triple entries are quite common but no one has won a prize twice in the same year.  Yet.

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  • Issue # 25.5 “25 Years: The Payments”

    Posted on April 18th, 2020 - 10:03 pm Scott No comments

    Archive

    Saturday, April 18, 2020 
    [ 1-Entries | 2-Teams  | 3-Confs  | 4-Charities ]

    25 YEARS:  ONLINE PAYMENTS RULE TODAY
    Cash, check, and even money orders were how we got our money in the beginning

    1995 to 2020 Inflation

    SAFER-AT-HOME W/FACE COVERING, CA (smt)- With unemployment claims at record levels due to the effects of COVID-19, ten dollars is something to save now rather than spend on a really, cool betting pool.   While $10 in 1995 is now worth almost $17 ($16.97) in today’s dollars, our entry fee has never gone up.  Or think of it this way, the entry fee back in 1995 would be less than $6 ($5.90) today.  So you are getting more bang for you buck with each passing year.  What has been going up is the number of entries, and thus, the challenge of collecting all that money.  I the beginning there was just cash which would be handed to Andy F or David F and we had just 12 people to worry about in ’95.  But with 111 people like last year?  How do we do that?  So here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time on the various HWCI NCAA payments.

    Unlike a lot of other paid tournament pools out there, there is no administrative fee, free entry by the admins, or kickbacks taken by David or I, despite the vast number of hours working on the pool (and David funding to run the server our pool is run on).  100% of each entry fee (including ours) goes into prizes.  Always has, always will.  Like I said in the previous issue, any tips or “extra” people try to sneak in as “thanks”, I put right into the First Four for Charity donation.

    So if there are 100 entries, then there will be $1,000 doled out.  Now, every year, there are always stragglers and regulars that pay late or sometimes miss (when I get too lazy to remind again), but I always cover so there will be $1,000 to give out regardless if I’ve collected it all by the end of the tournament.  Most of these are my dear longtime friends who I think I’ll see soon to collect but family and work get in the way.  A lot have given up and gone the online payment or check way but there are a few I’ll have to remind at the next BBQ. 

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