Admin Picks

This is our 28th pool and considering February typically has just 28 days and that is my birth month, I am February Fabone (feel free to nitpick my picks).

My 2nd and last entry is in tribute to my Dad, Belucky2, and I even have Kansas winning it all since that is what he picked when he won the pool in 2008.

We set a record with 79 entries on Wednesday (was 76 in 2022) and ended the day with 156 entries, also a record (145 in 2017).

Currently, we have 160 entries so we are still 18 off the record of 178 set in 2017. Good luck to all!

Edit (8:32 AM PDT): And here is Dave’s bracket: The Mighty Mobelfakta (same nickname all 28 years!)

Indiana is not Oral Roberts!

There was a bug where if you clicked INDIANA (vs Kent St) that ORAL ROBERTS (30-4) would show up. Rest assured, INDIANA was still your pick (the confirmation page would show INDIANA) but thanks for pushing through anyway. We now have 34 entries (which is shy of our first day record of 35 last year) and you can always view your bracket here (or the Your Picks button above).

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


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

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.

Continue reading »

Issue # 1.0.1 “The Indy 68”


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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. 

Continue reading »

Issue # 25.1 “25 Years: The Entries”


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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 # 1.0.1 “The Following Takes Place Between 9am Monday and 9am Thursday”


Monday, March 12, 2018  **HELP support World Vision (deadline Tue 3:40 pm PDT )**

For pool # 24, events occur in real time

Seed ListBUTTE, MT/CERRITOS, CA (smt)- S-Virginia steam-rolled in the tough ACC winning the regular season and tournament to get the tournament selection committee’s top #1 overall seed with a 31-2 record.  Two Big East teams (E-Villanova and W-Xavier) and Big 12 champ MW-Kansas got the other three #1s.  This was the second straight year Kansas got a 1 seed despite 7 losses but at least this year they won their conference tournament.  The Cavs led the ACC contingent who got a record-tying 9 teams while the SEC got a record 8 teams (was 6) but none higher than a 3 seed (S-Tennessee).  The Big 12 got 7 of its 10 teams in (with early hopes for 9) and the Big Ten got four, who played their tournament a week early in order to have their games at Madison Square Garden.  That leaves the Pac 12 as the last of the Big 6 conferences and they were treated that way by having their conference & tourney champ Arizona seeded 4th and in the South, two others only getting to the First Four (#11bE-UCLA and #11aMW-Arizona St), and their conference runner-up and tourney finalist USC getting left out entirely despite an RPI of 34 (record for lowest RPI not to make tourney since ’11).  Notre Dame was actually the first out and they can blame #12S-Davidson’s upset Atlantic 10 final win over #7MW-Rhode Island for stealing a spot on Sunday.  A record five teams had 8-10 conference records and made the tourney (Notre Dame was also 8-10 while USC was 12-6) albeit two face each other in the First Four (Arizona St and #11bMW-Syracuse) and #9E-Alabama was comfortably in despite losing a record-tying 15 games (Vandy in ’17).  Five at-large berths were given outside the Big 6 with the American and Atlantic 10 each getting two and the Mountain West getting one.

The selection committee (BTW, why the $%#! was the selection show not on CBS???) seemed to emphasize wins equally throughout the season, which is great except that if you lose 11 of 15 games to end a season including the first game of your conference tournament, sorry, #10MW-Oklahoma, you were not deserving of a bid and should’ve played yourselves out of a spot.  HOWEVER, for these last at-large bids I’m okay for TV reasons to choose a team with a star player like OK’s Trae Young but the committee should just admit that over whatever baloney they tried to convince TNT’s Charles Barkley with.  Quadrant wins were also a factor putting less emphasis on RPI for the first time.  But then again, if you can’t schedule teams in Quadrant 1, how could you ever pick up Quadrant 1 wins, so it seems to benefit the big conferences more.  I really hope Syracuse’s inclusion wasn’t due to all their complaining about missing the tourney last year.

Locally, UCLA snuck into as one of the last four while USC missed the cut after Continue reading »

Record Monday

The online web entry was delayed until Monday morning but that hasn’t stopped people from entering in record numbers.  A total of 26 entries was received today breaking the record of 20 set in 2013 and 2016.  26 also breaks the record of 21 combined for Sunday-Monday.  On the flip side, all 18 people have entered have participated before (so no new players… yet).

Not sure what has prompted the revival but we have some people back after a long hiatus.  Eric P (last participated in 2002), Jake P (2008), Robert E (2009), and Corey S (2011) are hoping 2017 is their triumphant return.

Don’t forget to send a quick email to ncaa<at> with your First Four winners (and margin of victory) and I’ll donate $2/entry.  Deadline is Tuesday 3:40 pm PDT!

Issue # 2.0.2 “Be a Force For Change!”


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

18 hours to go — Deadline is 9 am PDT tomorrow

EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- I hope the first two games of the tournament are no indication of what’s to come as #16Ea-FGCU trounced #16Eb-Fairleigh Dickinson by 30 and #11Sb-Wichita St knocked off #11Sa-Vandy by 20.  Hope for some close matches and some good upsets.  It’s amazing there are multiple ways to watch the game but in a car, it’s not on the radio.  Thank goodness for TuneIn radio so was able to hear the blowouts on my long drive home.

So there was apparently a leak of the bracket thirty or so minutes into a 2-hour long debacle of a Selection Show.  It’s one of many things I’ve been oblivious of the past several months (there was a terrorist attack nearby in San Bernardino?   Star Wars TV spots were airing maybe spoiling the film a little bit?) as work and family schedules ramped up.  But this pool is fun and worth all the work that goes into it.

With 69 entries with 18 hours to go (on graph, Hour 66), we are just slightly off 2014’s (72) and 2015’s (73) paces.  If you look at the historical trends since we’ve been doing this entry form since 2002, you can see the majority of the entries come tonight (you can see that last year, from 3 pm to midnight we got 50 entries (from 73 to 123) — that seems like it will be very hard to duplicate).  And remember, Continue reading »

Issue # 1.0.1 “Catch 22!”


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[Scott's Pool Updates]

Our HWCI Pool is in its 22nd year and keeps on ticking

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- There is no undefeated team like Kentucky last year and in fact, losses are a plenty as the top #1 seed S-Kansas has four losses while MW-Virginia has 7 losses.  With E-North Carolina and W-Oregon with six losses each, the #1 seeds have a combined 23 losses, three more than any previous quartet.  No team in the tourney has less than 4 losses.  Other oddities exist with one particular team, with the 6th-best team odds makers like to win it all, E-Kentucky, getting a 4 seed, Kentucky beating 3W-Texas A&M in SEC final but getting ranked worse, and getting set-up for a possible 2nd round matchup with 5E-Indiana, who they refuse to play in the regular season.  A lot of regular season mid-major champions lost in their tournament leaving some strong contenders such as Monmouth, San Diego St., and St. Mary’s getting skipped over while 11bS-Wichita St and 10S-Temple getting in.  Four conferences (Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, and ACC) got 7 teams in while the Big East (5), ACC (4), SEC (3), and MVC (2) also got multiple bids.

Locally, 8E-USC made the tourney for the first time in five years while a little further away, 15W-CSU Bakersfield made the tourney for the first time, and a little more further away but connected by an ocean (granted, a big one), 13S-Hawai’i made the tourney for the first time since 2002.  And what happened to UCLA?  Getting beat three times by rival USC?  There’s always next year, hopefully with a different coach.

Our HWCI NCAA Pool is our 22nd, which means our pool is a Continue reading »

Web Entry Up! Deadline Thursday 9:15 am PDT

It’s time!  You are invited to join our 22nd HWCI NCAA Pool.  You can enter online via our Web Entry.  The rules are the same as always, entry fee is still $10 per entry (max 3 entries per person).  We believe we have finally streamlined it so that you only have to fill out the form once (no introductory form).  Let us know of any issues at ncaa<at>  Remember, the deadline is 9:15 am PDT Thursday!

Issue # 1.0.1 “Of Legal Age!”


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Monday, March 16, 2015  **HELP Support Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation**

Issue # 1.0.1 “Of Legal Age!”
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Our HWCI Pool is of legal age, as 21st pool commences 

CERRITOS, CA (smt)- Who can stop Kentucky?  The Wildcats completed their perfect regular season (34-0) and claimed the #1 of #1 seeds holding serve in their home state in the Midwest Region.  Incredibly, you can pick the field (any of the other 67 teams) at even money to win the tournament.  The Wildcats beat Wichita St last year, who was also undefeated entering the tournament.  The other #1 seeds were E-Villanova, S-Duke, and W-Wisconsin, who won the Big Ten tournament shutting out #7E-Michigan St in overtime.  Despite not getting a #1 seed, the Big 12 got 7 of their 10 teams in the tournament matching the Big Ten.  The new Big East got six teams in and when joined with the other Power 5 conferences, garnered 29 of 36 at-large bids.  One of the biggest surprises, though great for us local folks, was #11S-UCLA making it not only in the tournament, but not as a bubble last 4 in team.  And one of the more entertaining parts of the slow Selection Show was watching the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look of Chairman Scott Barnes try to explain why UCLA made it and ignoring they are playing #6S-SMU, coached by ex-Bruin coach Larry Brown.  Our very own Anteaters of #13E-UC-Irvine are in their very first tournament (beating my local favorite Hawai’i) and rounding out the last California team, #8S-San Diego St. will travel to Charlotte.

Besides the Bruins, Continue reading »

Catching up

Well, my business review is over and it went well.  Drove almost two hours from Pax River in Maryland back to Tyson’s Corner in Virginia.  Got a very good filet, crab bisque, and very fresh scallops (and I don’t care for scallops).  Then walked about 5 miles in DC in sub-freezing weather.  So now, playing catch-up with the pool.  First of all, sorry to everyone if you’re an Apple fanboy/girl and couldn’t load the java applet to see the bracket but thanks to you for being flexible and taking pictures with your smartphone (yes, even iPhones) and sending it to us.  I think I’ve finally entered the last of them delaying David in posting the standings.  If it’s not up soon, then check tomorrow morning.

So it’s weird that at dinner, only half the games have been completed (here in the EDT).  Or is it weird Continue reading »

Poor Anteaters

Well, UC-Irvine had a chance to make the tourney for the first time but came out short (literally on their late 3-pt attempts).  And the big UC, UCLA lost in the Pac 12 Championship.  San Diego St. may be the only other SoCal team with a chance to make the tourney.  Brackets start to come out at 3 pm PDT (you can add this to your calendar).  We hope to get the online entry done by Monday morning, though in the past we’ve snuck it in before midnight Sunday.  Check often.  Please follow us (@HWCI_Pools) and use #hwcincaa for any tweets and for the latest quick (intra-day) updates.  The initial email has been sent out so if you didn’t get one, please let us know.  Everything is the same as before – $10/entry (up to 3 entries) with a Thursday 9 a.m. PDT deadline.