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Closest to the Pin Contest Returns Tonight

With the Cat’s 2010-11 season officially kicked- off, it’s once again time to fire-up our Closest to the Pin Contest. Regred is our reigning champion.

Last season, the contest covered the full 30-game regular season, and the fatigue among the contestants became palpable as the season wore on. This year we’ll keep the contest a bit fresher by limiting it to Big Five and Big East regular season games.

At 8PM tonight, we’ll open up the window for VUHoops readers to post their predictions for the Tuesday’s LaSalle game (please don’t leave your predictions on this post!).

Inspired by our VUHoops Basketball Hall of Fame balloting over the summer, we have secured some great prizes for our contest winners. They are certain to be a focal point of any office, man-cave or ladies’ lair (well, maybe not the latter). Here’s what this year’s Closest to the Pin Contest winners will receive:

First Place: An original 1974 UPI proof photograph of VUH Hall of Fame 2010 Inductee and 1971 NCAA Tournament MVP, the late, great Howard Porter, pictured taking his trademark jump shot with future VUH Hall of Famer, Chris Ford, in the foreground. Accompanying the photo is an extremely rare autograph of Porter with accompanying certificate of authenticity. I have been looking for a Howard Porter autograph for three years before finding one this summer, making this a special prize indeed. The photo and autograph will be handsomely framed in wood and glass.

Second Place: An 8×10 autographed photograph of VUH Hall of Fame 2010 Inductee Scottie Reynolds, best known for "The Shot" that propelled Villanova into its first Final Four since 1985, pictured in ‘Nova gear PLUS by an 8×10 autographed picture of future VUH Hall of Fame Coach, Jay Wright, both with certificate of authenticity. "

Third Place: An 8×10 autographed photograph of VUH Hall of Fame 2011 Inductee Randy Foye. Foye led an undersized team in the four-guard offense and is among the all-time Villanova leaders in four statistical categories — 1,966 points (#9 all-time) over 131 games (15.0 ppg; #18 all time), 625 rebounds (#27 all-time), 416 assists (#12 all-time), and 198 steals (#6 all time) and 52 blocks (#17 all-time).

Contest Logistics & Rules

• Readers should use a consistent User Profile (i.e., user name) throughout the contest.

• Approximately 48 hours before game time, we’ll open the window for readers’ predictions.

• The window will close promptly at tip-off

• Readers are allowed only one prediction for each game

• We ask that contestants make a best-efforts attempt to avoid duplicating prior predictions posted by other readers. If we note abuse of this rule, we reserve the right to introduce procedures to identify "dupes" before game time and adjust the reader’s prediction to reflect the closest available score available at the time of discovery of the dupe that preserves the reader’s intended margin of victory.

• There will be three "Closest to the Pin" winners for each game awarded- gold, silver and bronze medals. Winners will be determined without regard to whether the contestant picked the winning team (we don’t want to tempt a Nova fan to improve their chances of winning by voting against the Cats) based on the smallest absolute difference between the predicted scores and the actual scores. For example, for Nova’s 2009 win over Ole Miss (VU 79- OM 67), 2009-10 Champion, Andy ’06, predicted a score of 81-67 and won the gold medal winner with combined absolute difference of 2 points (i.e., [ABS (79-81)] + [ABS (67-67)]. In the case of a tie for any of a gold, silver or bronze category for an individual game, at least one gold, silver and bronze medal will be awarded and duplicate medals will be awarded to each reader in the tie.

• Points will be associated with medals as follows:

- Big Five Games, excluding St. Joe’s, which is a rivalry game (see below): Bulls-eye = 5 points; Gold (non-bulls-eye) =2.5 pts; Silver = 1.5 pts; Bronze = 0.5 pts.

- Big East Games (except Rivalry Games below): Bulls-eye = 10 points; Gold (non-bulls-eye) =5 pts; Silver = 3pts; Bronze = 1pt.

- Rivalry Games (Dec 17 at. St. Joe’s, Jan 11 vs. Syracuse, Feb 5 at Pittsburgh, and Feb 25 at Georgetown): Bulls-eye = 15 points; Gold (non-bulls-eye) =7.5 pts; Silver = 4.5 pts; Bronze = 1.5 pts.

• Points accumulate beginning with the LaSalle game on November 15 and ending with the final regular season game, on March 3, against Cincinnati.

• A leader board will be published after each game.

Winners: The three readers with the most cumulative points will take the first, second and third place prizes. In the event of a tie, the three winners will be determined through predetermined tie breakers. The first tie breaker will be the number of times the contestants won medals over the course of the season, without regard to type. If there is still a tie, the next series of individual tie breakers will be the smallest absolute point difference between the predicted scores and the actual scores of the Feb 5th Pitt game (tie breaker 2), Feb 25th Georgetown game (tie breaker 3), December 17th St. Joe’s game (tie breaker 4), February 5th Syracuse game (tie breaker 5).. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined through a coin flip by Ed ’77.

Prizes: See above. The first place winner has the option of swapping the first place prize for either of the second or third place prizes. The runner-up has the option of taking either remaining prize not selected by the first place winner. The second runner up gets whatever is left!