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Closest to the Pin Round 22 (Finale): Cincinnati Redux

Update:March 3 (Game Results)With the Cat’s 68-72 loss to Cincinnati, we congratulate five VUHoops readers who took medals in this final round. Gold Medal: Gorms (67-69), earning 5.0 points; Silver Medals: Kait’08 (72-74) and Steph (72-70), earning 3.0 points each; Bronze Medals: Clarkkell (68-65), and Jim89 (69-78) earning 1.0 point each. Our updated leader board and contest winners are provided below.

VUHoops vs. Vegas: Based on the average predicted scores of the VUHoops Crowd and the posted Vegas line, we would have had a PUSH by picking ‘Nova +1.5 points (WIN) and the Over (WIN). The details follow. With the PUSH, we finish down $100 for the season.

VU Hoops Vegas Bet Actual Result
Spread ‘Nova -3.0 ‘Nova +1.5 ‘Nova +1.5 ‘Cincy by 4 LOSS
Over 141.0 138.5 Over 140 WIN

Contest Winners

Congratulations to Dom and Scott0220, who finished tied for first place with 17.5 points. Under the rules of the game, the first tie breaker is the number of times the contestants won medals over the course of the season, without regard to type. Dom won five times — LaSalle (Silver), Marquette (Silver), St. John’s (Gold), Notre Dame (Gold) and Connecticut (Silver). Scott0220 won four times — LaSalle (Gold – Bulls-eye), Temple (Bronze), St. Joe’s (Silver), and Pittsburgh (Gold). Under the time breaker, Dom takes the first place prize, a framed original 1974 UPI proof photograph of VUH Hall of Famer, Howard Porter, and Chris Ford accompanied by an extremely rare autograph of Porter with certificate of authenticity. Dom has the option of swapping for the second place prize, an 8×10 autographed photograph of VUH Hall of Famer Scottie Reynolds plus by an 8×10 autographed picture of Villanova Coach, Jay Wright, both with certificates of authenticity. Scott0220 takes the second place prize, but has the option of swapping for the third place prize an 8×10 autographed photograph of VUH Hall of Famer Randy Foye. Congratulations also to Clarkkell, who takes the third place prize, (the Randy Foye autographed photo or whatever is left after Dom and Scott0220 decide whether to exercise their options).

Congratulations to Dom, Scott0220 and Clarkkell and to all of those who earned medals over the course of the contest. Note to the winners: please contact me at to provide your shipping address for delivery of your prizes.

Final Leader Board

Reader Points
Dom 17.5
Scott0220 17.5
Clarkkell 16.5
Jim89 15.5
TK87 15.0
bhank 14.0
FruitLoops 13.0
jtc123 13.0
Kait'08 13.0
marty1029 11.0
Gorms 10.0
Bri'13 9.5
BZ34 9.5
Bill'77 9.0
schitzengigles10 8.5
Bill '62 8.0
Bogg357 7.5
Loser Cruiser 7.0
NovaCat94 6.5
Steph 6.5
barry class of 57 6.0
Top Gere 6.0
Colt 5.0
marc 5.0
DP5 4.5
JDW71 4.5
wildcat07 4.5
Beardog 4.0
Ed'77 4.0
Two in the Pinkston 4.0
chuck st.petersburg 3.5
Stevie V 3.5
FLM'33 3.0
Jimmy 3.0
Justin 3.0
Old School 3.0
Pretty Toney 3.0
regred 3.0
Robertrise 3.0
Southoftheborder 3.0
Bstep011 2.5
Nervous Nelly 2.5
novamsu 2.5
JMac726 1.5
Johnnyb1 1.5
Rick19 1.5
stats 1.5
TimW 1.5
Hardcore fan 1.0
LouBevi 1.0
NovaFlyer 1.0
StatsManOne 1.0
TC 1.0
Jimdribble 0.5

Update March 3 (Game Time) … A total of 20 VUHoops readers posted predictions, with only 4 (20%) picking the Cats to lose. As a group, the readers see ‘Nova winning by a 3.0 points, 72-69, implying an over/under of 141.0. The Vegas odds makers are picking ‘Nova to lose by 1.5 points and set the over/under at 138.5 points, implying a final score of 69-70.

Scatter Plot of Predicted Scores

Window Opening: March 1, 5:00 PM … The window is now open for our readers to post their predicted final scores for Saturday’s game against Cincinnati in the Pavilion (2:00PM, ESPN3) in the 22nd and final round of our Closest to the Pin Contest. Check the post for the Rutgers game for the latest leader board.

Special Note: I will be traveling this week with limited access to the Internet. I will post the game results and contest winners when I return on March 4. Also, the information that follows was written on February 26 prior to my departure and does not reflect the results of Villanova’s game against Rutgers on Thursday nor Cincinnati’s game on Wednesday against Marquette.

Villanova (11-17, 4-12) is unranked in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls but is ranked #94 by The Cats have a RPI of 110, a SOS of 4, and score an average of 71.6 PPG while giving up an average of 71.8 PPG.

Cincinatti (20-9, 10-6) is unranked in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls but is ranked #37 by The Bearcats have an RPI of 72, a SOS of 111, and are scoring an average of 69.8 PPG while giving up an average of 61.3 PPG. The table below sets out their wins and losses since the beginning of the Big East season.

Opponent RPI AP H/A W/L Cincinnati Opponent
Pittsburgh 86 - Away Win 66 63
Notre Dame 39 20 Home Win 71 55
St. John's 123 - Home Loss 55 57
Georgetown 11 9 Away Win 68 64
Villanova 110 - Home Win 82 78
Connecticut 26 - Away Win 70 67
West Virginia 45 - Away Loss 74 77
Syracuse 1 2 Home Loss 53 60
Rutgers 137 - Away Loss 54 61
DePaul 199 - Home Win 74 66
St. John's 123 - Away Win 76 54
Marquette 8 10 Away Loss 78 95
Providence 155 - Home Win 81 66
Seton Hall 44 - Home Win 62 57
Louisville 21 17 Home Win 60 56
South Florida 47 - Away Loss 45 46
Marquette 8 10 Home n.a. n.a. n.a.

Be sure to game preview as well. Good luck!

Special Note: When posting predictions, be sure to:

  • Use a consistent handle / ID so that we can keep an accurate running leader board over the course of the season. Obviously, score predictions posted by anonymous readers cannot be accepted.
  • List your predicted score for Villanova first, followed by the score for the opponent (e.g., Cats 100, Bearcats 75)