D-I College Championships 2021: #TheGame Winners and Breakdown, Presented by Friction Gloves

Who took home the prizes and which picks were most popular?

With the out-of-season College Championships, #TheGame returned, presented by Friction Gloves! Without the constraints of selection, it was all about finding the right winners. Some disappointments and a forfeit threw some wrenches into things, but the popular champions narrowed the other possibilities. Let’s dive in!

Here are the full final standings.

The Winners

The winning score came down to tiebreakers, as both Thomas O and Brendan S tied with 710 points. Yanni finished in third with 650 points.

All three lineups had some things in common. First off, they featured the team to have: Georgia men’s. Jojah delivered 230 points, almost 100 more than any other and 170 point over the expected value had everything gone to seed. They were a must for the top of the leaderboard. All three also had both of the Chapel Hill champs. Even with the reduce emphasis on winning the championship, 135 points tied them for the second highest scoring teams.

Thomas O went to a pair of Atlantic Coast teams at the no.9 seed for the rest of their points. Virginia women’s brought 120 points, doubling up their expected point value. At just 2.6% selection rate, UVA was a huge differentiator from the field. NC State men’s 90 points also exceeded the expected 60, but at 21.5% selection rate, NC State was a chalky pick.

Brendan S also went with NC State, but matched Thomas’ Virginia pick with UC Davis women’s, who also scored 120 points. No other women’s team beat their expected value by more, and only the Georgia men exceeded their 80 point jump. At 13.1%, Davis was a mid-tier pick.

And so it came to tiebreakers. Because of inconsistent stat-keeping, we moved our original first tiebreaker to the third tiebreaker slot, with the hopes we wouldn’t have to use it. That made this the question: “How many total points will the losing semifinals teams in both divisions score in the semifinal round?” Thomas chose 44 while Brendan picked 45, nearly taking us to another tiebreaker! The right answer was 40, so Thomas very narrowly took the win.

Yanni’s picks did not include as high of a scorer as Virginia or UC Davis, instead getting 90 points from Texas women’s, a very respectable total that still beat expectation. In the men’s division, rather than NC State, they took Cal Poly SLO, who actually missed expectation by 20 points, even with a quality 60 points scored.

Thomas O wins a pair of Friction Gloves, an Ultiworld Greatest Bag, additional Friction merch, and a free month of Full Subscription from Ultiworld.

Brendan S wins a pair of Friction Gloves and a free month of Full Subscription from Ultiworld.

Yanni wins a free month of Full Subscription from Ultiworld.

Selection Stats

Top 5 Women’s Teams

  1. No.2 North Carolina (60.2%)
  2. No.1 Carleton (39.8%)
  3. No.6 Pittburgh (19.7%)
  4. No.3 UC Santa Barbara (15.4%)
  5. No.14 UC Davis (13.1%)

That’s some winning chalk in the form of North Carolina. If you’re part of the two out of every five entrants who faded the Tar Heels, you were basically done. 60% is a massive chunk, reaching the heights of Dartmouth 2019. It was somewhat surprising to see UC Santa Barbara clock in at third, but no surprise to me to see Pittsburgh and UC Davis as the highest ranked sleepers. I touted both. No.11 Georgia was also a popular sleeper pick at 9.9%, but everything after UNC and Carleton felt pretty close. Only No.5 Colorado and No.8 UC San Diego exceeded 10%.

That means the two teams that most underperformed expected value — Colorado came in 40 points under, while Carleton came in 50 points under — were top six picks.

Top 5 Men’s Teams

  1. No.1 North Carolina (62.4%)
  2. No.2 Colorado (32.8%)
  3. No.5 Pittsburgh (22.6%)
  4. No.6 Carleton (21.9%)
  5. No.9 NC State (21.5%)

This top five separated themselves into three tiers: UNC obviously as the runaway chalk, Colorado as very popular, and the next three are over 5% away from the next tier. It is pretty balanced from there on out. Pittsburgh and Carleton wound up being devastating landmines. But Colorado, as a top seed, was also a trap, missing expectation 10 more points than Pittsburgh.

The valuable Georgia pick that helped our winners was selected by 11.3% of entrants. Fellow semifinalist Michigan had a 15.7% selection rate. No other mean’s teams provided significant value.

The Perfect Lineup

North Carolina men’s, North Carolina women’s, Georgia men’s, Michigan men’s, and either of UC Davis women’s or Virginia women’s would have netted 755 points.

The Tiebreakers

As noted above, we adjusted the first tiebreaker of Kennedy McCarthy’s combined goals and assists to be the third tiebreaker, as stats were loosely kept at Nationals. In addition, the answer to the semifinals losers’ combined goal totals was 40, which was surprisingly low to me with a lot of not close games.

The second tiebreaker — how many goals the Michigan men’s and women’s teams would combine to score in pool and bracket play — wound up at 119 after MagnUM’s impressive run. Because two entrants submitted ridiculous answers in the thousands, the average was absurd, but once those responses are removed, the average guess was 94. Nobody nailed it, but we had quite a few 120s.

McCarthy’s recorded stats were five goals and six assists, totaling eleven points, but you didn’t have to watch much Vermont to know her real total certainly exceeded that.

Feedback Welcome!

Did you play? Did you not play? Why or why not? What rules would be fun to play with? What tweaks can be made?

We want #thegame to be fun and have different strategies be viable without being too complicated for lots of people to enter. You contact me by emailing editor@Ultiworld.com or on Twitter @FullFieldHammer.

  1. Keith Raynor
    Keith Raynor

    Keith Raynor is a Senior Editor and the Business Development Manager at Ultiworld. He co-hosts our Deep Look podcast and does play-by-play and color commentary. He coaches UConn Rise, the college's women's team. You can reach him by email (keith@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@FullFieldHammer).

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