“South Carolina is a great place to be from.” – Tim Scott
Bracket = Busted
What a day of games! Even though I spent the better part of the afternoon on a golf course in Florida (no comments, please), the guys and I had our phones at the ready and followed the madness as closely as we could between golf shots. Christopher Deaver’s post on the Facebook page now looks quite prophetic, as chaos certainly has ensued in the second round of this year’s tournament. Consider the following.
- Be ACCin’ Ya! – The vaunted ACC, which started with nine teams in the field, has only one remaining, the #1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels. Both the Pac 12 and the B1G have three teams each.
- Serving Notice On Duke – Duane Notice and the South Carolina Gamecocks make their first ever appearance in the Sweet Sixteen after beating Duke in what amounted to a home game in Greenville. Rumor has it that Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin said after the game, “I only have three rules. Never change the deal. No names. Never open the package.”
- March Madness Deja Vu – In 2014, the undefeated and #1 seeded Wichita State Shockers faced a dubiously #8 seeded second round opponent in the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky ended that Wichita State’s undefeated season when Fred Van Vleet’s three pointer for the win hit back iron. Fast forward to today. I didn’t get to watch this game, but I heard it was just as exciting and as close as the last time. Sadly for the Shockers, the result was the same.
- Missed Opportunity – The Rhode Island Rams missed a golden opportunity to upset Oregon and move on to the Sweet Sixteen. Making their first appearance in the tournament in 18 years, the Rams came up just short in the end after leading most of the second half.
- The Magic Continues – If there’s truly a magical glass slipper in this tournament, it has definitely been sized for Michigan’s feet. In their sixth straight win since sliding off the runway on their way to DC for the Big Ten tournament, Michigan continued its improbable run to the Sweet Sixteen.
- Region by region – The South went according to chalk. The West was marred only by Xavier’s upset of Florida State, the Midwest by Michigan’s upset of Louisville. The East was another story, having both #1 and #2 going out early. Interesting side note: all four #4 seeds advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
Round Two Awards
- For the second year in a row, no one picked more than 14 of the Sweet Sixteen correctly. This year’s winners of the Semi-Sweet 14 award are Tug Taviano and Jason Poling. Tug and Jason will each receive a bag of Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
- The B1G award, given in honor of the Big Ten conference’s inability to count, goes to 14th place contestant Joseph Jenkins. Joseph will receive a really B1G autographed poster of Tom Crean.
- The White Out award goes to Mike White in honor of his dropping from 12th to 421st.
- The I Finally Cracked The Top 100 award goes to lovable loser and 99th place minion, Eusi Fraser, who I believe used his alias this year to beg for anything but last place.
- The What Can Brown Do For You? award goes to long time contestant Sam Bauen, currently in 3rd place.
- The I Love This Awesome Scoring System award goes to Jan “Wild Guess” Schweizer who, despite losing 16 games so far, finds herself in a solid 30th place.
- The I Hate This Stupid Scoring System award goes to Richard Hamm, who despite having a record of 39-9, finds himself in 582nd place.
- The Either You Didn’t Read The Rules Or Your Parents Gave You The Most Unique First Name In The History Of Western Civilization award goes to 512th place minion Shek-O Muschalik.
- The Make That A Strawberry Cheesequake award goes to Jordyn “if I beat my dad I get a blizzard” Glassley, currently in 12th place.
- The Yes, Virginia, Indiana Really Is Famous For Basketball award goes to Carli Hembree, currently tied for 712th. Apparently, not everyone has seen Hoosiers.
- And finally, the Sixteen Candles award goes to contest leader Lazarus Neely. Based on his alias, this probably comes as quite a surprise to Lazarus. The question is, can he keep the lead through the championship game?
The Re-pick Round Has Begun!
Before I close this edition of the commentary, let me remind you that the re-pick round has now officially begun. This is a critical component of Jeff’s March Madness Contest, one that you will ignore at your peril. While it is true that some of you are in a position where no amount of re-picking can win the contest for you, we have certainly had instances in the past where people LOST the contest because they failed to take advantage of the re-picks. Why have re-picks? I’m glad you asked. It is simply to keep people interested and rooting for teams for the remainder of the tournament no matter how good or how poorly they have done so far.
IMPORTANT: Everything you need to know to make your re-picks can be found on the website here. Please read these instructions care – full – ly. I know the process is a tad confusing. That is why I have written such detailed instructions. I wish I could make it simpler, and perhaps some day I will, but for now, please check the instructions, paying particular attention to step #2. Step #2 describes the part of the re-pick process about which I get the most questions every year. Of course you are welcome to email me if you still have questions or can’t figure out what is going on with the re-picks. The deadline to complete your re-picks is 7:00 PM EDT on Thursday.
On that note, it’s time for the Wizard to step back behind the curtain for an 89 hour break. If you have any issues this week with your re-picks, send me email. If you forgot your password, use the “I forgot my password link” available on the page where you enter your password to change your picks. I will see you again Thursday night.
The Wizard of Whiteland