Saturday, March 27, 2010
Halfway Down the Road to the Final Four
The first two teams advanced to the Final Four in this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament on Saturday night. No. 5 Butler extended its winning streak to 24 straight games and punch its first ever ticket to the Final Four by holding off No. 2 Kansas State to earn the right to play basically at home in Indianapolis. Then, No. 2 West Virginia held off No. 1 Kentucky to lock up its first trip to the Final Four in 51 years. The final two spots will be filled on Sunday when No. 1 Duke squares off with No. 3 Baylor and No. 5 Michigan State takes on No. 6 Tennessee. Both games should be a lot of fun to watch.
With the Kentucky and Kansas State losses, only five people out of 53 in the Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest have their predicted national champion left. Julie Burke and Michael MacEachern both went with West Virginia, while Mike Schaffer, Toby Boyce, and my wife, Carla, each selected Duke.
Speaking of the bracket contest, Alex Connell (pictured above) has regained the lead in the standings with 720 points despite the fact that he lost his national champion pick when Kansas State went down. In his bracket below, you will see that he picked Baylor to upset Duke on Sunday and West Virginia to advance all the way to the national title game.
Moving into second place with 670 points is my wife, Carla. She is also tied for second place with the most points remaining at 560 with Mike Schaffer and Toby Boyce. Michael MacEachern, the sports information director at Savannah College of Art and Design, has the best chance to win the whole thing as he still has 720 possible points remaining.
Of the 53 people who entered my contest, 35 have now been eliminated from having a shot at the $25 gift card including myself. However, I'm still holding out hope for bragging rights in my own house. For me, it simply comes down to one game tomorrow: Baylor versus Duke. If Baylor can send the final No. 1 seed packing, then I will beat Carla by 10 points. However, if Duke wins, then Carla will make it 11 wins in 18 years in our own personal contest AND she will still have a shot at the overall prize.
On a final note, I have a great opportunity to work at the NCAA women's regional at the University of Dayton on Sunday. Nate Okuley and I are heading down early in the morning and will get to see the machine known as the UCONN women try to extend their record-setting 74-game winning streak against Iowa State and then watch Florida State take on Mississippi State. If you watch the games on the ESPN family of networks, you might just see us working courtside.