Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Madness Continues...Sweet Sixteen Style

Well, it's been a few days since I've updated the blog and the Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest standings. I've been trying to get reacquainted with my family and also back into my normal work routine (whatever that is for an SID) after 12 days in Florida with our baseball team.

March Madness will pick back up tonight with four games in the Sweet Sixteen as half the field for the Elite Eight will be determined. There are some interesting upset possibilities with No. 12 Cornell looking to try to knock off No. 1 Kentucky and No. 11 Washington trying to figure out No. 2 West Virginia in a pair of David vs. Goliath match-ups although I won't be shocked if either underdog wins. I also think the No. 2 Kansas State-No. 6 Xavier and No. 1 Syracuse-No. 5 Butler games will be good games to watch, too.

So, back to the bracket contest. First, I need to let all of you know that there were three additional entries in the contest to get us up to 53 total. Andrea Cambern, Stacey Deal, and Sara Williams all turned brackets in to me before the start of the tournament, but just didn't get them on the site for one reason or another. Since I was on the road, I didn't have access to them during last week's blogs, but now that I have them in-hand I feel like I need to get them included. Amazingly, all three have had outstanding runs so far.

First, a look at Andrea's paper bracket (below) shows that she tied Kristin Adams for the best first round total with 26 correct picks out of 32 possible. When I asked Andrea (who is a news anchor at CBS affiliate WBNS Channel 10 in Columbus) what her secret was, she told me that she goes with her favorite uniform when making her choice. Not surprisingly, she has her beloved Ohio State Buckeyes going all the way to a national title. She is tied for second place currently with Alex Connell at 440 total points.

Alex, who is currently a youth pastor at High Street Church of the Nazarene in Springfield, Ohio, has managed a successful bracket so far despite as he says "being relatively uninformed" since he doesn't watch all that much college basketball since cheering on the Cougars back in his days at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He's probably too busy planning for a wedding coming up in October. Here's a look at his bracket:

The second of the late arrivals to the contest is Stacey, who had technical difficulties trying to get a bracket submitted. Her bracket, which I've put below, was submitted online to and is available here, but never made it into our specific group for some reason. Stacey, who is one of my close high school friends and works for Graham & Graham law firm in Zanesville, Ohio, is not leading right now, but she has 410 total points and is poised for a big finish as she could have 7 of the 8 Elite Eight teams and still has all of her Final Four teams intact.

Finally, our leader heading into the Sweet Sixteen is Sara (pictured above with me) with 450 total points. I've listed her bracket below. After getting 25 of 32 right in the first round, she successfully went 10-for-16 in the second round. When I asked Sara (who I've dubbed my SID daughter since meeting her in San Antonio last year at CoSIDA) what her secret was, she told me it was to try to not pick with her heart. As the sports information director at Mid-America Christian University, she's a big Oklahoma State fan located right in the midst of Big 12 Conference territory. The one Big 12 team she had going to the Final Four was Kansas, but so did most of us.

And, as I wrap up, yes, my wife is still beating me handily and tied with Sara and several other people to get 10 picks right in the second round. I have already reserved myself to the fact that I'm going to lose to her in our personal contest. And, she's let me know that ever since I got back from my trip. Gotta love the smack talk!

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