Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet Sixteen is in the Books

The NCAA Tournament continues to march on and the Sweet Sixteen is now in the books after the final four teams advanced to the Elite Eight. St. Mary's and Northern Iowa both saw their Cinderalla runs come to an end with losses to Baylor and Michigan State respectively. Duke downed Purdue in a low-scoring game, and Tennessee used a balanced team attack to sneak by Ohio State, which relied way too heavily on the Evan Turner show to try to get to the next round.

Speaking of the Buckeye game, I'm going to digress for a moment. Yes, I'm a Buckeye fan. It was hard to watch them get out-hustled and out-worked by Tennessee, but I'll give credit where credit is due and say that Tennessee deserved to win that game more than Ohio State did based on those two traits and more importantly better team play. While Evan Turner is a great player and one of the two top candidates for national Player of the Year honors, it takes a team to win a title and last night showed that.

One other comment I would like to make about last night's game is the fact that I really appreciate all the 'congratulatory' texts, tweets, and e-mails on Ohio State's loss. I always find it humorous that people love to rub in the loss of my team despite the fact that their team wasn't even playing in the game or in some cases didn't even qualify for the tournament. I'm not one to talk smack about other teams - I just try to be a fan of my own. I'm always quick to give credit where credit is due (see above for example), and I try not to pile on my friends' misery when one of their teams lose because we'll all be in those shoes more often than not. Oh well, I guess they have to find some way to get their frustration out since their team is no longer playing.

OK, now that I have that off my chest, let's take a quick look at the updated Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest. Sara Williams (pictured above in full character) has regained her 10-point lead over Alex Connell after both of them along with six other people got five of the eight teams correct advancing to the Elite Eight. Sara, whose bracket is below, now has 650 points, while Alex is right behind with 640 points. Mark Colachico is also a close third with 630 points in what is shaping up to be a great race to the finish. Alex has the best chance to win with 880 possible points remaining, while Jay Stancil and Michael MacEachern who are both well back in the standings right now both have 800 possible points remaining and could make a late surge to the title.

We have also reached the point in the contest where we have our first three entrants to be eliminated from title contention based on possible points remaining and their current score. I wanted to give a special shoutout to Nate Okuley, an admissions counselor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and one of my former student workers, Rodney Yoder, an assistant coach for the Mount Vernon Nazarene University women's basketball team, and Rob Oller. a sports writer for the Columbus Dispatch. I wish I had great parting gifts for you, but thank you for your part in making this contest a lot of fun to follow.

Oh, and I almost need to check the leaderboard and compare my point total with that of my wife. That's all I'm saying. Enjoy today's Elite Eight games and see if Gus Johnson gets to call another buzzer beater.

No comments: