Thursday, April 4, 2013

Down to the Final Four

Well, the second week of the NCAA men's basketball tournament provided more drama, upsets, and buzzer beaters as well as new winners and leaders in the fourth annual Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse.

On the first day of the Sweet Sixteen last Thursday, 11 of the 75 people correctly picked two of the eight winners while two of the group's predicted champions went down with losses by Indiana and Miami (Fla.).  The Indiana loss affected the most brackets as 21 of the 75 people in the contest had them winning the whole thing with a good portion of the remaining people having them in the championship game.  Thursday's winner of the Bloomin' Onion courtesy of Outback is Darren Mahan, who vaulted into a tie for the top spot with Nate Okuley in the overall standings.

The second day of the Sweet Sixteen saw another predicted champion go down in Kansas and also saw Nate's run atop the leaderboard finally come to an end.  There were 14 people in our contest who correctly picked three of the eight winners right.  Friday's Bloomin' Onion winner is Jace Wolford, who can use it for fuel when he runs the Boston Marathon in a little over a week, as he moved into a tie for the top spot overall with Ryan Workman, who continues to lurk as a possible winner of the overall grand prize.

Darren Mahan and Jace Wolford
On Saturday, the Elite Eight got under way and only two people out of 75 got even one of the four games picked correctly with George Hartz and Mike Schreiber each picking one winner.  Ohio State got knocked out of the tournament and with the loss there were 16 more contestants who lost their eventual predicted champion.  George took over the top spot in the contest with his one correct pick, so that earned him the coveted Bloomin' Onion for the day.

On Sunday, the Elite Eight wrapped up with six people correctly picking two of the four winners.  My bracket officially went in the dumpster with Duke's loss, but I wasn't the only one as now 33 of the 75 people have officially been eliminated from title contention with no more possible points remaining from their picks.  Eric Smith claimed the Bloomin' Onion for the day as he moved to the top of the leaderboard, but that reign will be short-lived unless Wichita State and Syracuse both win on Saturday as he has no possible points remaining either.  Patrick Neville is just 10 points behind hoping for a Louisville national championship to add a steak dinner to the Bloomin' Onion he already won.

George Hartz and Eric Smith
The action will resume on Saturday when Michigan takes on Syracuse and Wichita State tries to shock Louisville.  Very few people nationally picked this improbable Final Four, but here's hoping for two more close games and then a lot of shining moments in the championship game on Monday.


Brian Vinson said...

In all three brackets I joined, I am close enough to the top to wonder if I could win something but just far enough out to know I won't. :-0

MVNUSID said...

I always heard that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, Brian. ;)