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1st Round of March Madness Complete

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wow. That was fast. Real life responsibilities - and sleep because of those real life responsibilities - caused me to not be able to watch more than 2 minutes of any of the games in the first round. As one who thinks this is the greatest event in sports and that the first four days of the madness are the best, this is kind of disappointing. The only exciting thing I was able to see was the last 15 seconds of the double overtime Ohio State loss to Siena. (I woke up* and it was on. The guy hit the three pointer before I could even process what was going on with the game and then in 3.4 seconds it was over and I knew Josiah would be disappointed this morning - as would the rest of Buckeye nation.)

My son, Josiah, joined us in the tournament this year for the first time. He picked a little bit with his heart and choose Ohio State to win it all. (While he is not from Ohio, Mom Mom and Grandpa live in the state of Ohio and he has somehow became an OSU fan as his favorite college sports teams.)

This year Sam Knisely attempts to defend his two-year run as the winner of The Thinking Man's Touney Time. Jon (his brother, perhaps) has signed up to join the rest of us in trying to stop his impressive streak.

After the first round, Josiah is actually in the lead, despite the loss by Ohio State which knocks out his eventual champion and the loss by Illinois, who he also had in the championship game. He does have a perfect West region so far and only missed one game in the East region, but maintaining his lead will be pretty tough unless there are major upsets to ruin everyone else's final four picks as well.

In second place is me :). My best region is the Midwest region where the only game I missed was Ohio State. I think this is a pretty impressive regional backet, considering the fact that my correct picks in that region included picking 13 seed Cleveland State over 4 seed Wake, 12 seed Arizona over Utah (despite many saying Arizona doesn't even belong in the tourney), 11 seed Dayton over 6 seed West Virginia and 10 seed USC over 7 seed Boston College. A region that featured 5 games where the lower seed won and I picked correctly 4 of those upsets and the only game I missed in the whole region was the double overtime loss by OSU.

In third place is Ron Bean. Mr. Bean has picked two perfect regions - the West and the South. Very impressive - someone should get you a Moxie :). Considering the fact that Josiah has lost two of his Final Four picks and I have lost one of mine, my guess is that Mr. Bean is the favorite at this time - here's hoping that someone knocks out North Carolina soon to relieve him of one of his Final Four picks.

New player Jon Knisely is in fourth place with a perfect West region and all four Final Four picks still surviving. Jon also got all four of the 7 vs. 10 games correct - correctly realizing that Texas was the only 7 seed that was going to survive - impressive.

Rounding out the top five is our returning champ, Sam Knisely, who is struggling a little bit. He also picked a perfect West region and still has his Final Four intact, but a rough Midwest bracket has got his score a little down. He may need Michigan State to make it to the Final Four to have a chance.

As I do almost every year, I also added a few "fake" competitors into the mix. For those of you who are in the A Thinking Man's Tourney Challenge and can actually see the standings and brackets of all of the players, "Joe Blow" is a made-up player whose games were picked via random coin flips at with "Heads" as the higher seed and "Tails" as the lower seed. (This mythical person would be in fifth place right now.) "Frank Republican (1)" is simply if all of the higher seeds won every game and "Frank Republican (2)" is if all of the lower seeds won every game. (The "Republican" in the name is because one year I made some mythical picks based on the way the states of the various teams had voted in the previous U.S. Presidential election.)

Here are the standings so far.

1. Josiah 178 points 28 correct picks
2. Frank 161 points 26 correct picks
3. Ron B. 140 points 25 correct picks
4. Jon K. 139 points 25 correct picks
Joe Blow 133 points 18 correct picks
5. Sam K. 123 points 23 correct picks
F. Repub2 118 points 10 correct picks
6. Andy R. 109 points 22 correct picks
7. Andy E. 107 points 21 correct picks
F. Repub1 104 points 22 correct picks
Frank Cheek 83 points 19 correct picks

Rounding out last place is a mysterious competitor listed on your score sheet as "Frank Cheek" - in reality, these are the picks of the President of the United States - Barak Obama, as copied from the website. Considering he is kind of considered a big basketball fan, I thought I would see how he would have done in The Thinking Man's Tourney Time. I am impressed with how our group is doing in comparison. He got clobbered pretty badly in the Midwest region (missing five of the eight games). To be fair, he actually has a prety decent bracket in later rounds (he still has all of his Final Four, all of his Elite Eight, and 14 of his Sweet 16 teams remaining), so he could still do fairly well, but right now he is in last place with less than half as many points as my 12-year old son.

Anyway this is the first round scoring update,


*Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I didn't just "wake up" - my wife woke me up because I was snoring too loudly.


Sam Knisely said...

wow, you've had some great picks in this tourney! did you get a word of knowledge about Cleveland State, or what?
yeah, Jon is my brother. a 3-peat would be sweet, but i really need to beat him
so my hopes are resting on Michigan St. going past Louisville to the Final Four??? oh, no, what was i thinking?

Andy Efting said...

At least I'm doing better than the president. :)