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A Thinking Man's Tourney Time

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Madness is my favorite sporting event of the year. I love the event for the excitement of the actual games and for the great story lines that usually come out each year. It is neat to see the little guys make a run at the big guys and send them home. It is exciting to see players come out of nowhere and have the tournament of their lives. It is cool to have so many games going on at once (at least in the early rounds) - this also allows you to skip out on the ones that are blowouts and watch the more interesting games.

Each year for a number of years, I have completed a bracket and I have run bracket competitions. I am not sure when I started this, but I know I have run bracket competitions but I remember students at HCA and GCCS being involved in bracket competitions and doing the scoring manually before the days of all these nice internet sites that figure out the scoring for you. For the last few years I have hosted a bracket challenge here at A Thinking Man's Thoughts and this year is no exception.

I have not had the opportunity to watch much of the tournament yet, but I have enjoyed the parts that I have had the opportunity to watch. (I have had the opportunity to listen to some and have found Westwood One to be doing a great job with the radio broadcasts of the game.) I happened to be home briefly (I was bringing home a couple of bookcases) on Thursday and was able to see the last minute or so of the Temple v. Penn State game. Even though I was only able to watch about a minute of the game, I saw two incredible plays in just that little time.

With about 17 seconds left, Penn State's Battle put up a three-point shot from well beyond the arc to tie the ball game. It was an incredible shot and I yelled "Wow" to my son. He came in and watched the last seconds of the game with me. If you watched the game, you know that this was not the end of the story. Temple came back with ball and Fernandez had the ball in his hands with the time running out. He pivoted over and over looking for a shot, but was pretty well defended. With one second left, he leaned over to his left and put up an incredible leaning shot that went in to win the game for Temple. Wow! What a play. THAT is why I love March Madness.

Anyway, after the first round of this year's NCAA Tournament, out standings at The Thinking Man's Tourney Time show a couple of Andy's up in the lead. Long-time sufferer Andy Efting has taken the early lead with 127 points, followed closely by Andy Rupert with 121 points.

Ron Bean has a perfect West Region Bracket so far and Jon Knisely has a perfect East Region Bracket. Everyone other than Matt Jury and I have at least all of their Elite 8 teams remaining. Matt was perhaps doing a little more "rooting" than picking since he had Penn State in the Elite 8. I was a little too convinced in the chances for St. John's since they had knocked off some pretty good teams this year.

So, here are a standings and totals after the Round of 64.

1. Andy Efting 127 points
2. Andy Rupert 121 points
3. Frank Sansone 112 points
4. Matt Jury 110 points
5. Jon Knisely 109 points
6. Ron Bean 108 points
7. Don Johnson 107 points
8. Sarah Nething 102 points


Don Johnson said...

Man, how did I get ahead of Sarah? I am sure I'll regain my rightful last place soon!

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Frank Sansone said...


Don't worry. You are back in last place now. :)

This post was written on Saturday reflecting the scores after the round of 64 but before the start of the next round, however I failed to post it when I should have - I had originally wanted to hold it until after the post on preaching had been up for a little bit and then I never got around to putting it up.

Anyway, I will post an update on the results from the Round of 32 after the games are over tonight - and I think you'll be more comfortable in your place in the standings then.


Andy Efting said...

Regarding the Butler/Pitt game, I thought both foul calls were correct. I would have been a heart-breaking game for either team to lose, since both fouls were unnecessary and should have cost their respective teams their games.

In the Arizona/Texas game, I think Texas got fouled on their last second shot attmept under the basket. They should have a chance to hit free throws for the win.

One thing I'll never understand about basketball is how refs decide what is a foul and what is not under the rim. Seems like there is always contact...

It seems like we've had more close games and more upsets this year than any other I can remember in recent years.

My lead was short-lived this year. I don't think I can recover. It was fun while it lasted, though.