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[ First weekend done. Contest update ]
2007-03-18 18:42
by Bob Timmermann

48 games done in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and I know that I sure can't win my own contest! I sit in a seven-way tie for 85th, along with league commissioner bhsportsguy. The two of us need to get together and employ more Jack Molinas-like tactics.

The leader is still Monterey Chris with 55 points with Suffering Bruin hot on his tail one point back. Three people are three points off the lead. The next round of games are worth four points each.

Monterey Chris tabbed 14 of the Sweet 16. However, one miss was a team in the Elite Eight (Washington State) and the other was a national runnerup guess in Wisconsin. So, it's going to be hard for him to keep the lead.

Suffering Bruin tabbed 14 of the Sweet 16 as well. His two misses were teams he picked to win one more game (Texas and Wisconsin), but he's got his Final Four intact. This puts him in a spot, as professional gamblers like to say, where he's more likely to win.

It looks pretty likely that the contest will come down to the championship game barring a team like Butler or UNLV making it to the final. North Carolina seems to have very little support from the leaders. Ohio State and Florida are the more popular choices. If either of them go down before the Final Four, the contest will really open up.

Thursday's games will be from the West and South.

In San Jose, #1 Kansas plays #4 Southern Illinois at 4:10 pm PT with #2 UCLA playing #3 Pitt afterwards.

In San Anonio, #2 Memphis plays #3 Texas A&M at 4:27 pm PT (check your watch to make it sure it truly starts at 27 minutes past the hour) and #1 Ohio State plays #5 Tennessee after.

The Sweet Sixteen features:
3 SEC teams - Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee
3 Pac-10 teams - UCLA, Oregon, USC
2 Big 12 teams - Kansas, Texas A&M
2 Big East teams - Georgetown, Pittsburgh
1 ACC team - North Carolina
1 Conference USA team - Memphis
1 Horizon team - Butler
1 Mountain West team - UNLV
1 Big 10 team - Ohio State
1 Missouri Valley team - Southern Illinois

California and Tennessee are the only states represented by more than one school.

There are just three private schools left: Georgetown (the only one with a religious affiliation), USC, Butler, and Vanderbilt.

UCLA and North Carolina both have played in the Final Four 16 times, although the NCAA only credits UCLA with 15 appearances as the 1980 trip was vacated.

Kansas has 12 Final Four trips, Ohio State has nine, Georgetown and UNLV have four, Florida has three, Memphis has two (both as Memphis State) as does USC, Oregon and Pittsburgh have one Final Four appearance each.

It is possible that there could be four first-time Final Four participants. I believe that has not happened since 1959 when Cal, West Virginia, Louisville, and Cincinnati all made their Final Four debuts. I could be wrong about this.

2007-03-18 19:33:15
1.   Daniel Zappala
If my wife was in the Yahoo Griddle pool, she'd be tied for first.
2007-03-18 20:19:54
2.   Suffering Bruin
And I would be hot on her tail as well.

Wait a minute...

But seriously folks, I would gladly lose this contest for a UCLA champeenship. And now, back to planning... (sigh)

2007-03-18 20:30:10
3.   saltcreek
2.I would gladly lose as well for a UCLA/USC championship.
2007-03-18 20:37:06
4.   Bob Timmermann
According to my calculations, saltcreek could win, but he would need USC to beat North Carolina.
2007-03-18 20:41:57
5.   Trojan Ron
Well, at least I took the Trojans this time ... to get to the Sweet 16!

Floyd [new spokesperson for nicotine gum?] figured out a way to cut the head off of the Longhorns by keeping Augustin frustrated.

I especially enjoyed watching Vitale on two Sportscenters today: the first time reciting the last names of The Trojans from the box score as if he was following the team -- oh, after first lamenting how the ACC only got one team into the Sweet 16 while the Pac-10 has three ("Amazing," said Vitale) -- and then the second time, in picking UNC to win Friday's game, saying, "Southern Cal [hey, Dick, do you call your country a ... never mind.] has great athletes [whose names you I still don't know, clearly.] but I love the inside-outside game of the Tar Heels."

(I suppose I could chop up that long sentence into several small ones ...)

2007-03-18 20:43:19
6.   Steve
I don't understand how D4P's two favorite shows can be Lifetime TV movies and UFC, and yet still find time to criticize his fellow posters for their television choices.
2007-03-18 20:57:54
7.   Trojan Ron
4 Fun with "Scenario Generator" on the Yahoo brackets site --

SB and I -- that's Bruin and Trojan -- have virtually the same remaining picks up until the finals. According to Scenario Generator, I'd be 1 point ahead of him heading into the Championship game, if all those picks hold up. Oh, and Oregon defeats UNLV.

So one of us could still win.

Otherwise, someone else wins.

(This is the only scenario that I ran - obviously different Final Four teams will get different results.)

2007-03-18 21:29:56
8.   bhsportsguy
Only Florida, UCLA, Memphis and Georgetown repeated into the Sweet 16 from 2006.
2007-03-18 21:46:04
9.   D4P
I don't understand how D4P's two favorite shows can be Lifetime TV movies and UFC, and yet still find time to criticize his fellow posters for their television choices

I'm very efficient.

2007-03-18 22:17:34
10.   Andrew Shimmin
Psycho is bullish on Repko's being healed in time for opening day. Said he was running in the outfield. Did not say whether said running reminded him of a puppy, but maybe that was implicit.
2007-03-18 22:18:16
11.   Andrew Shimmin
I did it again. Sorry.
2007-03-19 06:35:11
12.   Penarol1916
Vanderbilt is also a private university, isn't it?
2007-03-19 07:12:59
13.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks Buster!
2007-03-19 07:30:02
14.   Sam DC
And if we're nitting, you need a not in the final paragraph.

Yes, I read that far.

2007-03-19 07:53:20
15.   Monterey Chris
And for the third day in a row, I have appeared in The Griddle's post. Life is almost too good to believe.

I have a feeling that my streak is about to end.

2007-03-19 08:16:42
16.   Bob Timmermann
It ends Monday.
2007-03-19 09:43:33
17.   ToyCannon
Just got back from Vegas. Using Steve as my muse I made a few bets on UNLV and everyone came through. At the Hilton Sports Book there were more Wisconsin fans then UNLV fans which I found odd. At one point when a UNLV player went down the Wisconsin supporters started chanting "Shoot him like a horse". For some reason I could picture Greg Brock in that group. It made the UNLV victory even sweeter. I had hoped my UNLV pick over the Badgers would propel me to victory here but alas I noticed that SB is kicking my butt and we have the exact same final four so I guess my hope for Griddle fame has been extinguished. Nice showing by the Pac 10 and I thought the USC game was the most impressive game of the tournament. That just sets them up for a stinker on Friday.
2007-03-19 10:25:16
18.   Bob Timmermann
ToyCannon has Florida beating Georgetown in the final while Suffering Bruin has Florida beating Ohio State, so I think you could make a run for the top.
2007-03-19 10:27:14
19.   Bob Timmermann
Double checking the ye olde scenario generator, ToyCannon can indeed win.
2007-03-19 11:31:51
20.   Daniel Zappala
I cannot win, but I can get second place. I just need a final 4 of Oregon, Kansas, USC, and Ohio State, with a number of other specific scenarios as well.
2007-03-19 11:48:33
21.   Bob Timmermann
As someone said to Queen Victoria when she asked which yacht finished second to "America" in the initial race (around the Isle of Wight) for what became the America's Cup,

"Madam, there is no second place."

2007-03-19 12:47:22
22.   Linkmeister
Why was the 1980 UCLA Final Four trip vacated?

There was some gnashing of teeth out here when WSU lost. When I happened to see the end of regulation in the OSU-Xavier game I thought that poor kid who missed the free throw would probably regret it for the rest of his life. I'll bet I'm right.

2007-03-19 13:44:20
23.   Bob Timmermann
Two words: Sam Gilbert
2007-03-19 16:20:25
24.   Greg Brock
17 Gee, thanks.

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