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Archive for the ‘Bracket Challenge’ Category

And the winners are …

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 8, 2008

Congratulations to Morgan Knows and CliftonParkNYInterloper, the winners of our inaugural WSU HOOPS Bracket Challenge! Each scored 133 points out of a possible 192, capped off when Kansas won the championship last night.

That’s pretty darn awesome if you ask me, especially since I could only muster 87 points, good for ninth place. But I take solace in the fact that I did beat Jo~Jo, who finished 15th with 75 points.

What doomed me, ultimately, were two things.

First, when I filled out my bracket, I didn’t totally believe what I had pretty much believed all year: That Kansas was the most complete team in the country. They just had too many head-scratching performances for my liking, but in the end, good Kansas was able to overcome bad Kansas for enough of the time to win the championship.

Second, I had spent the better part of the year completely convinced — and telling anyone who would listen — that there was no way Memphis could win a national championship because their free throw shooting would be a problem at some point. Heck, you can tell by looking at my bracket that I was convinced they couldn’t even get deep in the tournament because of it.

Then, the Tigers started making all their free throws, and I was completely convinced that I was totally wrong about them, and heading into last night I was sure they were going to beat Kansas — which appeared to be true for 38 minutes.

Of course, we wouldn’t even be talking about Memphis’ free throw shooting if Kansas hadn’t played lights out for those final two minutes and Mario Chalmers doesn’t hit the miracle shot of his life. (Although, to be fair, the guy is a 46.7 percent 3-point shooter who was able to get square to the basket, so I’m not sure “miracle” is entirely accurate.)

And I guess that’s what bums me out about this morning. That game was incredible, but I feel absolutely awful for Memphis, which had the game in its grasp. Because of that, people are saying the Tigers collapsed. I don’t see it that way. Kansas has showed over and over this year that when it is hitting on all cylinders, it’s easily the best team in the country — just ask North Carolina. And after sputtering for the middle part of the second half, the Jayhawks started clicking once again, and not even the awesome defense of Memphis could withstand the onslaught.

So give credit where credit is due this morning, and resist the urge to use words like “choke” and “collapse.” Even if Memphis could have done more to win the game, Kansas took it.

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Bracket Challenge, semifinal leaderboard

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 6, 2008

Well, just one game to go, and we’ve got a logjam at the top of the leaderboard. Four — four! — brackets currently are tied for first place, and if Memphis wins tomorrow, it will stay that way.

Some interesting things have emerged as we approach the championship. First, it appears most of us had a little bit of Pac-10 bias: 14 (of 23) brackets picked UCLA as the champ. Other interesting tidbits:

  • None of us picked both championship participants correctly.
  • Nobody picked Memphis to win the Tournament.
  • Just three people picked Kansas to win it all.

Since so few people picked Kansas and no one picked Memphis, most of the standings are locked in where they are. “Morgan Knows” and “CliftonParkNYInterloper” have a chance to tie for first with a Jayhawk win, while “WSU HOOPS” (not my bracket — I wish!) would jump all the way from 11th to third.

The rest of us are pretty well stuck, which isn’t all bad, at least for me. After a truly pitiful start, I’ve made a comeback to respectability by being a model of consistency: I scored 16 points in every round but the first to ascend to eighth place. Weird.

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Bracket Challenge, Round 4 leaderboard

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 2, 2008

Hey everybody! Sorry for not getting the updated standings up at the conclusion of the action on Sunday, but I’ve been vacationing for Spring Break, the reason things have been quiet on the site.

Our “vacation” basically just consists spending a couple of days at a hotel in Seattle with my wife, which might not seem like much of a vacation to most of you, but trust me, when you have a 13-month-old son and you haven’t had a true weekend alone since he was born … well, let’s just say this has been a welcome respite.

We’ll have some more stuff this weekend — I am positively jacked for this Final Four — and we’ll start looking forward soon. The beginning of the regular letter of intent period is right around the corner (April 16), and the word on the street (read: Internet) is that we could be adding two more to this recruiting class.

A couple of names being floated are Paul McCoy, a top 100 point guard out of Oregon, and DeAngelo Casto, a rangy big man. Both would fit apparent immediate needs for this team, especially Casto. But I don’t pretend to have any inside info — I’m just regurgitating what I see, so hang tight until those letters actually come in.

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Bracket Challenge, Round 3 leaderboard

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 29, 2008

Sorry I didn’t get an update of this posted on Thursday night — kinda just didn’t feel like it, if you know what I mean.

We have a new leader with 50 percent of the rounds completed, and it’s “CliftonParkNYInterloper,” as all of the Taylor Rochestie brackets apparently took the same turn Rochestie’s jumper did.

The good news is, of course, that while I’m in 19th place right now, only two brackets have the potential to score more points than mine if I win out. In fact, if I get the final seven games right, I think I win.

Look out, here I come!

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Bracket Challenge, Day 4 leaderboard

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 24, 2008

One full weekend in the books, and I’m getting my butt kicked! Apparently, all you have to do to perform well in this thing is to have some association with Taylor Rochestie — “Taylor Rochestie’s Scholarship” continues to dominate all of us, and in a close second behind him is “The #10 jersey,” which I’m going to assume is not homage to Sir Alex.

That second place entry, by the way, belongs to my little brother. He is enjoying the fact that he is absolutely smoking me so far. Trust me.

Anyway, find the updated standings here, or by clicking the Bracket Challenge link at the top of the page.

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Bracket Challenge, Day 3 leaderboard

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 23, 2008

The updated standings are up for the Bracket Challenge. “Tony Rochestie’s Scholarship” is running away with this thing right now. Tony’s only missed a two Sweet Sixteen’s and has lost none of his Elite Eight. That’s pretty good, says the guy who’s lost three Elite Eight teams already. And since he has the Cougs in the Final Four, I won’t be sad if he continues to dominate us all.

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Bracket Challenge, Day 2 leaderboard

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 22, 2008

I’ve updated the Bracket Challenge standings — sorry it’s so late. Three teams neck-and-neck for first, while I had a little bit of a comeback yesterday thanks to some upsets.

Think Duke losing right now might have an impact on some brackets? It won’t on our leader — “Taylor Rochestie’s Scholarship” is in prime shape. That guy picked West Virginia to knock off Duke. Well done.

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Bracket Challenge, Day 1 leaderboard

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 20, 2008

We’re posting the standings on the Bracket Challenge page — I’m trying to update it after each session — but I thought I’d throw out some big props to Tony, whose bracket, “Taylor Rochestie’s Scholarship” was the only one to have 15 of 16 games picked correctly.

Wondering how we’re doing? Jo~Jo and I are sitting in a tie for next to last with just 11 points, although he’s in a little better shape than I am since two of my Sweet Sixteeners and one Elite Eighter already are gone.

Longball’s bringing up the rear with 10 points, but he’s lost just one second-round winner.

Posted in Bracket Challenge, NCAA Tournament | 1 Comment »

Join the Bracket Challenge now!

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 18, 2008

OK, so maybe that’s a little forceful, but there are just 10 people signed up for the WSU HOOPS Bracket Challenge, and I know we’ve got more readers than that. So, don’t delay — sign up today! (I feel like such a good English teacher when I use a couplet.)

I’ve added a page link at the top of the site for all the information, and that’s where we’ll post standings when we get that far, too.

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Are you smarter than me? Then prove it!

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 17, 2008

Tourney Challenge

Think I’m not the expert Jim Moore thinks I am? Think you can beat my bracket?

Then join the WSU HOOPS bracket challenge (sponsored by no one).

There will be no fabulous prizes, unless you count the opportunity to show up the authors and readers of this site a prize in and of itself. (Remember, I’m a teacher.) The good news for you, of course, is that I usually stink at filling out my bracket, so it shouldn’t be too tough for you to make me look dumb.

To join us, here’s what you do.

  1. Click on this link.
  2. Log in. If you don’t have a Yahoo! account, create one.
  3. Name and fill out your bracket.
  4. Bask in your glory as other group members’ brackets go up in flames.

It’s that simple. I did it last year on my other blog, and it went fairly well. The brackets close just before tipoff of the first game on Thursday, so do your bracket ASAP and don’t miss out on your opportunity to show off a little. I’ll post standings throughout each day of the Tournament.

Posted in Bracket Challenge, NCAA Tournament | Tagged: | 4 Comments »