Sunday, March 20, 2016
Issue # 6.2.2 "Comeback of the Ages"
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CERRITOS, CA (smt)- A whole paragraph for this game! #3W-Texas A&M seemed defeated and #11W-Northern Iowa was hitting their free throws, the last two building the lead to 12 with 44.3 seconds left. Crazy comebacks usually happen because: 1) opponent misses free throws (not true here since UNI didn't even take a free throw in the final 44 seconds), 2) comeback team reigns in threes (not true here since TAM only hit one 3-pointer - amazingly, they only attempted two 3-pointers in the final 44 seconds and the first one was a miss before the 14-2 run), or 3) lots of turnovers. Yup, that was it. Four turnovers leading to 9 points. TAM scored 9 points in 14.4 seconds. There were two intangibles in play: 1) No timeouts (they called their last one before their first turnover) and 2) like a reliable placeholder in football, UNI's inbound guy Matt Bohannon injured his left leg and was on the bench just before the collapse, and by the two inbound turnovers and two inbound passes that put guys in a tough corner, they needed him.
Poor Paul Jesperson, the half-court buzzer-beating hero in the last game. He did not challenge two layups (foul trouble?), challenged one weakly and was called for a foul (3-point play), got the ball in the corner and proceeded to throw the ball away trying to bounce it off the defender (stolen, layup), and then passed the ball to his teammate in the corner who was forced to try to bounce it off the defender (stolen, layup). But the most egregious mistake could be at the end of the first OT, with the game tied and last possession (6 seconds), he inexplicably and unnecessarily tried to re-create his moment with a half-court heave with more than a few seconds left on the clock (so much that TAM had a chance for their own heave before the buzzer). Alas, in the 2nd OT, UNI ran out of steam and TAM completed the greatest comeback in NCAA history.
OK, there were 7 other games, some just as great. Well, #2S-Villanova had an easy time and big 2nd half runs propelled #10MW-Syracuse (21-2), #5S-Maryland (17-2), and #1W-Oregon (18-6) into the Sweet 16. #10W-VCU had their own 2nd half 28-14 run but then Buddy Hield took control for #2W-Oklahoma scoring 19 of their last 22 points to advance. #14E-Stephen F. Austin was poised to reach the Sweet 16 but #6E-Notre Dame's third try in the last seconds was enough as the tip in with 1.5 seconds left gave them the lead they'd hold. And we had a record-tying third buzzer-beater as #2E-Xavier's committed an offensive foul in what should've been the last play of regulation, giving #7E-Wisconsin the ball with 4.7 seconds left. A key timeout at midcourt for a drawn up play was executed to perfection as Bronson Koenig hit his second 3-pointer in the last 13 seconds, a fade-away for the win. Interestingly, all three buzzer-beaters have come with the game tied.
In the pool, The Resistance (who is 23-1 in the first day of a round but 14-10 in the second day) and Bwakewey 1 are tied for first with 86 pts. Bigtenfan (from 20th-Tied to 3rd-T (84)) and Bobby Cee Racer (from 67th-T to 12th-T (80)) went 7-1. Bob's Ball Hogs went 13-3 for the round to go from a tie for 59th place to a tie for 5th (83). DrNaismith (124th-T, 65) and WatchMeDab (143rd-T, 60) went 1-7 today while Team Samurai (132nd-T, 63) went 5-11 for the round. However, Billy Hoyle's Socks is in last with 54 pts.
After 2 rounds, we know which entries still have a chance to finish in the top 6 money spots. Just 31 entries were eliminated and 63 can still win the pool! FireBruceWeber (5th-T) has the best chance at 1st (17.7%) and money (41.6%) with 8 others with a better than 20% at money. Bwakewey 3 is tied for 12th (80) but can't win the pool while Sisyphus13 is tied for 143rd and can win the pool. The Downtown Fiction is tied for 39th (75) but can't win money while Wuk2 is 147th (59) and can still win 3rd. 13 of the 53 who had Michigan St as their champ still have a chance to win the pool.
For the 31 entries who can't win money, they are now eligible for the Bonus. But which ones are still alive for that? We'll find out later this week along with the prize money breakdown.
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Tids & Bits - TAM only had 22 points in the 1st half but 49 in the 2nd and 21 in the 2 OTs... hard to compare but the biggest turnaround previous was a 11-point deficit with 59 seconds left (UNLV > SD St 2005)... the ACC is 12-1 with a record 6 teams in the Sweet 16 while the Pac 12 is 3-6... rooting against Oregon for their neon yellow jerseys (like Baylor)... all four #1 seeds survive for the first time since 2012... everyone averaged 9.1 wins in the round (slightly below 9.2 average)... if you picked all the favorites you'd be tied for 100th with 68 points and just a 3 in 32,768 shot at 6th place... Belucky2 (47th-T, 74) was the only one to pick Syracuse while 19 picked Wisconsin and 23 ND... the day before: 32 picked Indiana and 28 Gonzaga... 13 still have their Final Four intact while 53 only have half... 5 still can get 7 Elite 8 teams in while 8 can only get three... a round of up the First Four will be this week or you can find out who won now...
For the first time in 22 pools, my main entry (Fabone's Catch 22 (94th-T, 69)) is eliminated after the 2nd Round...