There's games tonight. And they're all awesome on paper. Back in the saddle.
For those out of the loop this year, a quick update on the standings (using the possible points metric) of the UMTailgate.com tournament challenge:
Ya man, one dude's got 2 brackets still in the running. Scenarios show he's got about a 25% chance of winning the whole thing. Pretty strong for only being at the sweet sixteen session. Of course, things could change drastically tonight for him...and all of us.
But this is Throwback Thursday, so I thought we should look back and celebrate a little history of the UMTailgate.com tournament challenge. We've been on Pickhoops for 5 years now, and they keep an archive (convenient!). And though our contest here dates back to March of 2001, and I've been hosting one since 1991 (8th grade dudes), I think we'll just stick with the 5-year retrospective, if for no other reason than sheer laziness.
We start back in 2011. Michigan was an 8-seed, an F'n 8-seed at that, but would fall to Duke in the round of 32. 8-seed Butler and 11-seed VCU shocked the world making the Final Four along with 4-seeded Kentucky and 3-seeded UCONN. UCONN would knock off Butler in the Championship game. I have a strong memory of this tourney. Morehead State knocked off my champion pick, Louisville, by 3:30pm on day 1 of the tournament, effectively killing my bracket. But this tourney was so crazy, that if Butler had beat UCONN in the final, I'd have won the whole damn thing anyway.
Seriously, look at those scores. We've got people this year with 48 points already, with possibilities of hitting 100. Nobody did well in 2011.
In 2012, Michigan fell to Ohio in the first round in the 4 vs 13 matchup. Sad early exit. Louisville, Kentucky, OSU, and Kansas would make the final four, and Kentucky would knock off Kansas in the finals.
Back to back top-5s for your's truly. But edged out of the money line by a man with bad tattoos. Damn you Goody.
In 2013... well we all know what happened in 2013. Finally everybody jumped on the bandwagon and picked the Wolverines to win it all. I'd been doing it every year since 1991....every year we made the tournament that is. Michigan, Syracuse, Wichita State, and Louisville in the Final Four. Johns over the Wolverines in the Final.
Goody back in there again? And even more impressive, Dr Dan Grant snags his 2nd victory in 3 seasons..
2014 would see the Wolverines make the regional final and lose to the Kentucky Wildcats, falling a step short of back-to-back Final Fours. Kentucky, Wisconsin, Florida, and UCONN made the final four, with UCONN knocking off the Wildcats in the final.
Ooof. What happened? 68 points wins it all?!?! That's right. Nobody had 7-seed UCONN or 8-seed Kentucky in the final.
Last year's tournament was without our fair Wolverines, so I enthusiastically cheered for Duke in support of my lovely wife (I swear, just ask her)...and especially when they played against Mr. March and friends. Duke, Sparty, Wisconsin, and Kentucky made the Final Four, with Duke knocking off Wisconsin in the Final. And we kept it in the family...
Fun stuff. Some other TBT I'll dig up the rest of the archives. Enjoy the games!