Thursday, March 24, 2011

Leuthold Memorial Tournament - Sweet Sixteen Preview

The Sweet Sixteen is upon us, leaving us dominant squads like Ohio State and Kansas (or Captain America and Batman as my boy John Gray would say), and surprises like the Richmond duo.

We've definitely had our ups and downs in this tournament this year with many firsts in the bunch. This is the first season the leader has changed everyday during the first two rounds, the first time no person has had the top four in every bracket still remaining and the first time no one has correctly chosen an Upset Special.

It all adds to the excitement, though, I think. And the excitement continues with the final 16. So, here's a breakdown of what could happen in the next two days.

1. The Rich Get Richer: Our current leader, Doug Steiner, could increase his margin from five to more than 30 points if his top teams (OSU, UNC, Kansas, Florida State, Duke, SDSU, Wisconsin and BYU) come home with wins. He's actually set up very well if his picks are accurate because Wisconsin (16), BYU (14), Florida State (11) and SDSU (16) are higher than most others picked them.

2. Go Aztecs: Not only will SDSU winning help Steiner, it could carry Anne Seiler all the way to the title if she hangs around well enough. She picked the Aztecs to take the title, and this round is where she could see herself start climbing the polls. Sitting in the 20's most of the tournament, getting her optimal picks in the next two days could put her in the teens and within striking distance.

3. Beauty of this Tournament: Sometimes, having your top ranked teams win isn't the best way to climb the standings. Andrew Logan could  be the poster child of this in the next two days. If he gets his optimal picks, he might drop 4 or 5 spots into the teens. Meanwhile, if all of his lowest picks get wins, the points might vault him all the way to second place. I say, that's the beauty of this tournament

4. Possible Takeovers: There aren't many threats for the top spot right now, but No. 2 Drew Curth is one. He was the champion two years ago, and there are multiple ways he could take the lead this round. UConn, Florida and Butler wins would go a long way toward making that happen.

5. Going through the Motions: There are a few that are pretty locked into their spots right now. Matt Barnes (16), John Gray (20), Rachel Hoops (21) and Ryan Calhoun (26) won't see much, if any, movement in this round. Not to say they can't move up at some point, but it won't happen now.

That's all for now. I hope you'll come back very late tonight/tomorrow for an update on what's going on and to see if anything I've said is actually playing out.

1 comment:

John Champion Gray said...

Don't forget Thor! I am making my move. Beware. Doug Steiner missed all 4 games Thursday night. That sucks.