March Madness in August ...
year's tournament began Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM with 21
players competing in the East regional. There were only a few
upsets as the new format eliminated many of the lower seeds due
to the lack of players. Dennis Nicholson won twice with 14th
seed North Carolina 1991, Mike Dwyer won three times with 17th
seeded City College of New York (after taking them with the eighth
pick) and Jeremy Billones made the regional final with sixth
seeded Maryland 1974. In the end, two-time defending champ Terry
Coleman advanced with the fourth-seeded Houston 1983 team.
The second heat started at 9:00 on Friday morning and was
only attended by 16 players. This heat worked beautifully with
seeds 17-32 omitted. The southeast regional included an impressive
upset when Zack Metcalf won with the 16th seeded Arkansas 1995.
John Coussis made the regional final with the eighth seeded Louisville
1980 team, but lost to Dennis Nicholson's second seeded Arkansas
1990 squad. This is the second year in a row that this team made
the final four. It is also the team Bruce Reiff won the championship
with last year. As a result, I am increasing the value in the
rating of an AA bench by 2. This will soon put this kind of team
out of the running.
The third heat started Friday afternoon at 3:00 and was attended
by 25 players. This resulted in the best run of an underdog when
new player Gordon Aiken (who claimed to not understand basketball)
won two games with 26th seed Houston 1984. Also impressive was
a win by Keth Hunsinger with 28th seed Marquette 1977. The best
run was Chris Palermo who took twelfth seeded Indiana '81 to
the regional semi-final. In the end, Bruce Monnin's second seeded
Louisville 1986 defeated Carrie Lewis's top seeded Indiana 1992
The fourth heat started Saturday morning at 9:00 and was the
best attended with 26 players. Several impressive performances
with lower seeds highlighted this round but the win of the tournament
was rookie Jonathon Lockwood defeating four-time, defending champ
Bruce Reiff IN AN UPSET with his 20th seeded UCLA 1964 team.
Although he lost in the next round, this was an impressive rookie
appearance and we hope he returns to see what he can do with
a better team. Harry Flawd won two games with the 23rd seeded
Purdue 1980 team and Stuart Tucker won two games with his 21st
seeded Stanford 1998 team. The most impressive run was Peter
Stein who took the eighth seeded Kentucky 1997 team to the regional
final. Derek Landel advanced with his second seeded UNLV 1991
1994 champion Terry Coleman (right)
ponders a return to the Final Four.
The final four was a strange one. Three of the teams were
second seeds and one was a fourth. This is a good trend as I
try to close the gap between the best and worst teams in the
tournament. Dennis defeated Terry to advance to his second final
in two years where he met Bruce Monnin who had beaten Derek.
Bruce won a decisive victory over perennial final four participant
Dennis. The best records for the tournament were Terry Coleman
5-1 in one heat, Carrie Lewis 6-2 in two heats, Bruce Monin 9-2
in three heats and Peter Stein 9-4 in four heats. Harry Flawd
wins the title of upset king with three upset victories against
no upset defeats. Finally, Harry wins the title of best player
by virtue of his performance with lesser seeds in a close battle
with Bruce Monin.
There are no planned format changes next year and the heats
will probably be at the same times. I will make the aforementioned
adjustment to the ratings for AA benches and will continue to
include Stuart Tucker's new teams to eliminate the highest rated
teams. By the way, only Dennis among the Final Four participants
drafted first. Terry drafted the lowest at seventh.