march madness  

Updated 5/15/2009

2008 WBC Report  

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Terry Coleman, CA

2008 Champion

Offsite Links


Event History
1992    Bruce Reiff      14
1993    Terry Coleman      18
1994    Terry Coleman      37
1995    Ken Gutermuth      46
1996    Jon Diminnie      41
1997    Bruce Reiff      47
1998    Bruce Reiff      44
1999    Bruce Reiff     49
2000    Bruce Monnin     44
2001    Dennis Nicholson     46
2002    Debbie Gutermuth     39
2003    Ken Gutermuth     45
2004    John Coussis     42
2005    Marvin Birnbaum     45
2006    Jeremy Billones     34
2007     Derek Landel     39
2008    Terry Coleman    41

PBeM Event History
2004    Peter Staab      30
2005    Jim Gutt     30
2006     Bruce Monnin     32
2007    Jeffrey Martin     40
2008     Bruce Monnin     38
2009     Aran Warszawski     38

 Rank Name                From Last  Sum
  1. Bruce Monnin          OH   09  112
  2. John Coussis          IL   08   79
  3. Dennis Nicholson      NY   05   70
  4. Derek Landel          NY   09   54
  5. Terry Coleman         CA   08   63
  6. Ken Gutermuth         TX   06   54
  7. Peter Staab           PA   08   54
  8. Harry Flawd           PA   08   45
  9. Bruce Reiff           OH   05   40
 10. Jeff Martin           CT   08   39
 11. Marvin Birnbaum       NY   05   38
 12. Sean McCulloch        OH   07   38
 13. Jim Gutt              TX   08   36
 14. Jeremy Billones       VA   07   32
 15. Aran Warszawski       IS   09   30
 16. Jim Bell              MD   06   30
 17. Debbie Gutermuth      TX   02   30
 18. Bruno Passacantando   CT   09   27
 19. Roger Taylor          VA   04   24
 20. Marshall Collins      CT   09   18
 21. Chris Bauch           LA   08   18
 22  Bob Menzel            MA   08   18
 23. Gene Gibson           MD   06   18
 24. Paul Risner           TN   05   18
 25. Michael Destro        NJ   01   18
 26. Carrie Lewis          DE   07   15
 27. John Ellmann          MD   05   15
 28. David Anderson        PA   07   13
 29. Alan Heath            MD   08   12
 30. Steve Caler           PA   04   12
 31. Gordon Elgart         CA   03   12
 32. Keith Hunsinger       OH   08   10
 33. Mark Yoshikawa        CA   04    9
 34. Stuart Tucker         MD   99    8
 35. Debbie Bell           MD   08    6
 36. Ananda Gupta          MD   03    6
 37. Andy Lewis            MD   06    4
 38. Peter Stein           OH   00    4
 39. Chris Palermo         NY   99    4
 40. Bob Hamel             CT   09    3
 41. Ric Manns             IN   05    3
 42. Bob Jamelli           PA   08    3
 43. Tom Browne            PA   08    2

2008 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists 

Harry Flawd, PA

Keith Hunsinger, OH

John Coussis, IL

Chris Bauch, LA

Tom Browne, PA

Past Winners

Bruce Reiff, OH
'92, '97-'99

Terry Coleman, BC
1993-1994, 2008

Ken Gutermuth, TX
1995, 2003

Jon Diminnie, IN

Bruce Monnin, OH

Dennis Nicholson, NY

Debbie Gutermuth, TX

John Coussis, IL

Marvin Birnbaum, NY

Jerome Billones, VA

Derek Landel, NY

Harry Flawd directs one of his two squads destined to make the Final Four over Bruno Passacantando.

The road to the Final Four runs through Andy Maly for the good Reverend Hunsinger as John Coussis awaits the winner.

The GM Gets His Third Title

March Madness was granted Legacy status a couple of years ago, in recognition of its past success and continued WBC popularity. Since then, attendance has increased slightly each year. 2008 was no exception, as long-absent veterans returned to the fray, along with a few new recruits. The latter is the reason I keep running March Madness as a "B" event each year -- there are a lot of experienced gamers from both the Euro and Wargame camps that want to prove that they can succeed in the sports gaming arena as well. MMS is the perfect vehicle for such an attempt, since it is relatively easy to learn, quick to play, yet rewards strategic thinkers with a nod to the goddess of fate.

In fact, one WBC veteran who only learned MMS a year ago showed that he was ready to play with the big boys (and girls) this year. Tom Browne got off to an amazing start in the first heat, as his San Francisco '56 squad made short work of teams led by John Shaheen, Roger Taylor, and Mike Dwyer to land Tom in the Regional Final. In the other bracket, Jeremy Billones beat Terry Coleman in a matchup of former champs, while Carrie Lewis followed up on her Final Four finish of 2007 with wins over Mark Yoshikawa and Paul Gaberson. But neither Carrie or Jeremy were able to slow down Harry Flawd, who beat not only them, but also Pete Stein, reigning PBeM champion Bruce Monnin, and finally Tom.

While Harry has been a fixture in regional finals, this was his first Final Four berth in many years. Generally, the second heat is the least attended, but Wednesday morning found 20 coaches vying to move through the draw and join Harry in the Final Four. Harry lost in this heat to Roger Taylor, who was himself defeated by Mark Yoshikawa, who had steered his Illinois '05 team to a victory over Marshall Collins in Round 1. The father, Bob Jamelli, fared better, pulling an upset over 2002 champ Dennis Nicholson, while the son, Max Jamelli, lost a hard-fought game vs. Steven Caler's top seeded Cincinnati '61 team. Mike Dwyer, back after a long hiatus, proved himself to be a little less rusty than Don Greenwood. 'Battle Chris' resulted in Bauch holding off LeFevre, while elsewhere, John Coussis, Andy Maly, Terry Coleman and Keith Hunsinger also advanced. Terry's luck ran out in the next round, as Andy Maly took him out on the last position resolved. Steven lasted longer, but fell to a resurgent Mark Yoshikawa. Any thoughts Mark might have had about making it to his second Final Four, however, were short-lived, as he fell to 2004 champ John Coussis in Round 4. Keith Hunsinger, meanwhile, was quietly plowing through the bottom of the bracket, beating defending champ Derek Landel, Chris, and Andy, on his way to a showdown with John Coussis. In the regional final, John's Minnesota '97 team showed balanced scoring and smothering defense in building a 34-18 halftime lead. Keith's Oklahoma State '95 squad refused to buckle, however, and sparked by strong bench play --helped by 14 points from a timely Offensive Specialist card on the left forward -- Keith was able to nip John at the buzzer, 66-65.

Thursday proved nearly as consistent as the previous two heats, with 18 in attendance, and just as hard-fought. Roger Taylor, John Shaheen and David Platnik improved on their earlier heats' results, with David pulling one of the biggest upsets, dismissing four-time champ Bruce Reiff. David proved this was no fluke by beating John to make the third round. Former PBEeM champ Pete Staab beat newcomer Tom Knapp in the first round, only to be stopped by Chris Bauch in Round 2. Chris followed with a win over 2000 champ Ken Gutermuth, which placed him in the regional final. Meanwhile, Terry Coleman and Harry Flawd were winning against veterans like Sean McCulloch and Jeremy Billones, on their way to another collision in the regional semis. The first half was a defensive struggle, as no player on either team could manage more than 10 points. As expected between these two rivals, the game came down to the last die roll, and Terry prevailed, 66-61, to make the Final Four.

When Pete Stein drew the top seed in the final heat, the assembled crowd can be forgiven for wondering if Pete might finally win the March Madness crown that has eluded him since the early days of Avaloncon. Stein started out in fine fashion, by defeating defending champion Landel. Pete then beat Bruno Passacatando, and followed that with another impressive win versus Jon Lockwood. Marshall Collins beat Mike Dwyer, but then fell to Ken Gutermuth in Round 2. Bruce Reiff beat Carrie Lewis, but lost to Ken. Meanwhile, Harry Flawd and his North Carolina '81 team were mowing through the draw with the same efficiency Harry had shown in Heat 1. After Harry knocked off John Coussis, Dave Denton and Ken's 2nd-seeded Louisville '75 team, he faced off against Pete for the last Final Four berth. Pete had played in the championship game in 1993, and it looked as if he might be back this year. But Harry was not to be denied, and with his win over Pete, became only the second player in the history of the event to qualify two teams for the Final Four in the same tournament.

So, our Final Four had no shortage of compelling drama. Keith Hunsinger had lost to Bruce Reiff in the very first Final Four, back in 1992. For Terry Coleman, it was a chance to win his first MMS title in 14 years. For Harry, qualifying two teams twas a remarkable achievement, fitting for a player who had been a fixture in regional finals over more than a decade. But Hunsinger was determined to make his first return to the Final Four in more than a decade be more than a nod to nostalgia. After a rough-and-tumble first half, things looked good, as Keith's Oklahoma State team held a 2-point lead. Both teams were finding ways to score from unlikely places: Harry's unheralded right forward had 14 points at the break. But while Keith's bench continued its solid play, he couldn't get enough scoring to offset Harry's UCLA '73 low post offense, as Bill Walton exploded for 18 points in the second half, and Harry advanced with an 82-76 victory. So, things were simple for Harry: Beat Terry in the semi-final and the title was his. Terry, on the other hand, would have to beat Harry not once, but twice.

The first game, however, was not that close, as Terry's Arkansas '78 team took a 53-27 lead into halftime over the '81 Tar Heels. A 96-71 loser, Harry changed into his UCLA jersey, while Terry got another glass of iced tea, and off they went again. This game featured lots of junk defenses, multiple technicals, and short bursts of scoring, followed by good players on both teams not being able to throw it in the ocean. But the nightcap proved a lot closer than the first game of this doubleheader, 30-28 at the half. As play resumed, Terry was able to score enough with his Arkansas star guard tandem to stay ahead for most of the second period. Although Harry scored well with Walton again (24 points total), foul trouble on his other positions meant that Harry just couldn't keep pace. In the end, Terry had a hard-fought 68-50 win, and his third March Madness title.

As GM of this event for several years, I was encouraged by the increase in attendance again this year. While we didn't have any single heats with 26 or 28 players, we drew from 18-20 for every heat, which is quite healthy, especially considering the wealth of quality competing tournaments these days at WBC. I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone -- not only the Final Four participants, but to all of the players, for their continued camaraderie in this most competitive, and good natured, of WBC events. See you next year.

Although long out of print, this simple and quick basketball game remains a WBC staple.

Harry Flawd's UCLA colors did him no good as he fell to Terry Coleman in the Final.

 Play By Email 2008-09

It took just five days after North Carolina's national championship win for first year player Aran Warszawski to pull off the most dominating Final Four in the six year history of this email tournament event. His Cincinnati 2000 squad won its semi-final game by 51 points, then backed off a little bit to coast to a 50-point 106-56 victory in the championship game over Marshall Collins and his Texas 2006 crew.

The winning team was the #9 seed in its bracket, while the runner-up was a #25 seed. Once again, the teams in the tournament were similar enough in strength to allow any beginning seed to have a chance to compete for the championship.

This was a year for newcomers to show the old hands how things are meant to be done. Runner-up Marshall Collins won his first ever March Madness tournament game at WBC this past summer. Champion Aran Warszawski actually purchased the game at the WBC auction in August and played his first ever game in the first round of this PBeM tournament.

Aran's Cincinnati 2000 team reached the Sweet Sixteen by winning games by an average of 10 points a contest. His next game was his closest, a 80-77 squeaker over John Coussis' Louisville 1975 squad. He followed with a tight 76-71 win over Bruno Passacantando's 1983 version of the Louisville Cardinals before his two lopsided Final Four triumphs.

In the other bracket, Marshall Collins and his 2006 Texas Longhorns survived two separate 2-point victories on his path to the Final Four, where he survived again in a 77-73 win over Derek Landel's 2001 Arizona Wildcats before being the sacrificial lamb in Aran's crowning victory.

Final Four MVP was given to champion Cincinnati 2000's center Kenyon Martin. With his B rating, he led the way with 24 points in the semi-final victory and 25 points in the championship game. Here is the rest of the All Tournament Team:

All Tournament First Team:
Center: Bill Walton (UCLA 1974) -- B Rating -- 20.7 ppg
Left Forward: Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati 1959) -- AA Rating -- 25.5 ppg
Right Forward: Lew Massey (NC Charlotte 1977) -- B Rating -- 25.5 ppg
Left Guard: Darrell Griffith (Louisville 1980) -- A Rating -- 28.0 ppg
Right Guard: Carl Nicks (Indiana State 1979) -- B Rating -- 28.5 ppg
Bench: Auburn 1999-- A Rating -- 28.8 ppg

For the second year in a row, a definite old school flavor to the All Tournament Team. Also for the second straight year, no members of last year's All Tournament Team repeated.

The tournament will be restarted this coming October. Come join us in determining next year's PBeM champion of the BPA March Madness world and see if you can come closer than 50 points to Aran as he defends his title.

 GM     Terry Coleman [5th year]   NA   NA

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