march madness   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending 2014 GM commitment

Marvin Birnbaum, NY

2013 Champion

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
2009     Terry Coleman     43
2010     Bruce Reiff     49
2011    Marvin Birnbaum     54
2012    Tom Browne     46
2013    Marvin Birnbaum     51

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
2010     Dennis Nicholson     42
2011    Bob Menzel     44
2012    Bruce Monnin     46
2013    Derek Landel     49


 Rank Name                From Last  Sum
  1. Bruce Monnin          OH   12  142
  2. Terry Coleman         CA   13  111
  3. Ken Gutermuth         TX   13  104
  4. Marvin Birnbaum       NY   13  100
  5. Dennis Nicholson      NY   13   93
  6. Derek Landel          NY   13   92
  7. John Coussis          IL   08   79
  8. Harry Flawd           PA   13   70
  9. Peter Staab           PA   09   66
 10. Bruce Reiff           OH   10   64
 11. Sean McCulloch        OH   12   52
 12. Jeremy Billones       VA   13   52
 13. Debbie Gutermuth      TX   12   39
 14. Jeff Martin           CT   08   39
 15. Bob Menzel            VT   11   38
 16. Jim Gutt              TX   08   36
 17. Tom Browne            PA   12   34
 18. Aran Warszawski       is   09   30
 19. Jim Bell              MD   06   30
 20. Bruno Passacantando   CT   09   27
 21. Chris Bauch           LA   12   26
 22. Peter Stein           OH   13   25
 23. Roger Taylor          VA   13   33
 24. Jeff Finkeldey        OH   12   21
 25. Steve Caler           PA   13   18
 26. Bill Edwards          VA   12   18
 27. Marshall Collins      CT   09   18
 28. Gene Gibson           MD   06   18
 29. Paul Risner           TN   05   18
 30. Michael Destro        NJ   01   18
 31. Mark Yoshikawa        CA   10   15
 32. Carrie Lewis          DE   07   15
 33. John Ellmann          MD   05   15
 34. Debbie Bell           MD   11   14
 35. Daniel Leader         MA   11   14
 36. David Anderson        PA   07   13
 37. Dave Denton           NY   10   12
 38. Alan Heath            MD   08   12
 39. Gordon Elgart         CA   03   12
 40. Keith Hunsinger       OH   08   10
 41. Robert Rund           MA   12    9
 42. Kaarin Engelmann      it   11    9
 43. Stuart Tucker         MD   99    8
 44. Sarah Bauch           TX   13    6
 45. Paul Gaberson         PA   12    6
 46. Nicole Reiff          OH   09    6
 47. Ananda Gupta          MD   03    6
 48. Mike Pacheco          CA   11    4
 49. Andy Lewis            MD   06    4
 50. Chris Palermo         NY   99    4
 51. Bob Hamel             CT   09    3
 52. Bob Jamelli           PA   08    3
 53. Ric Manns             IN   05    3
 54. Don Greenwood         MD   10    2

2013 Laurelists                                                 Repeating Laurelists:

Terry Coleman, CA

Ken Gutermuth, NC

Roger Taylor, VA

Sarah Bauch, TX

Harry Flawd, PA

Past Winners

Bruce Reiff, OH
'92, '97-'99, '10

Terry Coleman, BC
1993-94, 2008-09

Ken Gutermuth, TX
1995, 2003

Jon Diminnie, IN

Bruce Monnin, OH

Dennis Nicholson, NY

Debbie Gutermuth, TX

John Coussis, IL

Marvin Birnbaum, NY
2005, 2011, 2013

Jerome Billones, VA

Derek Landel, NY

Thomas Browne, PA

GM Coleman oversees drafting by Harry Flawd and Jacob Hebner.

Ken Gutermuth is not fooled by Jon Lockwood's Palevda Gambit.

 Ted Drozd opposes the plaque king.

 Mark Yoshikawa gives up golf long enough to play Carrie Lewis.

Two Regional Champs Not enuff for GM ...

After finally shattering the glass ceiling of 50+ attendance two years ago, March Madness essentially missed the bucket at the buzzer in 2012, and was forced to settle for only our fifth-highest attendance ever. But like any great basketball program, we kept our eyes on the prize, worked hard at recruiting, and were rewarded with 51 total players in 2013. Moreover, we achieved this despite missing a number of strong regulars, including former champs Dennis Nicholson and Tom Browne, who were among the missing in 2013.

The first heat featured no less than six Bruins teams, but most of them had a tough time getting out of the gate. Vassili Kyrkos' second-seeded 1973 UCLA were upset by Jon Lockwood's UNLV 1987 squad. All-time MMS champion Bruce Reiff defeated Chris Bauch, whose Louisville Cardinals' internal clocks may have been off, playing so far west. Mr. Plaque, however, would fall to Carrie Lewis, who then added Ken Gutermuth to her list of victims for good measure. Take that, BPA Board! Carrie wasn't done yet though, as Jacob Hebner - Mr 2013 Team Tournament champ himself, discovered when he failed to elicit the same magic that Tom Browne had found in the 2012 champs, the infamous 1977 UNLV team. Carrie's high-flying five would finally meet its match, as Harry Flawd and his defense-minded UConn '09 lads pulled out a close victory. Harry's reward was to face four-time champ, Terry Coleman and his top-seeded UCLA 1975 team in the regional final. Normally, the #1 team makes headlines by losing in the first or second round, but Terry had advaned with wins over Paul Gaberson, Sean McCulloch, and upset king Jon Lockwood. When he pulled out a close victory over Harry in the latest episode of their long-standing rivalry, Terry found himself in the Final Four with a #1 seed. Next thing you know, they'll be telling us the Madden cover curse has been lifted...

In Heat 2, there were a number of upsets, including the usual demise of the top seed, sadly for Ted Drozd and Cincy '61. A number of the higher-ranked squads advanced, however, including the powerhouse Arkansas '94 team, as Bruce Reiff had eyes on his sixth MMS title. Fortunately, the 'other Bruce' showed he can run-and-gun over the board as well as online, as Monnin won easily with Oklahoma 1988, dropping Reiff's high seed from the 2013 contenders. 2009 PBeM champ Aran Warszawski didn't fare quite as well, and later admitted (with a smile) that he prefers digital dice. Mr. Monnin's run was short-lived, as he lost to Jeremy Billones in a matchup of former titleholders. Jeremy was quite pleased with his team, Michigan '13 - one of many teams new to this year's MMS tourney - until he lost to an old standby, Louisville '83, coached by Roger Taylor.

When all the popcorn had been swept away, Roger had played himself into the regional finals. His best win was knocking off Chris Bauch and 1953 Indiana, while withstanding a 30-point onslaught from center Don Schlundt. Who says those old teams can't score? Meanwhile, Terry Coleman had been quietly working his way through the draw, including another win over rival Harry. Roger had a good winning record and the better team, so he was the favorite. An early lead for Roger, however, evaporated as fouls took their toll. Terry now had two teams in the Final Four.

Competition from a variety of Euro and light wargame sources have been eating into the Thursday MMS attendance for years (yes, sports gamers really do play a wide variety of games). And once again, this heat was the least attended, with only 18 hoop coaches on hand. Even so, you couldn't have asked for a more wide-open affair. Two-time champion Marvin Birnbaum moved steadily through the bracket with yet another #1 seed, as the tournament committee tried not to look too smug after years of embarrassment. Long time sports gamer Max Jamelli, newer sports convert Jeff Mullet, and chip off the old block Danny Lewis all did well. But it was a complete newcomer that made the biggest splash. Sarah Bauch - who had been bugging her dad to bring her along for years - finally made her March Madness debut, and busted the bracket all the way to the regional finals. Along the way, she bested Terry Coleman, Max, and Jeff. Although she fell in a close game to Marvin, Sarah served notice that a Final Four berth is likely in her future. Her upstaged dad, Chris, was so excited that he hardly recalled losing in the first round. Then again, maybe that's why he hadn't brought her before.

As usual, the players - 29 in all - returned for the fourth heat, their last chance to make the Final Four. The story was again Roger, who made a run all the way to the heat finals with another of his newfound fave Louisville teams. It looked for a while as if Terry would again join him there, but he lost to Ken Gutermuth in a game decided by the last die roll. It was a very satisfying win for Ken, as it marked the first time he had beaten Terry in six years of MMS. In the regional final, it looked as if Roger's 2013 Cardinals would emulate this year's real-life March Madness success, but Ken's confident play ruled the day, and he moved ever closer to his third title.

Unlike the past few years, the Final Four had no Cinderella. All three coaches were veterans with multiple titles, and all of the games were tense affairs. Ken's momentum from the fourth heat was not enough to stop Marvin, who milked his Arkansas guards for enough points to overcome Ken's balanced scoring. This put Marvin in the title game vs Terry, in a study of contrasts. Marvin had the better backcourt and defense, while Terry could counter with firepower from multiple positions. Marvin led early, but Terry countered late with a Run-and-Gun offense, actually taking a 7-point lead entering the half, and increasing that lead early in the second period. The decisive play occurred midway through the half, when Terry's best player fouled out. Using his timeout - which Terry had saved for just such an occasion - didn't help, as the foul stood, along with a precipitous drop in points scored. Suddenly, it was Terry who was playing catchup, and he was unable to outscore Marvin enough in the closing minutes. Marvin won his second title in the past three years, and joins Terry and Bruce Reiff as the only players who have won three or more MMS over-the-board championships.

My thanks go out, not only to the top finishers, but to everyone, veterans and newcomers alike, for their enthusiasm and feedback. And while I am happy at the excellent attendance again this year, whether or not we break the magic 50+ attendance barrier every year is really not the point. Of all the events I've run at WBC (and AvalonCon before that) over the past several years, I have to admit that MMS is my favorite. This was my 10th year as GM, and I would be perfectly happy to run it for another decade. The camaraderie of this group is great, and the level of play keeps getting better every year. See you at the next WBC.

Chris Bauch and Chad Gormly trade hoops. Chris's daughter, Sarah, at her first WBC, finished fifth.

Harry Flawd's football resume doesn't impress Scott Nerney on the hard court.

 Play By Email 2012-13

The largest ever field of 49 players signed up to contest the ninth annual BPA March Madness PBeM tournament. A new champion was crowned, as Derek Landel earned a March Madness PBeM championship plaque to compliment his 2007 WBC championship.

Derek's 16th seeded Duke 1978 team reached the Final Four with a 23 point win over Kevin Wojtaszczyk's Pittsburgh 2003 in his first game. Next came a 13-point win over Dennis Nicholson's North Carolina 2012, a 9-point victory over Buck Karpowitz's Dayton 1967 and a 9-point triumph over Vassili Kyrkos' Houston 1987 squad. Derek's narrow escape came in a 90-89 win over Steve Caler's Illinois 2005, followed by a 7-point win over Jeremy Billones' Michigan State 1979 to earn his trip to the championship game.

Runner-up Ken Gutermuth's 50th seeded Houston 1982 team was the underdog in every game it played in the tournament. Despite that, he had a fairly easy road to the championship matchup. His first victim was Steve Caler's Stanford 2008 squad, which fell by 14 points. This was followed by a 7-point win over Terry Coleman's NC Charlotte 1977, a 23-point walloping of Max Jamelli's New Mexico State 1970 and a solid 9-point victory over Dennis Nicholson's Jacksonville 1970. A tight 5-point victory over Peter Stein's Utah 1998 sent the underdogs into the championship matchup.

The first half of the Final saw the 50th-seeded Houston Cougars take an early lead. Clyde "The Glide" Drexler was exceptional and was a big part of the quick start that the Cougars enjoyed, netting nine points in the half. Despite the lead, Cougars coach Guy Lewis found himself ejected midway through the 1st half! His game plan stayed in place though, which was to Double Team two of Duke's top three scorers. This worked for the most part as Spanarkel and Banks were limited to just 11 points between them. However, PG John Harrell stepped up for Duke, as he had the entire tournament, and scored 10 points off the Double Teams. When the dust cleared Houston found themselves ahead with a 40-37 lead. The clock had not struck midnight yet on their Cinderella story.

The Cougars kept their foot on the gas early in the second half, increasing the lead to nine points. Finally in desperation mode, Duke coach Bill Foster decided to play some Tight Man To Man to attempt to cut into the Houston lead. Timeouts were then swapped over Jim Spanarkel's pivotal 2nd half performance. In the end, Spanarkel was able to get Duke back to within five. Most importantly, this left both coaches without any more timeouts. Duke's bench took over the game midway through the 2nd half with a 14-3 run claiming the Blue Devils their first lead of the game at 66-60. Houston wasn't done though. Drexler once again stepped up, cutting the Duke lead to 67-65. The final matchup was destined to be Akeem "Not Yet The Dream" Olajuwon vs Mike "GMan" Gminski. The Cougars brought in an offensive ringer for Akeem down the stretch. This made the final roll an A (Landel's GMan) versus a B (Gutermuth's Ringer). With a slim two point lead this one was going to go wherever the final die roll decided. Lady luck shined on Duke again and the GMan ended up outscoring the Ringer 11-4. Duke would be crowned champions on this day with a 78-69 win in a game that was worthy of the big stage it was played on. The MVP of the game was undoubtedly Mike Gminski (22 points).

While Gminski was the star of the championship game, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player is given to champion Duke 1978's left guard Jim Spanarkel. With his B rating, he averaged 21 points per game in the Final Four, including 29 points in the semifinal win over 1978 Michigan State, outscoring Magic Johnson by 11 in his team's 7-point win. Here is the rest of the All-Tournament Team as chosen by a panel of eight of the tournament participants:

All Tournament First Team:
Center: Artis Gilmore (Jacksonville 1970) - A Rating: 5 games - 23.8 ppg
Left Forward: Randy Foye (Villanova 2006) - B Rating: 3 games - 21.0 ppg
Right Forward: Clyde Drexler (Houston 1982) - C Rating: 6 games - 18.2 ppg
Left Guard: Jimmy Collins (New Mexico State 1970) - A Rating: 4 games - 26.3 ppg
Right Guard: D.J. Augustin (Texas 2008) - B Rating : 4 games - 26.0 ppg
Bench: Utah 1998 - B Rating: 5 games - 22.0 ppg

The tournament will be restarted this coming October. Come join us in determining next year's PBeM champion of the BPA March Madness world.

 GM     Terry Coleman [10th year]   NA   925-771-9982

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