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March Madness (MMS) WBC 2017 Report   
Updated March 11, 2018 Icon Key
48 Players Doug Galullo 2017 Status 2018 Status History/Laurels
  2017 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.

Gallulo Wins First Title Over Former Champ, Newcomers Spring Upsets in Every Round

Back when the BPA used to sponsor WAM, Winter Activation Meeting, in the snowy months, we used to run a ‘Midnight March Madness’ which was a big favorite with the card-driven strategy game crowd. You could have easily thought that the first heat of MMS at WBC this year was actually another one of those strategy card-driven affairs, with the crowd that showed up.

Paul Gaberson, Owen Kyrollos, Bob Hamel, Marvin Birnbaum, and Bruce Monnin all won their opening games. But you could argue that it was that old card shark, Bill Edwards, who made the most impact early on, as he dismissed Terry Coleman’s Kansas 71 team and Jeff Mullet’s IU 53 squad like bad coups in a game of Twilight Struggle.

The entire Lewis clan showed up and Danny upheld the family honor, winning a couple of rounds before falling to Dave Stiffler. Meanwhile, Bob Hamel showed that playing in the online MMS event is a good way to keep off the rust, as he beat Anthony Daw, Paul, Owen and Jon Lockwood on his way to the regional final.

The other side of the bracket led to a collision course between Bruce Reiff and Doug Gallulo. Doug hadn’t played more than a round or two of MMS in years, so he was as surprised as anyone to find himself in the heat semis. Then it was Bruce’s turn to be surprised, as Doug used a Fast Break to build an early 15 point lead, and never looked back. To prove his success wasn’t a fluke, Doug then beat Bob to make his first Final Four.

If the first heat resembled a card-driven strategy game, the second heat was like a Civil War game reunion. Steve Razsewski, Huston Johnson, Nicole Reiff, and Johnny Wilson all won. While Johnny wasn’t able to repeat his Final Four run of a few years back, he did make it all the way to the quarters. Derek Landel went a round further to the semis, where he lost to Steve, whose defense shut down pretty much every team he played.

The regional final pitted Steve’s stout defense versus Nicole’s terrific offense, which left former online champs Aran Warszawski and Bruce Monnin sitting on the sidelines. But this time, Steve’s defense was good enough to outscore Nicole’s guards, and Steve made it into his first Final Four.

The final two heats were again on Friday and while not attended quite as well as last year, they still brought in some new players. Both father and daughter Reiff started out well, but fell in the middle rounds. Bruce in particular may have been afflicted with the Top Seed curse, no #1 seed has won the event for several years now, a trend that shows no sign of abating any time soon.

Other of the Old Guard, however, did fare well. Don Greenwood showed that he does occasionally remember how to play his own game, winning a couple of rounds. And Stuart Tucker used his expertise in crafting March Madness teams to select Louisville 2013, although he didn’t replicate the real-life success of that team. When all of the overtime games, last-minute free throws, and desperate defenses were done, Dennis Nicholson had made yet another Final Four.

The final heat had a number of new players. Bruce Chavez rode his top-seeded Louisville team all the way to the heat final. Jeff Mullet made it to the semis with yet another Louisville squad, and Pete Staab, Roger Taylor and Wes Lewis had impressive wins as well. But it was newcomer Laura Rice, who had just learned the game in this year’s demo, who created the biggest stir of the tournament, making it all the way to the semis, beating Jeff and former champ Bruce Monnin along the way. Her dice finally came up cold against Terry, who then beat Brooks to make the Final Four.

In the championship rounds, Doug used the Run & Gun to finally solve Steve’s stingy defense, while Terry avenged his Final Four loss last year to Dennis in a relatively low-scoring affair. Terry was seeking his fifth title, which would have tied him with Bruce Reiff, and early on, his chances looked good. But his Loyola Chicago squad got into foul trouble, and Doug mounted a comeback to lead by 5 at the half. When yet another foul was about to affect his top scorer, Terry was forced to use his final timeout. So, when the last position was resolved, Doug had a timeout, which he was able to use, and pull out a well-deserved victory.

Doug’s win makes for the 8th different winner in the past 10 years. That speaks to the balance of the teams, the two finalists were both 20th seeds in their respective heats, but also to the growing talent of the field overall. As always, March Madness is not only a favorite of mine to play, but a real treat to run. I look forward to our congenial competition each year, and I hope to see you all again next year. My congratulations to everyone who pulled an unbelievable upset, had a thrilling game decided on the last die roll, or even to those who came to the demo and learned the game. We’re still going strong and we’ll be back with some new teams for next year. See you then. In the meantime, have a great year.

2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Terry Coleman Steven Raszewski Dennis Nicholson Bob Hamel Brooks Chavez
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Looks likethey are all having a good time

Don Greenwood fitting in more gaming than
he has done in years at WBC

This game looks sereious

GM Teerry Coleman getting a chance to play

2017 PBeM Tournament

46 players participated in this year’s fourteenth rendition of the BPA March Madness PBeM tournament. Our twelfth different champion was crowned, as Bob Hamel won his first title in either the PBeM or WBC versions of this event, taking a step up from his Final Four appearance in last year’s PBeM tournament.

Bob survived seven rounds with his seventh seeded Indiana 1953 team, the second consecutive year that a team from the 1950’s took the title.  His average winning score was 82-73, a nine point margin of victory.  Bob had two close calls, both three point wins.  The first was in the second round, a 84-81 victory over Chris Bauch’s Cincinnati 1996.  The other was in the Final Four as Bob survived a 64-61 challenge from Don Greenwood’s Duke 2011.

Runner-up Haim Hochboim’s 42nd seeded Missouri 2009 had a slightly easier run through the tournament even though he was the underdog in every game he played.  After an opening round bye, he won the next five games by an average score of 77-66.  His first game was a three point win over Jeremy Billones’ Arkansas 1994, then he later survived a tight 76-75 result against Paul Risner’s Illinois 2001. A 66-53 win over Mike Pacheco’s San Francisco 1956 in the Final Four brought Haim to the championship game.

The key player in the game was Bob’s A-rated Indiana Center Don Schlundt.  The star of the team came through when it mattered, scoring 35 points while holding Haim’s “C” rated Leo Lyons to only 12 points.

The top six finishers were: 1st – Bob Hamel; 2nd – Haim Hochboim; 3rd – Don Greenwood; 4th – Mike Pacheco; 5th – Bruce Monnin; and 6th – Ken Gutermuth.

 All Tournament First Team:

  • Center – Don Schlundt (Indiana 1953) – A Rating – 7 Games – 26.6 ppg; as true champions do, he had his highest scoring effort in the championship game.
  • Left Forward – DeMare Carroll (Missouri 2009) – B Rating – 6 Games – 15.2 ppg; the lowest scorer on the all-tournament team, DeMare led Missouri to the brink of the title.
  • Right Forward – Kyle Singler (Duke 2011) – C Rating – 6 Games – 15.8 ppg; Kyle had to beat out the younger 2010 version of himself for the award, a somewhat strange accomplishment only possible in the world of fantasy sports.
  • Left Guard – Jim Price (Louisville 1972) – B Rating – 2 Games – 26.5 ppg; though only playing two games, he lit up the scoreboard in his limited opportunities.
  • Right Guard – Bobby Jackson (Minnesota 1997) – C Rating – 4 Games – 19.8 ppg; never scored less than 16 points in his four games.  Not bad for a player of a #45 seeded team.
  • Bench – Ohio State 1960 – C Rating – 4 Games – 17.5 ppg
  • -    Tough choice with UNLV 1977’s A rated bench averaging 31.7 ppg but the voters went with the C bench which was not trying to employ the Run & Gun in every half of every game.
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Haim Hochboim Don Greenwood Mike Pacheco Bruce Monnin Ken Gutermuth
GM  Terry Coleman [14th year]  NA
 terryleecoleman@hotmail.com  NA