2017 Update I

March Madness 2017 Update I

March 19, 2017

No Repeat! Nova Badgered by Wisconsin

Duke is Out. Gamecocked in South Carolina

The first round was blah for the most part, but the second round was full of shock and suspense. Believe me, believe me, it was worth the watch. The Sweet

Sixteen field is set! Villanova the overall # 1 seed taken out by the yeomen of the Wisconsin Badgers, 65-62. The #8 seed and Big Ten season champs have found their stride and took out the NCAA defending champions. 13% of our Madness participants had the Wildcats to win it all, 47% in the final four. See ya. Looks like the Big Ten is holding its own. With only one team ranked in the season ending top 20 (Wisconsin), Purdue and Michigan join Wisconsin to hold 3 spots in the last 16. The Badgers have been in the tournament for the past 17 years running. Bet you did not know that! Senior Nigel Hayes broke the tie in dramatic fashion and Vitto Brown (the crooning choralist) left his man Kris Jenkins, last year’s hero, on the open wing to save the day , provide timely defensive help, and strip the ball from senior leader Josh Hart, and saved the day. They move on to NYC to battle the Gators of Florida, who went on a 21-0 run to stomp the Virginia Cavaliers in the biggest unexpected rout, 65- 39, a brutal rout, gnawing and vicious until the end. Drain the Swamp. Drain the Swamp. Drain the Swamp (42nd place). On a similarly physical front, (Press) West Virginia, the nation’s takeaway leader, and high octane offense, led by the incomparable Huggy Bear, took out the Irish of Notre Dame, 83-71.When asked how he would celebrate the victory, Coach Huggins said “Go Recruit”.

Led by Caleb SwaniganPurdue fought off Iowa State, 80-76. In other action in what appeared to be a sleeper got intense with Northwestern rallying from a 22 point deficit, and later, with 5 minutes left ,when with the ball and an apparent basket to trim the lead to 3, Gonzaga’s Zach Collins went through the basket to reject the shot. No call. Technical on the NW coach after his tirade. Game over, boo. Ridiculous. 79-73 Zags. Next up, West Virginia in San Jose. Xavier who earlier lost their star and were given little chance to win any games, buried Florida State at the end, 91-66. They will face Arizona who advanced past St. Marys. Meanwhile, Butler riding their recent tournament heritage and experience, ended Middle Tennessee’s outstanding season, 74-65. The tenacious Wichita State Shockers played to the end against the blue chippers of Kentucky, but fell 65-62. Kansas made easy work of it, beak- peppering the Spartans of Michigan State, 90-70. In a thriller, a bogus non-charge call, non-travel call in the last minute of the game, combined with an inexplicable offensive drought by the Hogs (no points) in the final three and a half minutes allowed North Carolina to escape the Razor’s Edge and beat Arkansas, 72-65. Oregon, led by Tyler Dorsey with 27 points held off Rhode Island, 75-72. Not sure whom was more impressive. Oregon moving on, or Rhode Island in their #11 seed debut. Great

game down to the end. Worth watching. Unfortunately the USC Trojan train broke down late. In a gutty performance, the last minute was kind to Baylor who made the plays and won the game in another thriller 82-78. My two favorites (USC and Michigan) are down to one. In late night action Sunday, South Carolina shot 20% from the field in the first half, but kept it close, then erupted for 70% in the second half in scoring, and took down the mighty Duke Blue Devils, 88-81. Duke who pundits felt should have been a #1 seed, couldn’t handle the #7 Gamecocks tonight. SinDarius (what a name) Thornwell, said by Coach K yesterday to be the best player in the country (SEC player of the year) led South Carolina to an improbable 88-81 victory to send the Devils back to whatever culdesac of Tobacco Road they came from. First NCAA tournament appearance since 2004 and first Sweet Sixteen appearance. In the nightcap, Cincinnati who beat UCLA many decades ago to win it all, without the great Big O (Oscar Robertson for you youngsters) fell in a valiant effort to Bruins, running out of gas, losing 79-67. 3 of 4 Pac-10 teams survive, as UCLA mounted a tremendous

second half effort.

The first week of the madness is now in the books! What a ride so far. Madness Central has been busy. Emails are up, questions and answers abound, and the late nights have been nothing but head shaking. You learn a few things really late at night, about people, and about life. Some good, some bad. But overall the irony of it all and what we take is not important, but what we give! However, can y’all just read the directions? Immigration is in better hands now, but can we “edge-ee- cate” the people better? Oh my, ignorance should simply be bliss!. Enough rambling and on to more jovial matters. Speaking of late night, so interesting to see those late entries come in. Literally yes, with my own eyes. I just get the feeling that as the deadline neared, some of you were thinking, “Come on man, just one more time, one more entry. I know this is the one. I finally figured it out..” Oh my, the desperation! Or perhaps it is just addictive excitement to know this time you got the winner! “But maybe I should have taken Arizona. Ok, just one more entry!” Hey that’s all great. I love it. Too funny.

The jury is still out on PayPal. I will say on the good side, many of the usual slackers I had to send the dogs out for have already paid. I know, it’s also easy for many of you and that’s a good thing. But on the down side, they take a fee for every transaction, like 4% juice, whether you win or lose. Bogus. And on a more serious note, I don’t want to lose out on our charity money. It was always nice to get that check in the mail with the extra amounts most all of you give. And thanks to those of you who are still doing that as well as to the ones who donated extra money to the WCCF website. Hey Susan, where do we stand? Get back to work!! And NO people, that was not intended to be your entry donation! Did you skip fourth grade reading? So. We will see what next year brings. Also, who put da Kools out on ma flo? I mean which of you characters sent in PayPal money labeled MSTI (4 entries) and March Madness Pool (3 entries)? Email me if this was you. jpmorganmd@aol.com

Many great entry names this year but we have a couple winners. Indiana is not in the NCAA tournament. How bad have things become in Bloomington? Crean IS GONE and Tillmania’s more explicit entry name was a bit R-rated but it took a lot of thought. You’ll have to look that one up. I had to chuckle over the witching hour,

Wednesday night/Thursday morning, when very tired after 200 some email entrees with names recorded. At 1:00 am I got an extraterrestrial entry (from ET literally). SLEEP WHEN YA DEAD. I had to laugh. Yep, got work to do. We don’t need no stinkin sleep! Good for runner-up Erick Trice. But the grand prize goes to Kim Howlett. Drum roll please. Her entry name: PRINCESS LAYUP. Gotta love that one. And if you don’t get it, just get out!

Speaking of R2 (RII), picture yourself in an important business meeting the day before the games begin. What is the most important question to be asked at that meeting? “Psst. Did you get in the pool?” Had to laugh. Right Jake Schiff??

Players and Statistics

Moving into Sunday’s action, Dan Flanagan, hailing from Indianapolis, was leading the field, followed by Mandy CrislipGary BellewChris McConnell, and Nick Cooper who all rounded out the top ten. Looks like Keith Miller has locked up last place! As the field continues to grow each year, the entries remain unofficial. Editing of the standings is in progress, but it appears we have eclipsed the 500 entry mark, for the first time ever! With the games now completed over the first weekend, and the field trimmed to 16, we salute the following individuals, vying for the coveted title, March Madness Champion!

Second Round Leaders
(Heading into next weekend’s Sweet Sixteen)

OOPS! You will have to wait! Check the website tomorrow. Webmaster G will update the standings on route to Tulsa. Busy man and much appreciated.

RECAP of previous E-MAIL update, in case you missed it from Friday night:

282 e-mails entered and stored in our 2017 official tournament locker. Out with the old, in with the new. If you are getting this email, you have entered the pool. Welcome newcomers and old hens and roosters as well. Tell your slacking friends who missed the deadline, simply "forgot", or were " too busy", that they are officially OFF the list. Call me next year, I won't be calling you!. We are at a temporary pause until WebMaster G returns from California. He's out there smoozing those rich orthopedic surgeons who are on vacation, oops I mean at the Academy Meeting which runs through Sunday. I can't tell you when the early results will be up but hope this weekend. The technology is beyond me. I'm just the lowly carnival barking front man. I can't tell you how many entries we got this year just yet, but rumor has it to be a record, surpassing the 470 from last year. If you haven't paid yet, or haven't sent some additional charity money, please do so ASAP. We are trying to overwork Susan Sublett so go to the link on the website, or send me a check. You know the address. Thanks today to pool

participants Mike and Chris Head, as well as Skip Seaman for their hospitality. See you at the bank!

Two days are in the books now and the field has been cut to 32. Headline news: Tom Crean Fired at IU. The state of Indiana was so excited it, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Butler all advanced to this weekend. Oh how the mighty have fallen. "Inconsistent" was the reason. Creepy McLosesTooMuch is gone. Hamby's rejoice. Throw some chairs!!

Thursday's game Highlights: Notre Dame survives an open three point look that did not fall and beat Princeton 60-58. Happy St. Patrick's Day by the way and the Irish will face Huggie Bear and West Virginia who took down Bucknell.

Virginia got by pesky UNC-Wilmington 76-71 and will duel Florida tomorrow. I'm seeing Gators running amuck in nearby Orlando. Drain the Swamp with the home court edge. Goodbye Cavaliers. In other action, the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State (underrated) handily exterminated the Gophers of Minnesota (overrated). The #12 seed took down the #5. You think that was an upset? Committee was smoking some powerful seed when they got that one wrong.

Just call Vegas next time for your appropriate seedings. Minus 5 on MTSU was a bargain. And finally, Northwestern remained undefeated all time in the NCAA tournament. ousting Vanderbilt in a bizarre game. Yes you read that right, undefeated all time in March Madness. Look it up. May not last. Next up the ZAGS.

Friday's Highlights: Favorite game of the day. USC 66 SMU 65. Oh what a thriller. Southern Cal just after coming back from 17 points down in the First Four game against Providence, the hot Trojans (#11 seed) came back this afternoon from 12 down and rode the Mustangs out of the tourney. Roll that Trojan train. Next up see 'ya Baylor! Another smoking' HOT, HOT team, the Michigan Wolverines after their epic Big Ten tournament white wash vaulting them into the big Dance, feverishly outlasted the Cowboys of OK State, 92-91.

Confidence looming. Watch out Louisville. And only days after their jet slid off the runway. Not THAT'S a wake up call! In other action, WE'RE BACK, look out. Michigan State calmed the Hurricanes. Rock Chalk Jays up next. Best sleeper pick, Rhode Island Hens ousted the other Jays, Creighton. Face Oregon next who rallied in the wake of the loss of their star to call from within. How far can they go? Bearcats take out K State. Sorry to our contingent from Manhattan and parts nearby. Football season will be here sooner than you think.

And finally, Kentucky dumps the Norse of Northern Kentucky. Restaurant aficionado, Jeff Ruby offered a steak dinner to every student at NKU (like 15,000) had they won. A million dollar safe bet but haha had it happened. Question:

What 3 teams in the field of 64 lay within 8 miles of each other? Hard to believe

when you think about it. Answer: Cincinnati, Xavier, and Northern Kentucky Enjoy the weekend's games. Send in the $$.

Charity Update

Our March Madness Endowment Fund made a big jump in revenue last year due to our record donations and the matching funds from Indiana’s own, Eli Lilly. Currently our fund has in the neighborhood of $ 71,000. We granted $ 1000 last year to Spirit of Southern Indiana (Spirit Cheer). The grant awarded is outside our named charities from the basketball tournament and comes from investment income from our fund. Thus the benefits of an endowed fund, For now, For ever! Remember the establishment of this fund came solely from and because of our March Madness tournament and your support over the years. All participants, past and present are part of this. We are always open to ideas regarding grant money to award, so keep that in mind throughout the year and contact us.

YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter

The YWCA opened Evansville’s first Domestic Violence Shelter in 1979. They never turn away a victim of domestic violence and her children. The YWCA is the largest provider of domestic violence services in the country. Locally, the YWCA building is a home where they provide shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. They believe that given a supportive environment free from abuse, victims of domestic violence are capable of developing their own strengths and abilities to manage their lives and the lives of their children. They maintain a
crisis line and provide safe housing, transportation, clothing, and personal care items. A 24-hour staff provides crisis counseling, information and referrals, goal planning, and self-sufficiency counseling. A Legal Advocate provides assistance with legal issues and counseling to both on- and off-site victims. Each child is assessed by the Children’s Advocate who provides counseling, and referrals. Other services include support groups, tutoring, parenting programs, and summer day camp. YWCA staff counsel victims involved in domestic violence court hearings who are referred by judges and participates in ride-alongs with the Evansville Police Department to follow up on domestic violence runs. Staff meets regularly with the Prosecutor’s Office to discuss disposition and follow-up of domestic violence cases. Collaborative agreements exist with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation for tutoring, with 4C’s and the Youth Service Bureau for parenting groups, and with ECHO Health Clinic for on-site services. In cooperation with Southwestern Indiana Behavioral Care, whose counselors work with court-ordered abusers, the YWCA provides support groups for their partners and children in the Batterer's Intervention Program. They serve as a local resource for professionals, groups, and individuals by informing the community about domestic violence and providing training. For more information, please visit 

Newburgh Junior Baseball Booster Club

2017 will mark the 10th year NJB is offering Buddy Ball for our special needs friends. The program is offered free of charge with games played on Saturday mornings at the Vann Road complex in Newburgh. For further information, visit the NJB website at NewburghJuniorBaseball.com This year, March Madness would like to help support and expand this program and provide money for field access, equipment, and other essential needs as determined by the NJB Booster Club. Last year, we gave a nod to Mattingly Charities to help with their Challenger League, a similar program on our north side.

Pool and Statistical Information

Check the website for current updates. When you click on the standings page, you can easily scroll through to find your position, and your friends’ and family’s picks, with brackets displayed, by clicking on the top row which reads RK (rank), Entry Name (how you listed your pick), Info-1 (alphabetize by first name), Info-2 (alphabetize by last name), Score (current point total), etc. Final four picks are also listed. Also go to the drop down menu to the right on the opening page to see the current tournament bracket and results, and other options.

Best of luck in the tournament and again thank you for participating. If you have not mailed your entry donation and extra contributions, please do so immediately! Remit a check to:

John P. Morgan, MD
PO Box 1136
Newburgh, IN 47629-1136

You may also still pay for your entries by PayPal on the website by clicking on the link. Put in extra entries if you wish to make an additional donation, but let me know by email you did so (jpmorganmd@mac.com). You may also click on the “Make a Donation HERE” link to directly donate to the March Madness Endowment Fund via the Warrick County Community Foundation, but use the drop down menu to use your gift to support us. Or again, simply send a check (preferred) to the above address.

“What is freedom? To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” 

© Gary M. Gurtcheff 2013