2017 Update II

March Madness Update II Carolina On My Mind

Monday, 3/27/17

On to the Final Four. A #7, a #3, and two #1 seeds, set to battle it out. Will North meet South in the Championship, or will Gonzaga or the Mighty Ducks of Oregon prevail? Thought you all might enjoy the new song on the front page of the website, Basketball Jones is a classic, but we move on to Oregon Mighty Oregon. Ducks Roll. Quack, quack. The pool master is poised to finally claim the humble status of March Madness Champion, matching the likes of King, Del Rio (x 2), Patti Byers, Brislini, Perry, Gilson, Elliott, Arco, Sammy G, Kevin Wagner, Lang, ChuckOswald, KC Brad Smith, Mrs.Casaburo, Kinsey, Clay Miller, OʼConnor, McDaniel, and Bowers. Since 1997 with an original 78 entries, hand scored, this tournament has grown to over 500 participants, Webmaster Gʼs computer format, and many thousands of dollars to the charity fold. America remains great. Populists rule. No big markets but NCAA basketball viewership ratings up tremendously this year. North Carolina and Gonzaga are obvious favorites, but it IS March Madness!

Today you should have received an email file with the updated standings after yesterdayʼs action. Webmaster G is sailing the high seas without internet upload access but will revise the site upon his return. However, the below results and top ten leaders are accurate.

Weekend recap:
Gonzaga 83 Xavier 59
The Catholic Jesuits clashed in San Jose Saturday afternoon. The Zags lived up to top billing in the west region, thoroughly dismantling a tenacious Xavier team, but this one was not even close. As they said, “Too much, too often, too many directions”, Lights out three point shooting by the Bulldogs from Spokane, Washington. Both schools of a mere 7000 or so students. They have both come big time, but itʼs Gonzaga finally advancing to their first Final Four. John Stockton in the crowd. Karnowski is a beast. Looks like the beloved PGA pro from England they call Beef. Out of the West Coast Conference. Remember the Dons from San Francisco? Take me back to the 1950ʼs.

Oregon 74 Kansas 60

Not since 1939 has Oregon seen the dance. 78 years ago! Saw the commercials. Where IS Dick Vitale? This game started with intensity and did not disappoint early. Jordan Bell
had an all-around game in the first half with Oregon holding the lead at the half. Ring it
baby. 3 blocks before intermission. 44-33 at the break with a 3-point bank at the buzzer. The hawks never got it going once Josh Jackson got two fouls in the first three minutes and had to sit. 3-point shooting was abysmal for Kansas. It was a Duck night, roasting Jayhawks on the open fire. They said Kansasʼ colors were red, white, and blue, and if you did not root for them, you were a Communist. Some family from Kansas City I got. Haha. Game was

a game, until it wasnʼt Kansas never made the run, never got it done, despite a HUGE home court advantage In KC. Oregon, a 6 point underdog held the lead throughout the second half and there really was not an exciting moment for our Kansas faithful (Major March Madness contingent from Kansas is very passionate! ) Except with 3 minutes to go and there was a prayer. But not to be. Lead stretched again to double digits. 90 points plus a game is no more, as the Duck defense held Kansas to 60 points. So sorry. But this is the year of the aquatics. Quack, quack.

South Carolina 77 Florida 70

I suppose it is very difficult to Drain the Swamp, or vice versa depending how you look at it. I feel your pain DJT. Gamecocks reach the final four for the first time ever, starting as a #7

seed and dismissing their SEC rivals. Losing 5 of 7 to end their season, South Carolina found new life in the tournament, peckering heavily favored Duke and Baylor, and now Florida. Sindarius Thornwell (26 points) once again, as mentioned earlier, proved to be the best player in the land. 0 for 12 in the second half from three point land doomed the previously hot Gators. On to face the Zags in Phoenix.

North Carolina 75 Kentucky 73

Sorry Mark V. Was rooting for you. Blue blood rivalry, and the only hope to maintain status quo in NCAA basketball, North Carolina faced Kentucky. The Tar Heels held the early lead throughout the first half, with no lead change, the game at the half was 38-33. Despite foul trouble, the Wildcats took the lead with 17:35 left in the game. Carolina retook the lead in a very sloppy game. Blue bloods tired and bleeding. Kentucky finally took the lead for the second time with under eight minutes to go. Extended to five with five minutes left. NC takes the lead at 3:22 left. North Carolina up five under 2 minutes. Back and forth. Exciting finish loomed. Sloppiness rules for another minute. Under one minute, NC at the line. Makes two. 3 pointer from UK, down 4 with under a minute remaining. Turnover on the inbounds with 46 seconds left. Kentucky with the ball. 3 pointer hit. Down one. Layup on a long pass. NC up 3. Jump ball with 17 seconds left. NC gets the ball. KY fouls. Justin Jackson at the line. Misses. KY with the ball. Malik Monk 3 pointer. Mayn hits for NC. Tar Heels holds on to win. March Madness at its best! Worth the price of admission.

Round 4 Leaders await the Final Four in Phoenix

Congratulations to: Christina Hamby
ONLY person in the pool to pick South Carolina to make it to the Final Four. Vaulted her from 94th place to 10th.

1st place Howard Roark (AKA your pool master. Spouted the Oregon Ducks from
day one. Donʼt believe it? First to enter the pool and all in living color. A #3 is as good as 3 #1ʼs. Go Ducks. The Swamp is out. but now we are poised with one last hope. Epic)

2nd place Gary Bush (As high as we got, but got nothing left. Good show despite and can only hope for upsets)

3rd place Brian Kwon (Front line leader hoping the chalk takes the next two games. He probably likes to eat duck. And if not, thatʼs what youʼll have for your celebratory meal should the ducks go down)

4th place Mike Cleary (Perennial supporter of the March Madness Pool. Thanks for the donation! Hoping to place with a North Carolina championship.)

5th place Skip Oliver (It was a good run. Should have left Duke out of the mix.)

6th place Jon Coleman (Maybe this is the year Carolina wonʼt let you down)

7th place Mandy Crislip (Highest ranking filly. Slipping slowly)

8th place Steve Gilliam (My Oregon friend. Rooting hard for the ducks. Down with the non-believers. Hit that audio file button and believe!)

9th place Nick Cooper (Gotta wait on the update to see if you as well will hold on to a spot in the top ten should the Tar Heels prevail)

10th place Christina Hamby (Only chance is if the Gamecocks and Ducks meet in the finals. I simply CANNOT believe, NO ONE but you took South Carolina to get to the final four. This was the year, participants should have simply bet on names and school colors!) Best of luck to those of you who remain in contention.

Check the website at the end of the week for further updates. Best of luck with your brackets for the remainder of the tournament. There are still some of you who are in arrears and have not ponied up the money and donations. We do not wish to highlight your names. Please remit check ASAP and forward me and email that you are doing so. jpmorganmd@mac.com. And thanks to all of you who have donated additional monies so far. Especially you SB!

Send checks to: John P. Morgan
PO Box 1136 Newburgh, IN 47629

You may still use the PayPal link on the website as well and make additional donations to the March Madness Endowment Fund via the donation link.
Accounting news, charity updates, and further news to come. Stay tuned.

One hand, One million dollars, No tears -Michael Lewis (Liars Poker)

Look it up

Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea” -Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

IN REVIEW from your email SATURDAY (in case you missed it) Thursday night action

Oregon 69 Michigan 68

Quack, Quack? Can you say 1939? Surviving a great, but missed, last second opportunity by the hot Wolves, the shot would not drop and Oregon escaped. Time to take a breath and realize how far you have come with the loss of Chris Boucher just prior to the tournament commencement. I love the unis and always a visual pleasure to watch Oregon. Yellow, green, white, black, fluorescent, and points between. Nike is still cool! Michigan might have found further fuel had they gone back to their practice duds after the plane runway delay. Sorry to my diehard friends, Ross and Michael. Oregon led the rebound, field goal %, turnovers against, and a 47% 3-point average to hold off the hottest team in the tournament, ending Michiganʼs 7 game run.. Pac-10 like 9-1 in the big dance. Follow the year, follow the teams, and you will see the light.

Gonzaga 61 West Virginia 58

Total intensity until the end. Full speed action back and forth. Until the refs intervened. 55-55 with a crucial out of bounds call (actually not) correctly corrected. revised, checked 12 times)

going the way of West Virginia, (I mean seriously, how long does it take?. We had time to grill a steak before action resumed). Finally, play resumed after medium well, and WVʼs Jevon Carter hits the 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving the Mounties the lead. Two missed free throws later by Zaga, to cut the lead to one, a monster three pointer from Jordan Matthews after a turnover, put the Zags back in the lead by two. Despite three hapless, hapless, hapless efforts at the end, Mounties fail, and Gonzaga survives. God bless the coal miners, and someday the Hugster will get his just due. Just not tonight, and Gonzaga somehow lives to see another day.

Kansas 98 Purdue 66

Down 8 points early, Kansas finished off the half with a 22-7 run, with Mr. Mason leading the way with15 points to go up 47-40 at the break. The game became a sleeper. Kansas emptied the bench in the last few minutes of the game. Fundamentally sound, the Jayhawks have so far been the best and most consistent of the tournament. Happiness in Lawrence, as well as Kansas City, and joy to the KU faithful in the March Madness pool.

Xavier 73 Arizona 71

Sean Miller, previous coach of Xavier led Arizona against former assistant and current Xavier head coach and former player, Chris Mack in West regional action Thursday night. Trevon Bluiett with 18 points in the first half for X, kept the game within two points. Back and forth with seemingly late and an Arizona victory looming, In an exciting finish, the Musketeers pull the upset and remain the lowest seed (#11) to stay in.

Friday night action:

Florida 84 Wisconsin 83

Without a doubt, the game of the tournament. Anything can happen in March, and it literally all did in this nightcap of nightcaps. Trading runs throughout the second half, it appeared Florida would be the last off this roller coaster until Zak Showalter of Wisconsin hit an off balance three pointer with 2 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime. Best highlight of the game was his reaction. Eyeing Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay quarterback in the
stands, Showalter smiled and gave him the Discount Double Check. Priceless!! In itself, better than all the other insurance commercials featuring A Rodge. All State (again) should use this one in a promo! Youʼve got to see it. Find a highlight rerun. In overtime, the Badgers appeared in control but couldnʼt hit their free throws, unlike Canyon Barry and his inherited underhand tosses, and the game stayed close. A tremendous defensive swat by Barry (also worth a look) was out of nowhere. Wisconsin has the lead by 2 with four
seconds left. Then someone put Swamp water in the Gatorade bottles on the Wisconsin sideline to paralyze the Badger defense and on the far court inbound pass, a highlight for
the ages, Floridaʼs Chris Chiozza in 4 seconds literally dribbled but 5 times on full tilt to the top of the 3 point line unabated. The improbable shot goes off at the buzzer. The ball swishes through the cylinder. Pandemonium. Florida wins 84-83. Drain the Swamp!

South Carolina 70 Baylor 50

The surprising Gamecocks continue as the hottest team in the tournament, ousting the favored Bears in a hibernation game. Sindarius Thornwell, one of the best in the land, scored 24 points and South Carolina handed Baylor their worst defeat in NCAA tournament history. As the # 7 seed, from the conference nobody was talking about, the poultry barrens will take on SEC rival Florida, insuring (not by All State) that at least one SEC will reach the final four next weekend.

Kentucky 86 UCLA 75

The hype was here. Lottery and first round NBA futures on the court aplenty. In a game expected to be close, John Calipariiʼs return to Memphis was a blue plate special for all to see. Malik Monk and DeʼAaron Fox combined for 60 points for the Wildcats. UCLAʼs Lonzo Ball, the son of the new Charles Barkley, was held to a mortal 10 points. Goodbye Bruins. Another blue blood rematch in the elite eight tomorrow as Kentucky faces North Carolina.

North Carolina 92 Butler 80

Too much for Butler to handle, the Tar Heels started bombing and connecting from long range and never looked back. An impressive 52 points left the Bulldogs scratching for a buried bone never found. Another great season for underrated Butler, fast becoming a new Gonzaga. But in this tournament, only one moves on. The clash of the Titans up next as North Carolina faces the Lexicats.

And on to todayʼs action to determine the final four teams standing, but we recognize our tournament leaders after last eveningʼs conclusion to the 3rd round.

March Madness Leaders after Round 3

1st place (tie) Howard Roark (After 21 years, the top spot, albeit likely temporary unless the Ducks quack on. Worth framing. Thank you all for your support over the years!)

Gary Bush (Ties the lead, but possibilities to claim the status of champion on thin ice.)

3rd place Skip Oliver (Never wavering. Eyes on the prize. 12 points back) 

4th place Mandy Crislip (Earlier leader drops to fourth with only a hope for top ten)

5th place Brian Kwon (Thatʼs Dr. Kwon to you! Hailing from Baaaston, Mass, Can definitely win this pool. Best thing to relieve back pain is a strong finish or expensive surgical implants. Come on Leslie. Tell BK to send me a large check please. I assume he does at least a bit of charity work?)

6th place Jon Coleman (Smack talk: The Colemans are back to avenge Jonahʼs tragic slip to 3rd place with favored UNC losing the final in that bastard of a championship game)

7th place Nick Cooper (Young man with best odds to win and cash the tournament.)

8th place (tie) Steve Gilliam (Also needs the Ducks to have any chance.)

Cool Jake Gourley (Ohio connection to Ken Marshall. Got that cleared up. Wants the #1 seeds to move on)

10th place Jonah Coleman (Joins dad on the top ten list of fame. Good picks kid. Should of had it all last year. Damn Villanova! 

© Gary M. Gurtcheff 2013