Sweet 16, Part Deux
For the first time in this crazy tournament, the seeds mostly held on Friday night, but there was a massive shake-up at the top of the standings of Jabin's March Madness Charity Pool.
We have a new leader. Well, two of them.
Serenity Now! and KathyN each had a perfect 4-for-4 night, correctly picking Villanova, Kansas, Duke, and Texas Tech to surge to a tie for first place in the pool standings at 56 points. Five players -- Jon Stein1, Kathi L, Laubie, Powerspeed, and Tommy -- are all tied 3 back at 53, and four players - David Wiz Stabb, Sissy, Dakin Bacon, and M and M -- are 4 back at 52.
Saturday's games are worth 4 points, so it's getting serious now.
Maybe there's something to these seeds after all?
We were a Purdue victory away from having a perfect "seed" night, as a Purdue victory would have had both 1's and 2's advancing to their regional final. As it is, we have a Kansas-Duke game on Sunday (1 vs. 2) and a Villanova-Texas Tech game on Sunday (1 vs. 3). That's a slightly different story from the other side of the bracket, where we have an 11 (Loyola Chicago) vs. 9 (Kansas State) matchup in the South, and a 3 (Michigan) vs. 9 (Florida State) matchup in the West.
Nova flexes second-half muscles
Top-seed and 2016 national champ Villanova looked to be in trouble early in the second half against West Virginia. The Mountaineers had just made a run to go up 5, and CBS flashed the graphic "Largest deficit of the tournament" for the Wildcats. But then, boom, freshman Omari Spellman absolutely took over, with help from Jalen Brunson, and soon the Wildcats were up 10. Hard to call this one a close call, but it looked like another No. 1 seed might be headed out there for a bit.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk
The other No. 1 seed left in the bracket, the Kansas Jayhawks, ran away from Clemson late in the first half, and although the final margin was only 4 points, it never seemed to be in doubt. So both 1 seeds advanced in the early games on Friday night, bringing some semblance of sanity to this Madness.
So Saturday's two games decide who are the first 2 entries into our Final Four, and it should be a quite a double-header. Full standings are available on the site.