The opening four days of the NCAA Tournament was littered with upsets, dramatic finishes and underlying feel-good stories. The end result was an historically irregular Sweet 16, but given 2020 was this truly a surprise? Moving ahead we have plenty of chances for more Cinderella stories.
We have four double-digit seeded teams in the Sweet 16 which is two shy of the tournament record of six. But this year’s field set its own record in a different way by eclipsing the highest seed total to reach this point in the tourney — with a sum of 94 besting a long-held record of 89 that was set in 1986.
OVERTIME! Second Chance Pool is now live
The $2 Overtime Second Chance Pool is taking bracket entries.
OVERTIME! is a separate tournament pool that begins with the games starting in the Sweet 16. You just make selections in the Sweet 16 on to the championship game. This is a totally new bracket, so everybody starts back at zero which means your shot at winning is the same as everyone else. It’s perfect to participate in if your bracket is busted or if you simply love filling out brackets.
Anaya Controls the Second Round
The second round completely belonged to Amanda Anaya who held down both days of the tournament. Her 53 point outing after four days gave her a 5.5pt lead over Van Tran. Anaya and Tran both led the pool with 35 correct picks out of the possible 48.
Anaya is the first person to hit the 50 point mark this season. The record for most points after the second round is 61 and still held by Randy Craven, Emery Brotemarkle and Isabella Brotemarkle.
Rounding out the top five were Jenni McCausland and Chad Tredway who are tied for third. AJ McCausland returned to the top 5 and then 14-year and 12-year entrants Danny Payne and Molly Caton surged their way to a tie for 5th.
As history tells us though, the leaderboard after the first two rounds is starkly different from the end of the tournament. The average finish of the leader after two rounds is 86th place. Only three times has the 2nd round leader gone on to finish in the Top 10: Luke Luttrell 3rd in 2007, Penny Lamb 10th in 2010, and Nina Lopez 6th in 2013.
Odds To Win It All
With 16 teams left, there are still over 32,000 different scenarios. The Possible Outcomes list will be available this week.
78 brackets still have a chance to win it all. Anaya has a 17% chance of all 32,000+ scenarios to win followed by Sabrina Tredway, Christine Bitner, Jeffrey Wilson, Manda Morris, Caden Arzola, Ethan Tyler, Cohen Ayres, and Jill Kontz.
Will There Be A Repeat Champion?
Of all 13 past champions, Brian Howell, Shelley Barger, John Brotemarkle, Bart Westphal, Brandon Kuchinskas, Noah Droegemeier, Claire Droegemeier and Andrew Punch are all still in the running to become the pool’s first 2-time champion.
It’s worth noting though, they are hanging on by the slimmest of margins.
Around The Pool
After four days, the power duo of Jenni and AJ McCausland still sit in first by the slimmest of margins in Couple Up. They hold a one point lead over the Anayas, Isaac and current leader, Amanda.
The Brotemarkles (not led by yours truly) hold a one point lead over the Hobbs family.
Anaya has a huge 8.5 lead as the Top Rookie over Gina Perry and Jameson Clay.
The Early Bird Seed Pool is essentially mathematically over with Landon Brotemarkle continuing to pile up points thanks to wins from Oregon State and UCLA.
For the All-Freshman team of best kids brackets. Baylor Ely and Cohen Ayres hold down the top spot but former champion, Noah Droegemeier sits just one point back.
Final Seven in Survivor
In the Survivor League, the seven remaining people all survived their Day 4 picks thanks to wings from Michigan, Creighton and Alabama. If you’re one of those people, you can make your picks here which are due Saturday at 10am.