Get inside March Madness with SI.com's Luke Winn in the Tourney Blog, a daily journal of college basketball commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
3/19/2007 09:32:00 AM
Blog Pool Update: Tuba Domination
Wendell White leads seventh-seeded UNLV into the Sweet 16.
CHICAGO -- All hail the tuba! Florida's basketball team may have been mediocre through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, but one of its band members is dominating.
David Wunderlich, a UF grad student who plays the tuba in one of the Gators' pep bands, is putting the rest of the Tourney Blog Pool to shame. After the first weekend, Wunderlich's "Lee For Three" entry has 70 points (on 43 out of 48 correct picks) and is not only first in our pool, but fourth in the entire Hoops Bracket Challenge. He took the time to send us a note (something I encourage all Tourney Blog leaders and near-leaders to do), not to talk smack to the other 640-or-so entrants but just to introduce himself. "Of course, now that I've sent an e-mail acknowledging my success thus far, I expect everything to promptly fall apart," Wunderlich said.
Memo to whoever runs the Florida pep band: Wunderlich said he'll be at the St. Louis Regional but is not on the list to go to the Final Four. If he's still leading our pool, that has to change, right? How else will we be able replicate last year's courtside picture from the title game with now-famous winner Bradley White -- who also happened to be a Florida fan? (White has fallen from grace this year; his Jo Noah-themed '07 entry, "It's yours against mine," is in 514th place.)
University of Wisconsin student Joe Madden, whose "Blackhawks > Illiniwek" bracket was tied with Wunderlich's after the first round -- and who hails from my original hometown of Fort Atkinson, Wis. -- flopped like Vlade Divac in the second and plummeted to 76th. Joe wrote in to say that whatever happens, he'll still provide late-night bar-taxi service when I'm home visiting my 'rents. Reader Bryan Brooks, who has not e-mailed yet, is in second with his "Pink Squirrels" entry, and as for myself, I'm tied for 173rd. Not great, but not entirely embarrassing, either.
My last act before boarding a plane here at O'Hare is to honor my eight favorite team names in this year's Blog Pool. Since there were more than 600, I tried my best catch all of them; if you had a brilliant name and I missed it, I apologize.
• Durant Durant, by Tim Louman-Gardiner. Just wish Kev had hung around a little longer. • Acie Law XXIII, by Alex Mitchell. Will the 13th Acie still inherit clutch genes? • Nigel Dixon's Spare Tire, by Brett Hainline. Before Big Greasy, there was Big Jelly. • My Morning Bracket, by Craig Chin. I'm a sucker for Jim James references. • Company In My Backcourt, by Melissa Tuttle Carr. Ditto for Jeff Tweedy references. • Peaches and Kareem, by Craig Josselyn. If that's a play on the Beck song, Craig, I like it. • Tim Hardaway's Merry Men, by John Robus. Tim ruined my retro shirt, and I'm still ticked at him for it. • RashardGriffithAutograph, by Nathan Winn. Nate's my brother. But the Rashard autograph is a classic story: In the 1994 NCAA tournament, he took approximately 20 seconds to laboriously sign his name on my game program -- and it took up about 50 percent of the page.
Hey Luke, normally you are world class with your breakdowns and picks, but your texas obsession coming into the tournament was way off. I think it is kind of hipocritical to laud texas on the strength of freshman and knock down unc on the weakness of freshman. Also Mandel calling georgetown "red-hot" for beating BC who has no inside game is ridiculous. georgetown has to be the most over-hyped team in this tourney. If anyone is red hot it is usc or vandy. Also I do not understand the constant UNC second-guessing. before the tourney most were shaky because of hansbrough, now that that question has been answered they are beat on for not beating Mich St. badly enough. Sorry MSU actually has a VERY physical inside game and a heady PG, they also gave the top two in the big ten a world of trouble and beat another upset minded team in marquette. I suppose carolina will just have to keep playing to be seen in the same light as the severely overhyped florida and georgetown, Kansas on the other hand, is very scary.
David is my brother, and if you knew the amount of research he did and all the spreadsheets he put together this year, his strong start wouldn't surprise you. The kid has a gift- its too bad for the world of fans that he wants to work with computers and not in sports journalism! But it makes him happy, and sports makes a great hobby. I hope you guys can get him there to the Finals!
Luke- Youre from Fort? My mom grew up there in a pretty big family, and my granparents have lived there for like 30 years. Big white house on E. Milwaukee, right up against the Rock River. Just thought that was pretty cool.
How about sending a girl and guy winner to the big game :) I am currently in 11th place(I know that will be dropping but I am pretty proud of that for now)so i have to stand a chance at being top girl. And my team name(I shoot FTs with my left) sounds better when sung to the tune of the Beyonce song! With my left, with my left...
Tarheels who,well, well ,well, all those ratings do not count anymore and for Seth Davies who choose TarHeels to win over the Hoyas how come he has not said anything .....never underestimate a team ........this March Madness .....anybody can win