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-Day 2 Recap-

Leta Takes the Lead

Leta Corwin, aka Momma Mia, climbed seven spots to take the lead after the second day of action in the 2009 Challenge. Her prescient picks of Siena over Ohio State and Wisconsin over Florida State vaulted her ahead of J Dub, who held on to the lead all day until Siena won in double OT. Momma Mia did suffer a bad defeat, though, when Wake Forest lost. She had the Demon Deacons advancing to the Elite 8.

The biggest movers of the day were JT and Sean Smith, who each climbed 38 spots into a five-way tie for twelfth with perennial powerhouses Brandon Gamble, Ryan Horrigan, and Lisa Corwin. (Side Note: Those of you interested in the future of the auto industry should check out JT’s smart new blog, Next Alley.)

The DeHaan contingent fared much better today than yesterday. Donovan Fears Pearl, aka Benjamin DeHaan, moved up 30 spots into 8th place, and Loren DeHaan received a big boost from being one of only three players (Hot T and Tuckersmom were the other two) to pick the night’s biggest upset, Cleveland State over Wake Forest.

The biggest…“upwardly challenged”…movers of the day, Tim Corwin and Brandon Christol, were also the two players who seemed most confident when play started. In case you’re wondering what I mean, they’re the two who requested to be called “2009 Chippens NCAA Challenge Champion” and “Foregone Conclusion,” respectively. After reeling off 15 straight wins yesterday and today, Corwin’s luck changed when Dayton upset West Virginia. That loss precipitated a 27-spot free fall from 8th place to 35th. Christol fared even worse, dropping 44 spots to 52nd in what may be a single day record (I'll have to start keeping those). We’ll see if they can regain their form in Day 3.

Be on the lookout for…

Half Stash, aka Lee Schmidgall – Schmidgall finished fifth last year in his rookie season, and he quietly moved up to third place today. He has 14 of 16 Sweet 16 picks still alive as well as all of his Elite 8 picks.

Nate, aka Nathan Corwin-Shah – The 7-year-old is this year’s youngest competitor. He made a lot of conservative picks, with one exception: he is the only player with Washington in the Final Four. So if the Huskies make a run, young Nathan could win it all. Perhaps not coincidentally, Nathan attends Washington Elementary

New on the site…

On the tournament challenge homepage, I’ve posted the records for Lifetime Average Place since 2005 for players who participated at least three times between 2005 and 2008. Congrats to those who made the list.