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Lifeguard Leo Floats to the Top


Bucephalus stung by familiar nemesis


Leo Brillhart took the lead yesterday when Butler upset Pittsburgh, giving the wily Texan five points and pushing his total to 51. Brillhart must be surprised to be in first place. After all, he sent me a couple e-mails after he made his picks saying that he wasn’t “very literate” with college basketball and that this year would be “a total crap shoot” for him. “Pick ‘em by their colors,” he said in true Texas fashion. 


Whatever strategy he’s using, it’s obviously working. He’s now four points up on the next two competitors, Brutalbrutis (who simply will no go away) and Bruce Pearl’s BBQ Cook (Emperor Benjamin DeHaan). DeHaan was left for dead after his beloved Tennessee Volunteers were trounced by Michigan, but he managed to surge an amazing 60 spots yesterday all the way to third place. He usually places somewhere behind his father, polar bear, but perhaps this year he’ll assert himself as the family torch bearer.


And don’t look now, but Cotter and Blizzard T. Husky have quietly moved into the top 10. Cotter has all eight of his remaining Sweet 16 picks still viable, and Husky, who besides Brutalbrutis is the other savant in this tournament, also has eight teams going today plus he has all his Elite 8 teams left.


Finally, I’d like to mourn a bit for the mighty Bucephalus (Tim Corwin). After finishing day one virtually in last place, Bucephalus had been charging hard to the front. When his Richmond Spiders won yesterday, he thought he had reached the Chippens Glory Land—but it was just a mirage. You see, Bucephalus has an irrational and abusive love affair with the Pittsburgh Panthers. It started when, through U Pitt, he signed up for the Semester at Sea program as a college junior. A few weeks later he found himself in the north Pacific, battered by 60-foot waves and 100 mph winds and told by the ship’s crew to put a life jacket on and pray. Later he learned that if the boat had tipped one more degree it would have capsized. Then in 2009, he picked Pittsburgh to win the championship, and they were defeated in the Elite 8. He went on to finish second to last, even though he named himself “2009 Chippens NCAA Champion.”


Then last year he once again picked Pittsburgh to make a deep run. As you know, they were knocked out in the second round. Having not learned his lesson at all, he yet again picked Pittsburgh to win it all this year, only to see them get defeated yesterday in the most absurd fashion imaginable. “When that guy fouled, I lost it,” he told me late last night. “Watching that game was probably my worst tournament experience ever.”


He promises that the love affair with what he calls his “evil temptress” is now over. “I figure they can’t choke every year, but I guess I’m wrong,” he said. “I vow to never pick them again. I don’t care if they are a 1 seed against a 16, I’m picking the 16.”