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We've Got A Little Captain In Us

Mizzouble Karma

J Dub Is Smarter Than A Fourth-Grader

As I was walking to dinner with Izzypup (Valerie Corwin) tonight, I gingerly asked her how far she had Missouri advancing. "I picked them to win," she said, "because you told me they were good."

"Something's happened," I said, instinctively covering my head.

It is on crazy days like these that we look for a leader to right our ship (or supply us drink), so it makes poetic sense that John Pasowicz (Captain) leads the field with 31 points after day two. Pasowicz correctly picked four of the day's eight upsets, and that was enough to open up a two-point lead on the rest of the field.  Pasowicz is renowned as a deep thinker. For example, on Monday he told me, "I see myself as a mix of Bill Clinton and Matt Damon, at least in terms of how I live my life."

I can only hope that that type of serenity and self-knowledge can be with Mizzouble (Amber Bailey, a Mizzou alumna) this weekend as she struggles with her team's surprising exit. Early in the week, Amber told me that she hoped arch-rival Kansas lost in the first round.

But turnabout is fair play, and what's bad for one can be good for another. For example, when Kansas won in the last game of the evening, J Dub (Jake Willis, currently in 98th place) finally surpassed fourth-grader Mr. Beastly's point total from yesterday. Congrats!

As for the rest of the field, I.N. Howe, Esquire (Ian Howe) and Cal's Vacated 2012 Title (Ben DeHaan) are tied for second place with 29 points each. DeHaan finished third last year, and, despite the upsets, his bracket still looks healthy.

Howe, Esq. climbed an impressive 33 spots on the day. After Missouri lost, he sent me an e-mail lamenting that he had lost his "shot at the glorious t-shirt." Though losing a Final Four team is always a blow, it rarely spells the end for any one player, especially early in the tournament. Since every player except one picked both Missouri and Duke, everybody loses the points. What matters more is which team wins in their place. Let me put it this way: Anybody who had Missouri and/or Duke going deep into the tournament is now a big fan of Norfolk State and/or Lehigh. Speaking of which, I must congratulate Robert Brako (Sportveranstaltung). He was the only player to pick Norfolk State over Missouri. Sadly, all 98 of us took Duke.

Friday's other big winner was B Mac (Brian McCall), who climbed 68 spots all the way into a tie for 6th place with 28 points. B Mac had a rough day Thursday, but he stormed back Friday by correctly picking five of the eight upsets.

On the other end of the spectrum, former champ Penney Lane (Angela Penney) fell 70 places to 89th. Though things may not be as bad as they seem: She is one of only 6 players with Wisconsin in the Final Four, and she made that pick with a weakened Syracuse in mind. The gamble could pay off.

If you look up your spot in the standings and see your name close to Penney Lane or J Dub, do not despair. Standard points triple, and underdog points double in the next round. Everybody still has a chance at winning that glorious t-shirt.