STATE Sets Record, Muscles To Front
Hitch In His Giddy-up Costs Bucephalus
Baby’s Is Coming Registers Third
LoveMillenium25 Picks From The Heart
Michigan STATE of Emergency (Liz Thompson) set a new Chippens record by winning 30 of 32 first round games en route to finishing atop the leader board Friday night.
In so doing, she bested six other players who either tied or surpassed the old record of 29 first round wins. The masterful performance was capped off by her beloved Spartans overcoming a slow start to thump Miami. She finished the first round with 36 points to lead by one.
As much as the Spartans’ win must have been satisfying, Thompson’s biggest win of the day came when USC upset the highly-touted SMU Mustangs. The two points she earned from that victory (she was one of just 14 players to pick USC) let Liz sneak by Bucephalus on the rail to take the lead. She never relinquished it.
“I can’t believe I just pulled off that last upset,” she said after the USC win. “I’m just trying to live in the moment.”
Perhaps the only player more stunned than Liz by her incredible day is Bucephalus. The steed charged out hard Thursday and for a while Friday kept up the blistering pace.
Victory for Bucephalus seemed assured after Arkansas came back to beat a choking Seton Hall. But even after amassing a two-day record of 30-2, which ties Liz’s mark for the best all-time, because Liz scored more underdog points all Bucephalus gets to claim for his hard work is the title of first loser.
“23-1 right now, good enough for second place,” Bucephalus remarked this afternoon after it became clear he would be forced to travel in Liz’s dust cloud the rest of the day.
But Bucephalus won’t have to wait long for a chance to regain the lead. Saturday’s first game is a big one: Notre Dame vs. West Virginia.
Bucephalus is one of 59 players with the Irish while Liz and 48 others picked West Virginia. A Notre Dame win would give Bucephalus five points. Either way, the game will change the landscape of the leaderboard.
Baby’s Is Coming (Khair Sadrud-Din) must be wondering what more he could have done as well. He finished round one 29-3, which tied the old record, but still finds himself in only third place by virtue of the first tie-breaker.
The good news for Baby is all of his Sweet 16 teams are still viable. There are more points at stake in the next two days of games than in any other stretch of the tournament.
That’s even good news for LoveMillenium25, who is currently in 117th place. Sources report LoveMillenium, who turned 11-years-old earlier this month, made at least some of her picks based on whether she had a positive or negative association with the team’s name.
Troy got a yes, but Xavier (“he’s annoying”) was a steadfast no. Unfortunately for LoveMillenium, 15th seeded Troy lost to Duke and Xavier pulled off an upset win.
But even if LoveMillenium’s noble sacrifice to principle has not been rewarded in the short term, she could still be rewarded in other ways. As Felton Howard—who rose 62 spots in the standings Friday—sagely said on Wednesday night, “Life is too short to pick teams you don’t like.”