FINAL FOUR PREVIEW
ÉAnd The Battle For 94
TOURNAMENT SCENARIOS POSTED
We are down to the final four teams and the final six players who have a shot at everlasting glory. A handful of players also have a shot at the Extra Special Hope Prize for winning 94th place. Here are their stories.
If Loyola-Chicago and Villanova meet in the championship game, it wonÕt matter which team wins for K8burst to win her first title. The fifth-year player becomes eligible for the All-Time Records this year, and a championship would go a long way toward moving her up the list. SheÕs finished 17th place twice, but also had a couple off years with a 104th place finish in 2015 and a 82nd place finish last year. SheÕll be lighting a candle or two next Saturday, and maybe drinking a couple bottled beers, hoping the Ramblers and Wildcats each have one more win.
Alexander the Great will cement her place in history with a Loyola-Chicago win over Kansas. Now in her fourth year, Mackie Mo has improved every year sheÕs participated, going from 78th place in 2015 to a worst-case scenario 22nd place finish this year. She says sheÕs Ōhumble,Ķ and wonÕt gloat with a victory, but you can bet her equine consort, Bucephalus, will be seeking more quiet comfort in the stables if she wins.
NerdStertz takes the title with a Kansas victory, no matter whom the Jayhawks play. The Wisconsin attorney, by way of Kansas, has had her loyalty rewarded this year. Now in her 7th season, this year would have been her 8th had a technical glitch not kept her out of the 2016 Challenge. Post-2016 Stertz has been much better than the pre-2016 version. In 2014 and 2015 she finished in 105th and 88th, respectively, but last year finished a respectable 26th.
If Michigan beats Villanova, the incredible Stump will walk away with his second Chippens Championship. The winner of the 2008 title, Stump was the #1 ranked player for a number of years until getting knocked off the pedestal by Brandon Gamble, who is currently in 46th and can finish no higher than 29th. If Stump becomes the first-ever two-time Chippens Champ and in the process reclaims his #1 spot, it will go a long way toward erasing last yearÕs horrific 88th place finish.
If Villanova beats Michigan, Creighton Barrel will achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a Chippens Champion. Saved by DukeÕs inability to finish off Kansas in the last minute, Barrel is probably this yearÕs Vegas favorite heading into the final three games. Of course, the way this yearÕs tournament has played out, that might not be a good omen.
If Michigan beats Kansas, the title goes to Benny (Deb Janisch). The Northern Michigan native stuck with the Wolverines this year, and it has paid off so far. Benny has competed in seven consecutive seasons, but this is her first shot at a title. Her best finish up to now is her 28th place showing in 2015.
The Battle For 94
LetÕs not forget our friends at the bottom of the standings. Here are the potential winners of this yearÕs Extra Special Hope Prize.
If Villanova makes the finals (it doesnÕt matter who they play or if they win or lose), 94th place will be decided on the third tie-breaker, total points in the final game.
The contestants are Harley-Dog (Faith Lambrecht), The Boss Daws (Derek Dawson), and theRabbit (Justin Thompson). Harley-Dog, who has said from the start she wants to win this t-shirt rather than the Grand Prize T-Shirt (why???), will be hoping for a low-scoring game, as her tie-breaker is just 119 points. Daws and Rabbit are separated by just two points, at 160 and 162, respectively.
Now there is an interesting wrinkle here. If Loyola-Chicago and Villanova meet, the loser of the three (the one who misses the final total by the most) will end up 94th. However, if Villanova plays Michigan, the winner of the three (the one who gets closest to the final score) will win 94th.
Also, players donÕt bust by going over. So if Michigan plays Villanova and the final score adds up to 140, Daws finishes 94th. In other Villanova plays Loyola and the final score adds up to 140, Rabbit finishes 94th. Exciting!
PAWWWL wins the Extra Special prize if Kansas and Loyola play in the finals. 94th would be an improvement for the Miami lawyer, who finished 114th last year.
If Michigan and Kansas meet, Jumpin Jak Janisch sneaks into the 94th spot on the first and second tie-breakers just behind Polar Bear and just ahead of PAWWWL. If that name Janisch sounds familiar, itÕs because his wife, Benny, stands to win it all of Michigan beats Kansas. This means both t-shirts could go to one household! What a scene that would make around Otsego County!
To find out where you will finish depending on each of the remaining eight possible outcomes, check out the new report Tournament Scenarios.