Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Erdy First In And Wins

David Erdman (Erdy), the first person to submit a bracket this year, is the 2012 Chippens NCAA Tournament Challenge Champion. The Cadillac, Mich. native and current resident of East Lansing, Mich. won easily by 11 points. His impressive score of 169 points ranks him 11th all-time. 

Always humble, Erdman likened his victory to a "blind squirrel find[ing] a nut." But it's more like he found Scrooge McSquirel's Nut Bin in the late rounds. After placing just 8 teams in the Sweet 16, Erdman only lost one game, Michigan St./Louisville, where he had a team still alive. From the Elite 8 on, he was perfect in the West, East, and Midwest regions. He then correctly picked the final two teams and the champion. All told, he finished the tournament 12 of 13 over the final four rounds. 

Erdman will now begin his Championship Tour, where he will wear his Grant Prize T-Shirt to meet and greet adoring fans at Michigan hotspots like Johnny's Fish & Game, the candy store at Little Bay De Noc, Thirsty's, The Busy Bee, The Big Buck Brewery, The Pines, and Temple Hill Baptist Church. 

Chris Schumacher (Diagnosticator), a.k.a. The Dog Father, overcame early typing problems and a 5-year hiatus from the Challenge to finish in second place with 158 points, moving him into a tie for 19th all-time. Schumacher meant to call himself the Dognosticator, and he couldn't figure out why I kept "mispronouncing" his handle until he realized that he had spelled it wrong. Still, Schumacher was overjoyed at his second place finish. "This is pure poetry for The Dog Father," he said. "Just another day at the library."   

Katy Buoscio (KB) picked up the third-place prize with her 155-point effort, just edging The Raj by one point. Buoscio, a Challenge rookie, said that even more than finishing third, it was "the thrill of being part of such a prestigious group . . . that brought such excitement." Well, it is completely normal to be star-struck your first year in the Challenge. Kind of like competing in American Idol against the Beatles or in little league against the '27 Yankees. She said that her less able coworkers, Buzzard Beater and Nanoputian, were more than a little upset when Ohio State lost, meaning she could no longer win the Grand Prize. However, she has promised that the fridge magnet she won will be prominently displayed in the IWU admissions hall. 

Other Notable (and some sad) Finishes:
  • hv porter (Liz Reinhart), Bring Back Joakim (Adam Lombard), and Bucephalus (Tim Corwin) each had strong finishes to land themselves on the All-Time Average Place list, the Challenge's most prestigious record.
  • They replaced three typically fearsome players, Polar Bear (Loren DeHaan), brutalbrutis (Alicia Kellogg), and The Bryman (Bryan Timm), who each had by far their worst seasons ever. Timm finished 90th after back-to-back 6th place finishes the last two years. Kellogg finished 89th after winning in 2010 and finishing in 5th last year. DeHaan finished 94th after recording five top 20 finishes in the last six years, including a runner-up performance in 2008. No doubt the Hope alum was crushed by the Flying Dutchmen's loss to IWU in the men's DIII tournament. 
  • With her 97th place showing, G-Baby (Gianina Baker) has now beaten three people in the last four years.
  • One of those players was NOT This is Awful (Matthew Melick), who belied his handle with a strong 27th place finish.
  • Pin High (Tommy Mueller) hit a couple bogeys in his first two years, but he finished in 31st this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him at the top of the leader board in the coming years.   
  • Looking ahead to next year, Obi-Wan (Mike Theune) will get his 5-Year Ring. He finished a very respectable 34th this year, and in the previous three years he's finished 27th, 22nd, and 5th. Another strong finish could place him on the All-Time Average Place list. 
  • Finally, Stumper (Mike Stump) had an off year (for him), placing 26th after five straight years of top-16 finishes, but it was good enough to retain his #1 ranking going into 2013. 
Thanks for playing! See you next March!

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