March Madness in July ...
This year's March Madness tournament saw 39 different
people vie to make it to the Big Dance and a showdown with destiny.
players vied in the East Regional on Wednesday morning. Roger
Taylor took Seton Hall '89, the #1 seed, with the first pick
of the draft and managed wins over a pair of North Carolina teams
(Derek Landel's #8 NC '98 and Jim Bell's #13 NC '77) to put him
in the regional finals. Jim Bell got in the position to play
the #1 seed by defeating the 4th and 5th seeds. Defending Champ
Dennis Nicholson's 11th seeded Loyola Chicago '63 team was the
Cinderella of the bracket, defeating Debbie Bell's #6 seed, Ken
Gutermuth's #3 seed and Harry Flawd's #2 seed to advance to the
regional final. Dennis's luck ran out, however, as Roger's powerful
#1 seed ended the Cinderella upset run to advance to the Final
Four. Overall, the bracket had seven upsets in the 17 games played.
On Thursday morning, 23 players answered the call for the
Southeast Regional. Jeremy Billones tried to repeat Roger's feat
by taking the #1 seed Duke '86 squad with the first pick. David
Anderson was the first into the regional finals by taking the
#3 seed Maryland '74 team past the likes of Mike Destro's #14
seed, Ken Gutermuth's #6, and Devin Flawd's #7. The #2 seed fell
in the first round to Roger Taylor's #18. Debbie Bell had the
Cinderella team in this regional as she took 16th seeded San
Francisco '55 past Jim Gott's #17, Jeremy Billones' #1, Bruno
Passacantando's #24, and Carrie Lewis' #5 seeds. David's #3 seed
proved too much for the Cinderella team as David and his MD '74
team advanced to the Final Four. This bracket had nine upsets
out of 22 games played.
On Friday morning, 19 players appeared for the Midwest regional.
This round saw the first pick going to Debbie Garver who took
the #1 seed Louisville '86 squad, a team who has won it all several
times in the past. Debbie's #1 seed used wins over Mike Dwyer's
#17, Ken Gutermuth's #9, and Carrie Lewis' #4 seed to advance
to the regional finals. With no real Cinderella emerging from
this group, Terry Coleman took the #7 seeded Minnesota '97 team
past Mike Destro's #10, Marvin Birnbaum's #2, and Derek Landl's
#11 team to face the #1 seed in the regional finals. The #1 seed
proved too strong for Terry's #11 as Debbie advanced to the Final
Four. There were only six upsets in 18 games in this round.
In the final regional, the West, on Saturday morning, 18 players
ventured through the darkness of the power outage to vie for
the final spot in the Final Four. Chris Bausch took the #2 seed
Houston '83 team with the first pick of the draft while Ken Gutermuth
got the #1 seed Duke '91 with the third pick. The brackets finally
went to form as Chris took his #2 seed to the regional final
by defeating Dennis Nicholson's #15, Mark Yoshikawa's #10, and
Terry Coleman's #6 seed to advance to the regional final. Ken
Gutermuth took the #1 seed to the regional final with wins over
Debbie Bell's #9 and Jeremy Billones #12 seed. In the first 1-2
match-up of the weekend, Chris's #2 seed held off the traditional
three rolls at the end of the game to upset Ken's #1 seed and
advance to the Final Four. This upset guaranteed that MMS would
have a new champion as four newcomers now entered the Final Four.
There were eight upsets out of 17 games played.
In the first semi-final game, Roger Taylor's Seton Hall team
built up a 6-point half time lead and then matched David Anderson's
Maryland team in the second half to come up with a 72-67 win
and a trip to the Big Dance. Debbie Garver's Louisville squad
proved too much for Chris Bausch's Houston squad as Debbie became
the third player to take this team to the final game.
In the finals, Roger's Seton Hall team came out strong to
build up a 40-26 halftime lead. The second half, however, showed
why Debbie's squad is so tough in the Final Four as she used
balanced scoring and great defense to come from behind and earn
her first WBC plaque with a dramatic 70-69 victory. Debbie became
the third champion of MMS to take the Louisville '86 squad all
This year's MMS tournament proved to be the year of the Debbie's
as Debbie Garver managed the win while Debbie Bell racked up
the most wins by any player. Debbie Bell earned seven wins while
Debbie Garver, Roger Taylor, Terry Coleman and Ken Gutermuth
had six each. Debbie Bell and Ken Gutermuth were the only players
to win at least one game in each of the regions. There were a
total of 77 games played with 30 upsets. Seven players played
in all four heats, four in three, ten in two, and 18 played just