Bruce Reiff, OH
'92, '97-'99, '10
Terry Coleman, BC
Ken Gutermuth, TX
Jon Diminnie, IN
Bruce Monnin, OH
Dennis Nicholson, NY
Debbie Gutermuth, TX
John Coussis, IL
Marvin Birnbaum, NY
Jerome Billones, VA
Derek Landel, NY
He's baaaack .... eleven years
later for #5
A couple sports gamer junkies, Max
Jamelli vs Dave Denton, on Max's cool DTP produced boards.
Perennial contender Harry Flawd denies
Carrie Lewis her second trip to the Final Four.
March Madness has been a fixture of WBC (and AvalonCon
before that) for two decades. That the event's popularity is
undiminished can be seen by the fact that, in its 19th year,
MMS achieved an all-time high in attendance. This year's tournament
got off to a rousing start, with 28 players in the first heat
alone - which also tied for most players ever in a single heat.
Since MMS was his team game, Chris Bauch was quite pleased
that he managed to draft UCLA 73, the highest-ranked team in
the West Regional. Unfortunately for Bauch, a top-seeded team
hasn't won this event in several years; Chris became the victim
of an upset in his very first game, against newcomer Louise Strickland.
Not satisfied with that result, Louise also knocked off veteran
Roger Taylor before falling to perennial Final Four participant
Harry's opponent in the regional semis would be Jeremy Billones,
who had survived the upset bug with wins over 2001 champ Dennis
Nicholson and Samantha Berk. To her credit, Sam had knocked off
Mark Yoshikawa and Sean McCulloch - not bad for her first time
playing in the event! Having already swept aside the two-time
defending champion, Terry Coleman, Harry was not to be denied,
and used tough defense to overcome '06 champ Jeremy's 1948 UK
Wildcats, the most vintage team in this year's event.
In the other half of the draw, most eyes were trained on the
opening round matchup of Ken Gutermuth and Bruce Reiff, who between
them had already won six titles. Bruce emerged triumphant, but
his team must have been tired from the effort, because they fell
immediately thereafter to David Stiffler's Louisville 1980 club.
David's reward was that he faced Chad Gormly's UCLA 74 squad,
who made enough baskets down the stretch to put themselves in
the regional final. There Chad would match up with Harry in a
match of classic vs. new UCLA teams. In an unbelievably tight
affair that came down to the last position resolved, Harry had
to roll a '6' twice in succession to win. And he did, making
the Final Four for the second time in three years.
After the record attendance of the first heat, an attendance
was anticipated for subsequent starts, but were again rewarded
with 28 players, in heat #2. Mark Yoshikawa had aspirations of
avoiding the top-seeded 'curse' as he beat Mike Dwyer in Round
1, but ran into Bruce Reiff's unstoppable Minnesota 97 team in
the next round. Bruce also beat Steve Caler's '05 Spartans and
Jim Bell, who had his favorite Cincy '59 squad.
In the semis, Bruce would score a double-digit win over Max
Jamelli, who finally found his rhythm this year with three victories.
In fact, Max's first victory in this heat was over youngster
Danny Lewis. It was a real blast for the GM to see Danny playing
in the tournament, since he was little more than a twinkle in
his mother's eye the first time she made the Final Four. As luck
would have it, Carrie Lewis played the GM in the first round
of the same heat. Although Terry won, he then fell to Robert
Rund immediately thereafter. Rob would employ his favorite Four
Corners offense to good effect, with three wins over what had
previously been high-scoring teams.
Meanwhile, '07 champ Derek Landel was scoring one upset after
another with the 23rd-rated Michigan hoopsters. But after good
wins over Dennis, Steve, and John Shaheen, he couldn't manage
to stop Bruce's favorite Offensive Specialist play, and 'Mr.
Plaque' was in the Final Four.
Only 16 coaches appeared for the southern regional on Thursday,
but that only seemed to enhance the tough matchups. Pete Staab
faced Terry in the first round, and Pete gained revenge for his
Final Four loss the year before. Johnny Wilson, playing for the
first time in five years, was unable to shake off the rust in
his loss to Marvin Birnbaum. But the 2005 champ's reverie was
short-lived, as Marvin's dice went cold vs. John Coussis. And
that '04 winner himself couldn't stand against the seemingly
inevitable NC 97 team of Dave Denton. Before this heat, Dave
had never won more than two games in a row. But it all came together
for him in the regional final, as he beat Sean McCulloch by more
than 20 points. Sean could be consoled by the fact that he beat
Pete, Jeremy, and online champ Aran Warszawski before falling
to the Denton steamroller.
Friday's final heat is generally well-attended, and didn't
disappoint with 25 players. Once again, high seeds dropped like
free throws in a Big East game. Carrie led her Maryland 2001
team to wins over Harry and Stephen, while Roger shut down Peter
Stein and Ken Gutermuth, along with Carrie. Chris Bauch found
UConn 99 surprisingly to his liking with wins over Rob and Paul
Gaberson, and he had Bruce Reiff on the ropes. But Chris couldn't
make the dice rolls in the clutch, and Bruce looked as though
he might qualify a second team to the Final Four. However, Roger's
defense came up big at the end in the semis, and Roger found
himself in the Final against Jeremy, who had quietly knocked
off Mark and Terry, among others.
With Jeremy able to solve Roger's stifling defense, the stage
was set for the Final Four.
Bruce Reiff, winner of four MMS titles, was the clear favorite,
but he hadn't won this event since 1999. Harry Flawd was a fixture
in regional finals and lately, the Final Four, but had never
quite managed to win it all. Jeremy Billones was only four years
removed from his own title. Dave Denton was the newcomer: How
would he respond to the pressure of the Final Four?
As it turned out, Dave exceeded expectations, continuing his
roll into the championship game. With balanced scoring and solid
defense in a 102-58 win over Jeremy - NC 97 scored at least 50
in each half - the Denton Express looked good to take its first
crown. But Reiff's mojo was not to be denied this year, and his
Minnesota team won easily over Harry's squad. The problem wasn't
so much offense for Harry -Kevin Love had 22 points - it was
just that no one on the UCLA side wanted to play defense. Bruce
had a 63-41 lead at half, and never looked back in a 108-71 victory.
Unfortunately for Dave, the title game wasn't much different.
Bruce's active bench scored a frantic 29 points to only six by
Dave's subs, which made up most of the 94-62 margin.
In the end, Bruce Reiff reestablished his claim as the all-time
MMS player, with an unprecedented fifth crown. Kudos to Bruce,
to the other Final Four participants, and to the number of upset
victors this year (of which there were many). As GM of this event
for several years, I was very pleased to see the number of new
players, as well as 'old-timers' such as Dave Denton, who improved
greatly in the past year. Thanks to everyone for their continued
support of March Madness. See you next year.
Harry Flawd vs 2006 champ Jeremy Billones.
Max Jamelli drops out of the big dance
against the five-time champ.
By Email 2009-10
The largest ever field of 42 players signed up to contest
the seventh annual BPA March Madness PBeM tournament.
For the second year in a row, the championship was won with a
runaway victory in the title game.
Champion Dennis Nicholson's 5th seeded 1998 North Carolina
team reached the Sweet 16 with nine-point wins over Bob Jamelli's
St. Johns 1995, Thomas Browne's Michigan 1976 and Tom Dunning's
Oklahoma 2002 squad. He then defeated Mark Yoshikawa's Pittsburgh
2009, Terry Coleman's Michigan 1989 and Harry Flawd's Memphis
2006 teams to reach the championship.
Runner-up Daniel Leader's 8th seeded Duke 2004 squad had a
more tenuous run to the all-ACC championship game. He started
with a one-point win over Nicole Reiff's NC State 1983, followed
by a six-point win over Steve Caler's Memphis 2009 and a two-point
win over Ken Gutermuth's Texas 2006. An easier win over Andy
Maly's Minnesota 1997 was followed by a one-point win over Don
Greenwood's Michigan State 2001 with a reroll of the last dieroll.
A two-point Final Four victory over Mark Yoshikawa's Arizona
2001 squad landed Daniel in the championship matchup.
Nicholson's Tar Heels jumped out to an early lead in the championship
game, taking a 51-33 halftime lead. Both Mike Krzyzewski and
Bill Guthridge were kicked out of the game with two technical
fouls apiece. Duke's vaunted defense (or as some would argue,
flopping ability) caused North Carolina to suffer two charging
fouls, but the Tar Heel express could not be stopped, as they
earned a 96-75 victory.
Final Four Most Outstanding Player is given to champion North
Carolina 1998's left forward Antawn Jamison. With his B rating,
he averaged 20.1 points per game throughout the tournament, including
30 big points in the championship game. Here is the rest of the
All Tournament Team:
All Tournament First Team:
Center Paul Hogue (Cincinnati 1961) C Rating
Left Forward Gene Banks (Duke 1978) B Rating
Right Forward Glen Rice (Michigan 1989) A Rating
Left Guard Shammond Williams (North Carolina 1998)
C Rating 17.6 ppg
Right Guard Louie Dampier (Kentucky 1966) B Rating
Bench Michigan State 2001 A Rating 23.3 ppg
The tournament will be restarted this coming October. Come
join us in determining next year's PBeM champion of the BPA March
1st Dennis Nicholson
2nd Dan Leader
3rd Harry Flawd
4th Mark Yoshikawa
5th Terry Coleman
6th Don Greenwood