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DB Tourney Challenge 2017: The Supreme Seven

Plus a visit from 1884 National League triple-crown winner and obscene gesture pioneer Old Hoss Radbourn.
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

After an exceptionally exciting weekend of basketball, the Dealbreaker Tournament Challenge is even more up for grabs than the NCAA championship, with seven contestants still in the running for a ride in a BLADE Helicopter as we head to the Final Four.

Mrs. Greenjeans had the lead after the Sweet 16 with 69 points, which was nice, but having picked Duke to go all the way, the verdant-legged lady was in a tenuous position. Four games later, it’s Rich Pniewski at the top of the standings, with 87 points, two ahead of someone going by, simply, Matt.

Rich has Villanova as national champion and Oregon as runner-up, which means that his best possible score is 103 points. Matt still has his winner alive in Gonzaga, as well as his runner-up, also Oregon, so he can top out at 149. But those aren’t are only possible winners. Here’s the breakdown of who wins with each of the eight possible remaining outcomes.

Gonzaga over North Carolina: Marc Poulos (134)
Gonzaga over Oregon: Matt (149)
North Carolina over Gonzaga: Shaaa Braaa (140)
North Carolina over South Carolina: David Sell (130)
Oregon over Gonzaga: cryinglittle jewishboy (133)
Oregon over South Carolina: cryinglittle jewishboy (117)
South Carolina over North Carolina: Jack Hunsicker (100)
South Carolina over Oregon: Rich Pniewski (103)

How different would things have been if Luke Maye’s shot hadn’t gone in for North Carolina on Sunday? Or if Florida had been able to hold off South Carolina? Or if Michigan had taken down Oregon on Thursday night? Or if Arizona had handled Xavier in the Sweet 16? Please feel free to do your own math, because going through the various scenarios to come up with the seven possible winners of this thing was enough work, and, quite honestly, your bracket failure stories are as interesting as your bad poker beats and your fantasy football shortcomings.

Except, that is, for Old Hoss Radbourn, who had Arizona winning the title and has capped out at 55 points. This is pretty embarrassing, because our friend Hoss won 59 games for the Providence Grays in 1884, leading them to the National League pennant. Also, he died 15 years before Arizona became a state, although the University of Arizona was founded in 1885, a year in which Radbourn won 28 games for Providence.

Radbourn also is credited as the first person to flip the bird on camera, giving the finger from the back row of the Boston Beaneaters’ team picture in 1886.

Everyone not named here can give themselves the finger for so dramatically screwing up their brackets. Do yourself a favor next time and go with the tried and true method of making your picks: Grays. Sports. Almanac.



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Buffers on tour [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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