In the end, there was Vandy Dan and then everyone else. His Utah State pick was the only major bonus point scorer (12 seed or higher). Thanks to Cornell's auto-bid, New Mexico State's WAC championship, and UTEP's prior-week ranking, there wasn't much room for the at-large picks ranked 12 and up. Dan went 5-of-6 and didn't miss a pick until the final round. I came in a close second but, as predicted, Rhode Island's late season bed-wetting sunk me. Full results:
|GM||Round 1||Round 3||Round 5|
|Vandy10||Marquette (6)||6||Wake Forest (9)||7||Memphis (out)||-2|
|KingJamesIV||Texas (8)||7||Virginia Tech (out)||-2||Georgia Tech (10)||9|
|Vandy Dan||Louisville (9)||7||Utah State (12)||12||San Diego St. (11)||9|
|Train Island||Richmond (7)||7||California (8)||7||Rhode Island (out)||-2|
|bloggywo||Mississippi State (out)||-2||Ole Miss (out)||-2||Arizona St. (out)||-2|
|Round 2||Round 4||Round 6|
|bloggywo||Florida (10)||9||Notre Dame (6)||6||Illinois (out)||-2|
|Train Island||Oklahoma State (7)||7||Missouri (10)||9||Washington (11)||9|
|Vandy Dan||Old Dominion (11)||9||Florida State (9)||7||Dayton (out)||-2|
|KingJamesIV||Saint Mary's (10)||9||UAB (out)||-2||Kent State (out)||-2|
|Vandy10||Clemson (7)||7||UNLV (8)||7||Miami (Fl.) (out)||-2|
Upon reflection, the Arizona State pick was worth just as many points as Harvard would have been - and twice as classy - and Kent State and Miami's home run conference tournament champion picks both backfired. Only one eligible at-large team made the tournament but wasn't picked - Minnesota. Only 30% of the teams picked in the last two rounds got bids, and the first real miss was Round 3's Virginia Tech (Mississippi State doesn't count, as they were merely an avenue to punish 'wo).
So all hail VandyDan, as his nearly-perfect draft earned him this year's title. And let's not forget to commend Vandy10 and KingJamesIV for their terrible choices, as well as bloggywo and his innate ability to hold the draft up for days at a time by not posting. Revenge swings around swiftly though, with the first annual Anchor of Gold Tournament Pick'em Challenge. Champions there will earn the right to make fun of the staff and obtain a possibly disproportionate sense of smug self-satisfaction.
Group Name: Anchor of Gold