Here we go, entering the most exciting 18 days in sport…we will crown a champion on April 14th, and tonight we start filling in the brackets. Who gets a nice spot, who ends up in the Sunday shootout. Also the races for Captain of the Year and Team of the Year have never been this wide open going into the final week. Nor has the more objective Top Dawg award, presented to highest overall average. That’s a three way race between Mr. Pickles, Cheddar and Stevie Strikes.
#6 Cunning Linguists (8-3) -1 vs #11 Nutz (6-5): This one looks to be a great game with plenty at stake. The Linguists have had a great first season, and a win here likely gets them the 4th seed. The Nutz started 0-5 but have roared back with six straight wins and would be stoked to keep that momentum rolling into the playoffs.
#20 My Balls (5-6) -7 vs Bowlderdash (1-10): Not too much at stake in this one. Bowlderdash will be playing in the April Fools’ Shootout this Sunday at noon. My Balls will be in the playoffs somewhere. Both would love a win to go out on a high note.
#3 BEER (9-2) -5 vs Saucy Posse (5-6): BEER can wrap up the 2nd seed with a win, but a win might not be so easy. Top Dawg contender Cheddar is walking wounded, Hungus’ elbow is just hanging on and Tom Richards has yet to get it together. SauPo has struggled even more, falling far below expectations. This could be the game that finally inspires Walter.
I.B.S. (3-7) -5 vs Pinups (2-9): The Pinups know their fate – Sunday Shootout. They hope to drag Oolie’s plunger-toters down with them. I.B.S. has a mathematical chance of escaping the shootout, but they need a blowout win and some other games to go their way.
#16 Strikes of Hazzard (6-5) -9 vs Splits Happen (2-9): Hazzard took a tough loss to the Nutz last week, and now need to get a bunch of points to move up in the final standings. Splits Happen shows moments of being dangerous and have a chance given the way Hazzard has been so inconsistent.
Incredibowls (5-6) -1 vs Three Livers (3-8): This one sets up the late games. Incredibowls look safe at 5-6, but if they lose, combined with N.E.D. and Y&B wins they could end up in the Sunday Shootout. Conversely, Three Livers looks dead at 3-8, but if they win big, then N.E.D. and Y&B both lose, they could earn a playoff spot. Exciting match.
#2 Walkaways (9-2) -7 vs #9 Off Constantly (6-5): The Walkaways will know by gametime if they can move up. OC will still be in the middle of a huge jumble of teams. Walkaways are bowling well, OC is struggling. A win, or even a close loss, from OC could restore their confidence heading into the playoffs – and make them feel better displaying their old trophy. For the Walkaways it’s just a business meeting.
#7 Still L.O.S. (7-4) -3 vs Young & Bowled (4-7): L.O.S. can’t move too far in either direction in the standings, but would like to rebound from last week’s scores and prove they can play second shift. Y&B has a ton on the line. A win (or even a close loss) likely gets them into the playoffs. They’ll be scoreboard watching the N.E.D./D-GUTS game.
#1 Back In Black (10-1) -5 vs #4 Binga’s (8-3): Nothing technically to play for for Back In Black, but thy don’t want to let any teams have the confidence that they can beat them in the playoffs – right now they look invincible. Binga’s generally rises to the occasion for big games, and this does mean a lot to them. A loss here and they likely end up in the same bracket with Back In Black for a potential quarterfinal match.
#14 Turkey Club (6-5) -3 vs Pinny Candy (6-5): Turkey Club got a big finish from Tango to pick up a win last week in a bowloff. Pinny Candy broke their losing streak with a win of their own. This game will go a long way toward determining seeding but both teams are comfortably in the tournament.
#19 D-GUTS (6-5) -5 vs N.E.D. (4-7): D-GUTS has a good opportunity to finish with a winning record and get some confidence heading into the playoffs. N.E.D. needs the win and some help to avoid the April Fools’ Shootout.