Things just got real. Last week was a fun kickoff to the tourney with the shootout and the opening round, but there weren’t a lot of close games. That should change. At least 12 of the teams remaining think they can make a run and win this thing. The ‘underdogs’ in this round are still teams capable of throwing an 800 on occasion, so no team is completely safe. Makes for great theater.
Yay (11-2) -3 vs Cunning Linguists (8-5): This one is pretty interesting. Yay! is carrying the Thursday banner as the top Thursday squad all season. They are starting to have a consistent formula. Yao paces them, Mona and Ralphie put up solid 160+ scores, Jewdy goes big once or twice and Probie and Bombpop are steady guys always getting fourth and sometimes 2nd. The Linguists are far less predictable. Pauly usually has a 220 and 150, Col. Angus averaged 200 last week but may roll 120, La Ga is steady, Gutterslut has the occasional monster game. When EHD is solid the team can beat anyone, or lose to anyone left in the tourney. I’ll take the steadier performing team in this one.
Still L.O.S. (9-4) -5 vs Nutz (6-8): The Nutz survived a comeback attempt by Saucy Posse to advance to the Sweet 16. They get a much tougher go of it this week. Herbie returns this week, Busta is capable of giant nights and Tee Bag has the playoff bug. L.O.S. is on a mission to create a new playoff dynamic. They’ve got their eyes firmly set on the Championship and they are unlikely to have any letups along the way. The Towers’ dedication is highlighted by their refusal to be distracted by women until they lose, as evidenced by what they are growing on their faces. Well ladies, you may have to wait a few more nights.
UREA! (11-2) -3 vs My Balls (7-6): My Balls crashed their way into the ‘B Champs’ bracket. They’d like to win one more and be the strange guest at the quarterfinals. They have the ability, with DC Lane and Barry both capable of big games. UREA! has had an amazing, turnaround season and would love to keep it going. Amazingly they’ve done it during an ‘off’ season for T-$. They’ve been carried by the lady troika of Steff Infection, Knuckles and J-Bird. Rappopotamus has been solid too, but eventually they’ll need their ace. I think they can get out of this one though.
BEER (10-3) -3 vs TDYOB (8-5): Neither of these teams looked good in the opening rounds but they did enough to advance and that’s all that matters. BEER was able to put last season behind them finally, though they solidified their reputation as a first round softie. TDYOB was a semifinalist last year and have every intention of improving on that this year. This should be a great (likely loud) battle. These two teams have more combined practice time than any other teams this week. Neither team is looking ahead. BEER has it on paper with the two top averages, but regular season stats don’t matter at this point.
Back in Black (12-1) -7 vs Young & Bowled (6-7): This is the third season that Gutterboy, Stevie Strikes and Bama have bowled together. They’ve been the tourney favorite each time, but come up short the first two years. This year they look to be on a mission and are just clobbering people. They play one of last year’s giant killers tonight in Y&B. Pistol and crew will need the game of their lives to repeat last year, as BIB is not going to collapse on their own. Hark needs a monster night ans Senator ITZ needs to break out of the 180’s into the next level. If they keep it close they’ll have the crowd support as underdogs, but I don’t see this one taking three games.
Sons of Danarchy (12-1) -7 BUI (5-8): When they played a couple weeks ago BUI came out strong and kept it close for a while. Maybe they can do it again but I think SOD got their wakeup call last week and will be bowling well. Dwayne Luther is particularly eager to rebound after losing his personal rookie showdown with Larry last week. But as I’ve said many time averages and old scores don’t make any difference in a tournament format. Everyone starts at 0 tonight. Snapshot will need the series of his career to even sniff an upset, and Pindiesel’s house ball will need some magic in it.
Binga’s (8-5) -3 vs Strikes of Hazzard (6-8): Are you ready to party? These teams will wave the BoPo party banner high and take their time playing this match. Hazzard pulled the only real upset of the first round when they dispatched GOB in 2 games. Deputy wasn’t even at his best but he’ll be ready tonight. Uncle Jesse and Miz Tizdale give him some strong backup. Flash has been getting his practice in, too. Binga’s is looking to get back into the ‘elite’ conversation, and have a shot this year with Top Dawg Jamaican Jerk playing at such an insane level. It’s also been a breakout year for Cookie – he and Jerk are also in the 2 v 2 Finals – who shined with Tso on the shelf. Now Tso is back, but how back he is could determine how far these guys go. Hot Mango had a great start to the season, now just needs one of those classic Hot Mango moments where he energizes the whole squad. Chernobes will need to be on her game to battle Miz Tizdale.
Off Constantly (8-6) -1 vs XXX Club (6-8): BoPo’s two cockiest teams meet in this excellent game, and the unthinkable has to happen. One of them will lose, and be left in disbelief. The Club handles OC in a regular season match, not that that has any impact on this one. More importantly they have heated up lately, particularly Roadhouse who has been a 2 week stretch of monster games. Tango has been solid as well, and Herk A Leez has been getting better and better each week. Perhaps the most important piece has been Samsquampch who keep s putting up 180’s in the three or four spot. OC had a horrible start to the season but is right where they want to be now. Coucou is bowler of the week, Oz is bowling his best games of the season, Nuber has been strong all year and Dick has a full arsenal of balls. No word if McQueen will go AWOL to help out in this one, or if Tron is on. Sometimes no subs helps, and that’s what I’m counting on with this prediction.