The Sunday Shootout is in the books. Alas, there were no bowloffs, but we did see ‘the playoff effect’, where teams rolled 70-100 pins above their regular season average in many cases. Regardless we now have our bracket, and the 13 day race to a title has begun! These are the best two weeks of the bowling year, and conveniently enough start the day after that other bracket tournament has its Championship game. Brackets are available at the front desk, $5 to enter, Diesel is the defending bracket champ. They must be returned by Tuesday at 5:45.
On paper it looks like a repeat for Back In Black is in the works. Stevie Strikes schooled everyone this year and Skittles, aka Karl Malone, didn’t sign as a free agent to lose, she wants a banner. (Not to mention she expects one, already expressing concern that her 2v2 Finals match would wear her out for her BoPo championship game. I guess you can afford to be presumptuous if you’re on BIB.) Yahtzee looks like the favorite on the right side of the bracket. For those who missed it, Sparkles went 254-290 yesterday in 2v2 playoffs (and on lanes 1-2 for those people who complain that lanes 1 and 2 somehow impact averages). Combine that with Cheddar and these guys look ridiculous, their only potential achilles’ heel being camaraderie, perhaps even having too much of it.
This year’s tourney field is the deepest in BoPo history and there will be some amazing match ups even in the first round, with Sweet 16 match ups that would have been championship games in years past. That said we have two heavy favorites that appear on a collision course, so will all the other stuff just be window dressing on the way to a BIB vs Yahtzee final? That’s why they play the games.
Get your spurs and chaps on, it’s playoff time!
For first round games, play all three games even if the result is decided in two. For future rounds if the game is decided in two the match is over and teams leave the lanes.
‘Upset potential’ is my best guess at the chance for the lower seeded team to win.
#1 Back in Black (10-2) -9 vs #32 Pinups (6-7): The Pinups pulled a minor upset on Sunday to get into the tourney – their reward, a date with defending champs and tourney favorite BIB. Well it was a nice season. The Pinups will be happy to be there and hope to grab a point or two. Back In Black will cruise in this one and everyone should get plenty of playing time. Stevie may even stay home again for this one, though TDYOB did take advantage of that move last week. upset potential: nil
#5 Off Constantly (8-4) -5 vs #28 Guacabowle (8-4): O.C. had a nice rebound regular season after last year’s Sunday Shootout bid. Of course they still went to the semis last year so the regular season doesn’t mean much to them. They will be heavy favorites in this first round match. Guacabowle did make a little noise a few years ago with a near 700 game in the playoffs, and they do seem to rise to the occasion. Sparetime led the league in games played this year so he’s got the practice in but this is a bit of a reach. upset potential: extremely low
#15 My Balls (11-1) -3 vs #18 Happy Hands Productions (8-4): This is the game to watch early, not surprisingly given the closeness of the seeding. My Balls just completed an amazing run by winning the division title in the final game of the year after being tied 5-5. Rookie Wej (I have 1 brick, how many do you have?) has been a great signing for these guys. He’s the energy guy allowing Captain Barry Violet to be the steely, reserved leader. Plus Big Red is capable of some big games. Happy Hands looked destined for Sunday until everything broke their way on the final night. Their reward is getting a playoff game against a B team, even though My Balls are the best B team by record. Munj and Sasha have their team right where they want to be and this is a clash with a familiar rival. It will take some serious rolling from Cocksure and Co., but HHP has a shot in this one. upset potential: medium
#7 Sons of Danarchy (7-5) -5 vs #26 Bowled & Beautiful (4-9): SOD turned the brackets upside down with their final week upset of L.O.S. They escaped the group of death, handed the Thursday A crown to Leisure Rolls and grabbed a 1st round date with Bowled & Beautiful. SOD has always gotten by on depth but lacked a true #1, but in week 12 The Dentist filled that role and looked like he may be back from that wrist injury. That would be huge for this team that has a real clear shot at the semis at least. B&B bowls to their competition, exhibited clearly in their last two games. They took a 5-0 lead on Binga’s and almost pulled that upset, then scuffled to a close win over Splits Happen in the Sunday Shootout. They’ll be up for this one and could put a scare in SOD if they look past this game. upset potential: low to medium
#9 XXX Club (7-5) -3 vs #24 Cunning Linguists (3-9): The Club finished the season strong going 6-1 to close things out and finishing 5th in Tuesday A. They signed Big Rig as a potential ringer in the offseason after the Deputy signing fell though and Samsquampch walked, but in-house options Tango and Roadhouse responded to be 1-2 on the team in average. They are a dangerous but unpredictable squad. The Linguists got a nice bonus when their Sunday foe forfeited and now get a shot at a team they’ve played before. They do have some talent on the roster – La Ga, Gutterslut and Wild Card are all potential big game bowlers, and EHD is coming off a career game. They haven’t managed to all pull it together yet in one game, but that will all be forgotten if they roll their best Tuesday. upset potential: low to medium
#13 Strikes of Hazzard (6-6) -3 vs #20 Cape Fear (9-3): This one could be interesting. It’s the wild and crazy Hazzard boys vs the all-business Fear. Hazzard arrested their slide just in time to avoid a Sunday game but have looked vulnerable. That said offseason pickup General Lee hasn’t seemed particularly interested, and that should change now that the playoffs have arrived. Deputy has Slowinskied himself into a deep, dark place, but he can always hope for a revival. Cape Fear rolls a short bench, and Southpaw can battle the top dogs of A. This franchise has a history of near misses in 1st round matches vs top teams. Don’t sleep on them. upset potential: medium
#3 Yahtzee! (10-2) -11 vs #30 BILFs (7-6): Did I mention Sparkles’ 254-290 back to back yesterday? Yeah, and he finished 2nd on the team in average. Ol’ Cheddar is back in the league and looking for another title to shake off memories of his last playoff appearance, the infamous beer on the head loss to Y&B back when he was with BEER. He’s certainly got the pieces in place to do it. The BILFs will try to pick away at the low points and hang around into game three. Major Danks really needs to have his breakout game to back up team leader Old Thumper. upset potential: extremely low
#11 Binga’s (7-5) -3 vs #22 UREA! (3-9): For those who don’t remember, UREA! already beat Binga’s once this season. In two games. That might not be helpful as now Binga’s will be extra focused (by Binga’s standards). They were missing Tso in that one but still it gives UREA! hope they can pull off another win. Binga’s started the season on fire, even beating BIB and looking like a championship contender. They spent the 2nd half of the sea on scuffling. Which Binga’s team will be in the playoffs? UREA has a bad record but they have been in many of those losses to the very end. T-$ tied for 2nd most 200+ games and Steff Infection and Knuckles are one of the better 1-2 girl punches. Nurple is the key for these guys if they want to advance. upset potential: medium