Half of the sweet 16 is now set. Just looking at results of Tuesday night you’d think not much happened as all the higher seeds advanced. (One third of all the brackets got every game right, and another third got 7 of 8, so pretty much what everyone expected). There were several blowouts (5 matches ended in 2 and a 6th was 12-3) but there was one amazing game in each session. Early OC and GOB battled to a bowl off in the most anticipated game of the night, and every team waited and watched giving the game an amazing finals atmosphere. Captain Invisible Hand played himself and edged Oz in an instant classic. In the late session, Binga’s needed a miracle to survive an unreal upset bid from Granola, and they Jah delivered. Tso struck 8-9-10 and Jerk finished with a turkey to survive. Tonight looks like it could provide a few closer games. I’m psyched to just grab a beer and watch.
L.O.S. (9-3) -6 vs ICBING (8-4): The defending BoPo champ vs the defending Team of the Year. The biggest contrast in styles in the 1st round. Belmo has been on Facebook begging anyone to take down Cheese, can ICBING make his dreams come true? It’s a tall task. LOS has their whole squad tonight, and last year’s title run should have removed any playoff nerves. Fabio has been closing strong and 2 Dogs had a huge Sunday Shootout. LOS “bowls to win!” they say, and ICBING bowls to party. In the end I think both teams get what they came for.
Lovernauts (10-2) -1 vs My Balls (9-3): This should be a great one. My Balls led Tuesday B all year before a couple late losses knocked them into the Sunday Shootout. They survived that challenge and should have their top squad back with both Wej and Barry Violet. The Lovernauts are an amazing story this year grabbing their first division title. Rufio should be back from vacation tonight, and she’ll have her new pickup Rubbys. I imagine they’ll have some sort of awesome themed party thing happening and they’ll definitely bring a ton of energy. The winner draws a massive challenge in Back in Black, but that’s next week’s worry. Tonight we have an excellent party.
Linguists (10-2) -5 vs Budweisers (9-4): Ladies and gentlemen, your number one overall seed, the Cunning Linguists. After Col. Angus’ abrupt retirement after game 1, La Gatita has taken the reigns and done a masterful job. She signed Roo who has been excellent, and then she flat out dominated on the lanes always providing steady scores and leading the team to win after win. She also has them playing a bit angry, which could help them make a deep run. Plus Curious Dolphin has a sweet new tattoo on the way. The Buds have the longest win streak in the league (9) and feel like they can shock the world tonight. Sir Marks-A-Lot has his team believing. They have a high risk, high reward approach but that’s what they need if they want to pull the upset, high reward. Either way they are getting their drinks written off as a work expense.
Spare of the Dog (6-6) -3 vs Saucy Posse (5-8): SauPo is highly unpredictable. They had a couple big wins (Back in Black?!?) and then almost lost the first game of their Sunday Shootout match vs Bad News Spares. No idea what to expect out of these guys. Hot Sauce bailed them out Sunday with a 214. Walter and Beef are the guys they look to, but Tharbear has actually been their most consistent bowler the second half of the season. Spare of the Dog has the average edge. They have Coco Lopez looking to make a playoff run with her 2v2 season surprisingly over. The Jewdy/Yao/Bombpop combo usually produces at least one good score per game. Mona has been in a little slump lately but the playoffs are a new season. They have the sweet pink shirts with the sub/dom imagery, and the smooth satin feel. That’s enough for me. I take them.
TDYOB (5-7) -1 vs Ball That (5-7): This should be a good one. Ball That will be fired up to play Space Farmer, who used the “you lost to THOSE guys!” clip on his podcast all year when Ball That won. Samsquampch assembled a diverse group of newcomers with Boots, Baller and What’s Her Face, and they have some big wins under their belt already this year, but some surprise losses. TDYOB is equally unpredictable. They have a huge lineup, but I think it’s pared down a bit for this match. Senator ITZ and Pistol, the new guys, should be there ready to go (Lou Dawg will be dancing with no playoff eligibility). Munson lost his confidence last week, he needs it back. Farmer and Brandy have been the most consistent lately and will need to lead the way tonight.
Guacabowle (6-6) -3 vs Cape Fear (5-8): For years Guac has been the sleeper team in the playoffs, and they’ve thrived in that role. Last year they knocked off OC in the first round. Now they are the favorites after having a successful first year in the A division. How will they handle that change? They’ve had big games from everyone on the lineup, last week getting 200s in the same game from Cilantro and Sparetime. Salt N Peppa has been strong too, and Bonita is an all-star. Cape Fear has the highest average player in this one in South Paw who should have recovered by now from his Saturday night. Brentanimo was huge on Sunday, and Soccer Dad has had some good games. As long as Guac avoids the bowl off I think they advance to a matchup vs Bingas.
Leisure Rolls (8-4) -3 vs Splits Happen (9-4): The Rolls made it to the finals last year in their first BoPo season. Now everyone is gunning for them. They had a practice session last night which was pretty much exactly how they always roll, high scores in the 170s, low scores in the 150s. It got them though last year. Splits is a potentially dangerous opponent. Several of them, like several of the Rolls, have straight throws so they also will not be affected by the oil. Cotter Martin could make a name for himself, and Xander often comes through with big games. In the end Insanal and Shooter McGill give the Rolls the edge, and combined with their playoff experience I think they survive.
Incredibowls (9-3) -7 vs Wrecking Balls (6-7): The Incredibowls overcame a tough mid-season stretch to pull off the Division title on the last night of the year. God of Thunder had a great season and they do have Spidey who is long overdue for a huge night. The franchise has a proud playoff history. The Wrecking Balls had a great run to finish the season, winning four straight including their Sunday match. It was a nice stretch but they are missing their Captain and best bowler for this one with The Dude out of town. That’ll make this a two game match.