The craziest round of 32 in recent memory saw four of the top ten teams in the league bounced early, and a fifth dramatically changed.
Strap in for this recap . . . its going to be a wild ride.
1 seed Rick & Robb vs. 32 seed DaVinci
Vegas gave Rick & Robb a 90% chance of victory, but what Vegas didn’t know is that the Rick half of Rick & Robb would not be playing, and instead Robb would be forced to bring in a new substitute partner who had not played bocce all year. This new team also has a new name – Redskin Jones and the Cracker. The real question is, can they be as good? To be honest, it will be hard to duplicate the form that won Rick & Robb the regular season championship, but the early returns are good. Redskin Jones and the Cracker defeated DaVinci in two games, winning 11-5 and 13-4. I suppose we will give Vegas credit for this one.
17 seed Blue Balls vs. 16 seed Double A’s
Vegas gave Double A’s a 52% chance of victory, and that prediction looked shaky after the first game, which Blue Balls won 12-0 with Justin McLaughlin scoring 9 big points. The second game was a lot more competitive – in fact it was as competitive as game get – but Blue Balls earned the sweep 11-9. Again Justin came up big with 8 points. Sports are all about style clashes and match ups and bocce is no exception. In this case I think Justin’s ability to roll was a bad match up for the Double A’s. Blue Balls will move on to face 1 see Redskin Jones and the Cracker in the sweet 16. Should be an interesting match up to say the least.
9 seed Vince’s Gourmet Imports vs. 24 seed Dripping Stallions
Vegas gave Vince’s Gourmet Imports a 67% chance of victory, and that’s without the knowledge that Vince’s Gourmet Imports are our reigning champions and Dripping Stallions are rookies. If I were assigning percentages I would have gave Vince’s even stronger odds. Nothing against Dripping Stallions, its just hard to imagine a team walking in cold off the street, if you will, and beating our champion. But that’s exactly what happened. Both games were close but the Dripping Stallions made the shots when it counted ,winning the first game in overtime 13-11, and the second game 11-8. That just goes to show that anything is possible! This is an accomplishments Dripping Stallions should be extremely proud of. Our sweet 16 will be packed with drama, but the possibility of repeat champions will not be part of that drama.
8 seed Omnipotence vs. 40 seed Mean Girls
Vegas gave Omnipotence a staggeringly high 90% chance of victory. Speaking as a team who lost to the Mean Girls this year, I can tell you that they are not that easy to beat. Vegas was, as it turned out, right in their prediction but not correct about the ease of victory. Omnipotence won two close games that took good playing to earn 11-8 and 11-6 victories. They will now play giant slayers Dripping Stallions in the sweet 16.
4 seed Regulators vs. 29 seed Twinning
Vegas gave Regulators an 80% chance of victory, which fits their status as the fourth ranked team, and a team looking to build on last year’s final four appearance. Twinning, who played amazing in their first round win, did not care much about seeds or predictions. They continued their hot play against one of Turbo Bocce’s best teams winning the series in two games 11-7 and 11-6. In the entire year there have not been many wins as good as this.
20 seed Bocce Like Its Hot vs. 13 seed Eazy Duz It
Bocce Like Its Hot is one of two lower seeded teams that Vegas said had an outright advantage. In this case giving the 20 seed a 55% chance to beat the 13 seed. Vegas was right – they don’t pick many upsets, but when they do, they seem to usually get it right. Bocce Like Its Hot won the series in two games 11-9 and 11-5, racking up another big upset and beating a very good Eazy Duz It team. I’ll be interested to see what the Vegas’s odds are for Bocce Like Its Hot moving forward as they play Twinning in the sweet 16.
12 seed Kiss My Ace vs. 21 seed Amerika’z Most Wanted
Vegas gave Kiss My Ace a 63% chance of victory, but that clearly did not intimidate former champions Amerika’z Most Wanted who dominated the first game 11-1. Kiss My Ace came back strong in the second game, winning 11-4 and forcing a decisive game three. If you’ve noticed there hasn’t been a third game in any of the series we’ve covered yet. In this one, Kiss My Ace was able to keep their momentum from the first game and win 11-4 again behind a big 8 point performance by Angelo Isgro.
37 seed Little Big Leagues vs. 5 seed 2 ½ Kittens
Vegas gave 2 ½ Kittens a 79% chance of victory, but we know that Little Big Leage’s doesn’t care about odds because they pulled off the biggest upset of the first round, beating Mission Imbocceball II who Vegas assigned a 78% chance of victory. Unfortunately the magic that Little Big Leagues managed to tap into last week did not seem to be around this week. The five seed were just too much, and they won the series in two games 11-2 and 11-4. Still, there is no shame in losing two 2 ½ Kittens and Little Big League made some major waves in the tournament before going out. All in all a very successful rookie year. 2 ½ Kittens will move on to face Kiss My Ace in the sweet 16.
2 seed Los Moppines vs. 34 seed Red Rockets
Vegas gave Los Moppines an 89% chance of victory, but make no mistake this was a very tough draw in what, for my money, is the bracket of death. Los Moppines earned the two seed (missing out on the regular season championship by the slimmest of percentage points) and their “reward” was just about as tough of a draw as you can get. Sometimes bracket-ology is a harsh mistress. The Red Rockets came out strong, winning the first game 11-6, but Los Moppines only lost five games this year for a reason – they won the second game in dominating fashion 13-3. What happened in the third game, I can’t say for sure. I heard rumors that it involved a lot of bocces from the Red Rockets. All I can say is that the Red Rockets won 11-0 to seal the biggest upset of the playoffs so far (pretty much as big of an upset as upsets get). Apparently the two seed is bad luck (last year’s two seed lost in the same round). I can also say that just as there will be no repeat champion, there will be no triple crown this year. Greg Griffo of Los Moppines won the one-on-one tournament, and needed to win a championship to complete the second leg of the triple crown. Now that there will be no true Triple crown winner we will just have to see who does the best in the combined events.
18 seed Lover Boys vs. 15 seed Breakfast of Champions
The first upset predicted by Vegas came true. This was the second upset prediction. Vegas gave the 18 seed a 56% chance of beating the 15 seed. At first Breakfast of Champions looked like they were going to make fools out of Vegas, taking a 9-1 lead, but that changed in a hurry. Lover Boys came all the way back to make the score 9-8 before finally losing 11-8. Even though they lost the first game, Lover Boys had all the momentum on their side and kept it going in the second game, winning 11-4. The decisive third game was a back and forth affair that saw the Lover Boys leading 8-7 before a three point round by Breakfast of Champions gave them a 10-7 advantage. The last shot was a lucky one in the dark, that quite frankly, was a bad way to end a great game. You know its an even match up when both teams score the exact same amount of points, in this case 26-26. Breakfast of Champions will face Red Rockets in the sweet 16.
10 seed Droppin Balls vs. 23 seed Kentucky Bourbon
Vegas gave Droppin Balls a 67% chance of victory in this match up of two of Turbo Bocce’s all time most successful teams. The first game went as you might expect with Droppin Balls winning a close one,11-9. In the second game Droppin Balls asserted their dominance with an 11-0 win. Things can change quickly in bocce, but that sure looked like a statement win to me. Watch out for Droppin Balls.
26 seed Bocce Against the Machine vs. 7 seed Balls Deep
Vegas gave Balls Deep a 73% chance of victory, but in reality this game came down to a straight 50/50 coin flip with both games going into overtime. Bocce Against the Machine squeaked out a close victory in the first game 12-10. In the second game, Turbo Bocce veteran Dan Hanley of Balls Deep did everything he could to keep his team in the playoffs by scoring 8 points, but it wasn’t enough. Another top ten team goes down as Bocce Against the Machine won 13-11 to advance to the sweet 16 where they will play Droppin Balls.
3 seed Black Jesus vs. 35 seed Knights of the Round Ball
Vegas gave Black Jesus a 69% chance of victory. That percentage may have gone up had Vegas known that Black Jesus has been extra hot of late, winning some big games both in the league and in practice. Jim and John’s hot play extended to this playoff game, never really giving their opponents a chance to make a run. They won the series in two games, 11-1 and 11-1.
19 seed Two Che vs. 14 seed Schaffer BMW
Vegas gave Schaffer BMW (the new team) a 57% chance of victory over Two Che (the veteran team) and this series ended up being about as close as it gets. Schaffer BMW took the first game 11-6, but in the second game Two Che came back to even things up (literally) with their own 11-6 victory. The third and final game was as close as a game can be by rule. Two Che used their veteran smarts to squeak out the 11-9 victory. They will face Black Jesus in the sweet 16.
11 seed Boccelism vs. 22 seed Rum Runers
Vegas gave Boccelism a 58% chance of winning one of the most intriguing match ups of the round of 32. The first game of this series ended up being of vital importance and Boccelism won it in overtime 12-10, helped by 8 big points from Mike Weiss. In the second game Rum Runners came back, winning 11-5 to force a game three. Boccelism managed to win the third game and the series 11-7. They will face Balls On Your Ace (who has a forfeit to the next round) in the sweet 16.
Overall Vegas had a rough day going 8-7 in their predictions, however they went 1-1 in their upset picks, just missing going 2-0 by the slimmest of margins. The lesson here, I feel, is pay attention to Vegas when they predict an upset.