Thursday, March 21, 2019

Wahl'd Kurds

In our 30th year of doing this, it's only fitting that would-be scofflaws still try to fool the commissioners and get around the rules, specifically by picking illegal wild cards. The record number of wild card criminals came in 2002, when eleven people tried and failed to confound us. This year, only two cagey crooks came and went. And, even after 30 years, our delight in naming these misdemeanants has not diminished. So let's all hear it for J Broder, who this year picked #25 Buffalo (in the AP top 25 linked to in the Rules) as his wild card but before that hadn't picked an illegal wild card since all the way back in 2009, and for R Simon, who picked #14 Kansas as his wild card.

Our most popular wild card selections were 5-seed Mississippi State (picked by 11) and 7-seed Cincinnati (also picked by 11), followed by 7-seed Wofford (8), 5-seed Auburn (7), 9-seed Washington (5), 8-seed VCU (3: Atkinson, M Josephs, Templeton), and 8-seed Syracuse (2: E Pogach, Rubinson). One entrant each chose 12-seed Murray State (Steinhardt), 11-seed and play-in game loser St. John's (Avila), 9-seed UCF (L Leach), 8-seed Utah State (Warner), and 9-seed Oklahoma (Sup Leach).

Special mention goes to three contestants who chose wild cards that were not invited to play: Doug Dye, who picked Texas; M Kleiman, who picked Alabama; and Kirchoff, who picked first-round NIT loser Toledo.

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