March Maddening Reaches the #Bitter16

A memorable Round of 32 is in the books. Are you maddened?

THERE HAVE UPSETS BEEN YES YES

In the Ken Behring Region, mostly.

13 seed Jesus Montero took out his second straight Seahawks offensive coordinator. He’s the worst seed left in the whole tournament. Aaron Curry is his next foe. Don’t think Montero can pull off a third straight upset? Believe Big. (That’s an old-school Wakamatsu joke. You’re not welcome.)

Steve Sarkisian entered the tourney as an 11 and proceeded to take out Steve Hutchinson (6) and Vin Baker (3). Neither matchup was close. Watch out. For the. Sark Horse. There will be no apologies.

In the other three regions, the seeds are all 1-2-3-4 or 1-2-3-5. Meaning some serious negative star power collides in the #Bitter16.

THERE WERE CLOSE CALLS ALMOST TOO CLOSE TO CALL

The 2-10 matchup pitting Scott Spiezio against Yunieksy Betancourt came within two switched votes of being a tie.

It was tied 157-157 at 4 p.m., 174 -174 two hours later and 191-191 at 8:30. AND 209-209 in the final hour. Spiezio prevailed 224-220 in the end. Good for him? Good for us? Probably good for nobody except Yuni.

#BITTER16 PREVIEW

The overall bracket is now as follows:

Down to each region’s final four entrants, the matchups are heating up. Let’s explore each one individually.

The Ken Behring Region

1 Aaron Curry vs. 13 Jesus Montero

Curry squeaked past 9 seed Dustin Ackley 57-43, an ominous sign for his chances. Montero is on fire, catching coaches at the right time. Curry isn’t a coach, though he’s maybe the worst draft pick in Seahawks history.

PREDICTION: Curry 59, Montero 41

11 Steve Sarkisian vs. 2 Scott Spiezio

Spiezio almost didn’t get out of the second round. Sark has won by 40 points twice. It’s going to be Curry-Sarkisian in the Hateful Eightful. I don’t see how Player A rallies. Unless y’all start streaming Sandfrog music videos. (Do not do that.)

PREDICTION: Sarkisian 62, Spiezio 38

The Jeff Smulyan Region

1 Tyrone Willingham vs. 4 Jeff Cirillo

Honestly it’s hard to tell how much staying power any Huskies coach will have, since not all Seattle fans claim UW, not by a long shot. We’ll see how much mileage he can still get out of that putrid, incomprehensible 0-12 season. Cirillo OPS’d .603 for the M’s before returning to Milwaukee and putting up a .790 for two seasons. But that was 15 years ago.

PREDICTION: Willingham 59, Cirillo 41

The winner will get the winner of…

2 Chone Figgins vs. 3 Percy Harvin

Which I think is the real regional final, much like the NFCCG after the 2013 season was the real Super Bowl. Figgins is probably M’s Public Enemy 1B, if A-Rod is 1A.

It’s hard to gauge the hate for Harvin, who won a ring, but cost a great deal and left on the worst possible terms. WITH A RING. If he can beat Figgins, he can win it all, but Chone is the real unfavorite here.

PREDICTION: Figgins 54, Harvin 46

The Clay Bennett Region

1 Tom Cable vs. 5 Jack Zduriencik

Easily the biggest test for Cable so far, who won 97-3 and 92-8 and appears the favorite. The committee installed him as the overall top seed and does not regret the decision one little bit. Jack Z’s legacy is mixed. Shrewd trades and the Felix extension are marred by stories of incompetent management. And no playoffs. Lots of no playoffs. Maybe they should have made the playoffs a couple times, and you wouldn’t be here, Jack.

PREDICTION: Cable 68, Zduriencik 32

2 Bill Bavasi vs. 3 Jerramy Stevens

Always hard to foresee how the Mariners-Seahawks stand-offs are gonna go when it’s April and Hawks fans are in semi-hibernation. Stevens’ off-the-field issues and Super Bowl meltdown will live in infamy forever among long-memoried fans. Fair or not. Bavasi was bad. Really bad. His best free-agent signing was Adrian Beltre, and people generally hated it.

Safeco Field attendance the season before Bavasi: 40,351

Safeco Field attendance the season after Bavasi: 27,102

Am I saying Bill could win it all? I’m saying Bill could win it all.

PREDICTION: Bavasi 57, Stevens 43

The Howard Schultz Region

1 Carlos Silva vs. 4 Blair Walsh

People have been saying that Silva is the weakest 1 seed, but Curry won only 57-43 while Silva has cleared 79 percent both times. That being said, Walsh has recency bias working in his favor. Silva isn’t going to win the whole thing, so this is as good a time as any for him to bow out.

PREDICTION: Walsh 60, Silva 40

2 Alex Rodriguez vs. 3 Erik Bedard

I think the hate for A-Rod is dying down. Rick Neuheisel, a 7 seed, scored 33 on him. Somone with the lingering animosity Bedard collected has a chance. It’s still gonna be Alex, but in the closest match of the #Bitter16.

PREDICTION: Rodriguez 52, Bedard 48

Voting for the Bitter 16 is coming on Wednesday. Don’t forget to cast your ballot on the @BeastPode twitter account.

ODDS

Now for all 16 remaining entrants!

1 Tom Cable — was 5-1 — now 5-1

1 Tyrone Willingham — was 7-1 — now 6-1

2 Alex Rodriguez — was 8-1 — now 8-1

2 Chone Figgins — was 10-1 — now 8-1

2 Bill Bavasi —was 9-1 — now 9-1

1 Aaron Curry — was 8-1 — now 10-1

3 Percy Harvin — was 11-1 — now 10-1

4 Blair Walsh — was 16-1 — now 12-1

1 Carlos Silva — was 13-1 — now 16-1

3 Erik Bedard — was n/a — now 16-1

5 Jack Zduriencik — was 18-1 — now 18-1

2 Scott Spiezio — was 18-1 — now 20-1

3 Jerramy Stevens — was n/a — now 24-1

4 Jeff Cirillo — was n/a — now 28-1

11 Steve Sarkisian — was 40-1 — now 30-1

13 Jesus Montero — was 60-1 — now 30-1

Who are you buying?