When the regular season comes to a close, I go through the final standings, look at previous matchups, and try to come up with competitive divisions for the playoffs. It's as much art as it is science, and, as I have mentioned to some , the only non-A I ever got in my life was in Art, so...
For these playoffs, we're off to a good start. Among the 19 playoff games contested yesterday, we had three overtime games, two games that went down to the last minute and ended in identical 64-59 scores, and other games with scores of 52-50, 64-62, 54-51, 44-42, 67-64, 86-83, and 92-88 (play some defense!). That's just great. Nobody likes losing any game, let alone games as close as those. But scores like that make me happy. It means that we're doing things the right way, providing competitive balance in a nice environment. The winners can go home elated, knowing they pulled out a close one, while the guys who didn't win will know that they came this close to victory.
Among yesterday's highlights:
THE SIDE-LOADERS WON A PLAYOFF GAME!!! The Side-Loaders, everybody's favorite team, has been in the League for three seasons and they picked up their first-ever victory just a couple weeks ago. Now, sporting bad-ass new jerseys, they have added a playoff victory to their resume. They jumped out to an early lead over Brick City, weathered the mid-game storm that often hits them, and then held on for a 47-40 win and a spot in the semifinals on April 16th.
PERENNIAL CHAMPIONS FALL IN THE FIRST ROUND - Blue Coconuts and Fleet, two teams that have won over 20 championships in the past decade or so, both suffered first-round defeats yesterday and they did so by identical 64-59 scores. Monstarz and Blue Coconuts were tied with a little more than a minute to go, but the Monstarz hit a big three and played lockdown defense to secure the victory. Looney Goons rode the outside shooting of Cesar Fierro and the inside work of Damu Musgrove to hold off Fleet.
SLIMEBALLZ AND REGULATORS STAGE A CLASSIC - In the final game of the night, these two teams put on a show. Tied at 80-80 at the end of regulation, both teams hit big shots, but the SlimeBallz hit the last one for an 86-83 win.
Finally, when I got home last night, I got a text message from someone in the League. His team had lost, but he wrote "Thanks for a great season. The refs were awesome and all of our matchups were really competitive. We signed up for next season, looking forward to it." How cool is that?!