Tomorrow the signature sporting event of March will begin. No, I'm not talking about the National Invitational Tournament (that actually started yesterday
) but that other college basketball tournament - the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, commonly known as March Madness. Once again ESPN's Fantasy Department had reactivated their popular Tournament Challenge game where we poor saps get to create out brackets and try to predict who will be playing for the national championship in Indianapoils on April 5.
Last year I decided to have some fun with my 10 entries in the Tournament Challenge. Along with my Anime on DVD group entry and an entry I submitted in a public group, I used the other 8 entries to perform a mini-tournament involving several anime characters. Last season I used the Guardian Characters from Shugo Chara
for my 8 extra entries in what I called the Shugo Chara Tournament Challenge, with Ran
winning the title.
For this season and to go along with my new theme, I decided to use some of the characters from Hanamaru Kindergarten
for this year's Tournament Challenge, which I'm calling the Hanamaru Tournament Challenge. I'm still using my main bracket in the Anime on DVD group and an entry for a public group of Ohio State Buckeyes fans, which I found out that several of my co-workers (including my boss) have also submitted brackets in that public group. the other eight entries will make up the Hanamaru version of Tournament Challenge.
First off is the show's cute little apricot Anzu
. Anzu will be using my bracket for her entry into the Challenge. My Final Four picks are Ohio State, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Baylor. I have Kentucky beating Ohio State for the championship.
The next entrant is the cosplaying super-genius Hiiragi
. She will be using the bracket of ESPN Fantasy guru Matthew "Mr. Roto" Berry. He has Kansas, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Villanova as his Final Four teams and has Kansas winning over West Virginia.
Third is my adopted daughter Koume
, who will be using the bracket of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo Williams. Mo has Kansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Villanova as his Final Four teams and Kentucky winning over Kansas.
Next is the girls' teacher Tsuchida
. He decided to use the bracket of Cleveland Browns return specialist Josh Cribbs. Cribbs is predicting all four #1 seeds - Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Duke - to advance to Indianapolis and has Kansas winning over Kentucky.
The next contestant is the busty but sweet Yamamoto
. She decided to use the bracket of the President of the United States, Barack Obama. The First Bracket has Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, and Villanova in Indianapolis with Kansas winning over Kentucky.
The sixth contestant is Anzu's rival Hinagiku
. She went with the bracket of the ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi as her entry into the Challenge. Lunardi has Kansas, Syracuse, West Virginia, and Baylor as his Final Four and his champion is Kansas over West Virginia.
Seventh is Anzu's mother and Tsuchida's senior Sakura
. She's going to use the bracket of Tony Reali, who's the host of ESPN's Around the Horn
. Reali's Final Four teams are Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Baylor, and has Kansas over Kentucky in the title game.
The final contestent in the Challenge is Tsuchida's younger sister Satsuki
. She decided to use the bracket of ESPN's college basketball guru Dick Vitale. Dickie V has Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, and Villanova as his Final Four and sees Kentucky cutting the nets over Kansas as the national champions.
So there you have it - the eight contestants for the Hanamaru version of Tournament Challenge. Which of these lovely and cute characters have enough basketball knowledge (and a wholw lot of luck) to take home the title? We'll find out starting tomorrow