After the first weekend of play, the lone female representative in the Upper Arlington March Madness at the Municipal Center contest was leading the pack by a slim margin.
Much like the real NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the march to take home bragging rights in an informal “pick ’em” contest among five Upper Arlington officials still was wide open after the first weekend of play.
Heading into the Sweet 16 tonight (March 27), UA Finance Director Cathe Armstrong held a four-point lead over both Mayor and UA City Council President Don Leach, and UA Fire Chief Jeff Young.
Using a point system in which the entrants scored one point for every correct pick in the first round and two for each in the second, Armstrong tabulated 25 points through the first round of play, and 20 in the second, for a current total of 45.
That was good enough to best Leach (23, 18) and Young (21, 20), who each scored a total of 41 points heading into the Sweet 16.
Still not out of it are City Manager Ted Staton, who tallied 40 points (24, 16) after the first weekend, and UA schools Superintendent Paul Imhoff, who earned 38 points (23, 16).
Looking ahead, Armstrong’s Final Four picks of Arizona, Florida, Michigan State and her national champion pick of Louisville, all remained in the field. However, Louisville, in particular, is eyeing a tough test Friday (March 28) against in-state rival Kentucky.
Young also was well positioned, having taken Florida, Michigan State, Arizona and Michigan to the Final Four. He ultimately hitched his fire wagon – sometimes called pumpers in the modern, industry parlance – to Arizona as his pick to win it all.
Going into the Sweet 16, Leach had just three of his Final Four picks left – Florida, Michigan State and Arizona – as his other selection, Wichita State - was bounced in the round of 32 by Kentucky. He will need to work around that selection and choices that had him taking Kansas, North Carolina and Creighton into the Elite 8, but his national champion pick of Michigan State still was alive.
Staton, who grew up in Dayton and noted going into the tourney that his father was an avid UD fan, was the only entrant to correctly take the Flyers over Ohio State in the first round. While he didn’t have faith in the hometown team after that, his Final Four picks of Florida, Virginia, Arizona and Louisville remained in the running as of Thursday, and he sided with Arizona to take the title.
Currently a few points off the pace, Imhoff appeared to need some help as the tournament winds into its final rounds.
Of his Final Four selections – Syracuse, Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Louisville – only MSU and UL remain in the field. He also picked Syracuse to win it all, and after the team lost to Dayton in the second round, he likely will need the unthinkable to happen over the next two weeks to climb back into contention.
You can follow the rest of the action in the March Madness at the Municipal Center competition through the Upper Arlington community page.