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Bookstore teams prepare for showdown

Steve Coyer | Thursday, April 22, 2004

With the Bookstore Basketball field filed down from 580 teams to 16, the situation is starting to get much more familiar for the remaining competition.

Of the top 15 ranked teams, 13 remain in the tournament. And many of those teams have already faced their upcoming opponents in previous games.

No. 8 Clericuzio will take on No. 9 Team Truth in the round of 16, but neither team is expecting too many surprises.

“We definitely know those guys,” Team Truth captain Carlos Campbell said. “We’ve played against them many times at Rolfs, and we know it’s going to be a grudge match.”

Team Truth has played through injuries so far but expects to be ready for their next game.

“We’re coming back one-hundred percent for this game, so we should be at our best”, Campbell said.

No. 7 You Got a Bad Draw vs. No. 10 Derelict

For team Derelict, the road to 16 has not been an easy one. The team has won three nailbiter close games so far, but they believe they can win by a larger margin tonight. “We haven’t reached our potential yet,” Derelict captain Kevin McNamara said. “We made it the round of 16 last year, and if we play tough defense we should be even better this year.”

You Got a Bad Draw, on the other hand, has been dominant so far despite injuries. They had an easy 21-12 victory in their last game even while playing with two replacements.

No. 6 Choc Full O’Nuts vs. No. 11 Platinum FUBU All-stars

Choc Full O’Nuts is anything but intimidated about their upcoming game. This will be their third trip to the round of 16. The team includes five seniors.

“We made it to the final eight last year and I feel like we’ve come together more as a team heading into this game,” Choc captain Gregg Michaels said. “We’ve played against Platinum before, and we expect an intense game.”

The Platinum FUBU All-stars played a physical game in the last round, pounding the ball inside and driving to the basket. They also remained patient, swinging the ball around a difficult 2-3 zone, and their opponent fell into foul trouble for almost the entire first half.

The All-stars, who began the tournament seeded No. 12 and were reseeded a spot higher for the round of sixteen, are excited about the chance to advance even further in the tournament.

“We feel privileged to play in the world’s greatest outdoor spectacle,” Platinum team member John Rompf said. “It has been an honor to have made it this far and have the opportunity to play with some of the best competition.”

No. 5 Jack’s Shorts vs. No. 12 Reddick Wanna-Be’s

After a string of convincing wins, the Reddick Wanna-Be’s feel confident going into the round of 16. So far, the team has won all of its games by at least seven points.

“We haven’t really had any down to the wire games yet,” Reddick captatin Ryan Conner said. “We’ve improved from last year and the game should be fun with all the crowd support.”

Jack’s Shorts originally was No.7 but has moved up to No.5 after strong play in its previous games.

No. 4 Jordan Toyota vs. No. 13 More Cowbell

With relatively easy wins in their past games, Jordan Toyota is confident heading into the round of 16. They also believe they are a much stronger team this year than last, football players Rhema McKnight, Ronnie Rodamer and Jason Saap combine with the muscle of Joe McClyde and the poise of captain Daniel Boston to form a dominant starting five.

“We have a talented team this year with great fan support,” Boston said. “We feel like there has to be one winner and why can’t we be that team.”

More Cowbell moved from No. 15 to No.13 after convincing wins in earlier rounds.

No.3 State Theatre vs. No. 14 Bend it Like Bryant

Bend it Like Bryant was originally ranked No. 29 but has moved up to No. 14 after a strong victory in the round of 32.

At No.3, State is looking to move into the finals but expects a close match. Forward Rich Whitney and a team of good shooters and scrappy defenders will look to avoid an upset.

No. 2 Library Lounge vs. No. 15 Thor and the Thunderbolts

Library Lounge has been close to winning the championship before and looks ready to grab it this year.

“We got upset last year in the Final Four, and with all our players back we are ready to build on that,” Library captain Justin Funk said. “Our closest game has been 21-12 so far, and we want to keep that pace.”

Thor and the Thunderbolts upset the No. 7 team in a very physical game to advance to the round of 16.

No. 1 KPMG vs. No. 16 Wet Hot American Ballers

KPGM has been the top-ranked team throughout the tournament and will face one of the only teams left not in the original top 32.

The Ballers will face a dominant KPGM team, a team who lost tight end Jerome Collins to injury but picked up wide receiver Jeff Samardjiza in the round of 32. KPMG is led by shooting guard and captain Tommy Walz, slashing forward and place kicker D.J. Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Carlyle Holiday.