One week ago, we had 64 Leeds United icons, greats, managers and current players competing in the inaugural Leeds United March Madness bracket. After two rounds and over 3500 votes, we're down to the Sweet 16. Four seeds remain alive in each category, and while all four 1 and 2 seeds remain alive, there have been some major upsets and some "buzzer-beater" shots. TWO matchups were decided by one vote last night. Let's break it down.
The Players bracket saw both top seeds Charlie Taylor and Lewis Cook win comfortable matchups against Chris Wood and Toums Diagouraga, but again, the middle of the bracket saw major upsets. 14-seed Liam Bridcutt continued his winning ways: after stunning Alex Mowatt 49-43 in the First, he topped Stuart Dallas 40-30 to move on to a matchup with Cook for a spot in the Elite Eight. Gaetano Berardi did the same: after beating Marco in round one, he beat Mirco 44-28 to matchup with Charlie. Will the Cinderellas prevail or will the top dogs stop their run? We'll see.
Just like the Players bracket, the top two seeds live on and the middle is a mess. Don Revie and Howard Wilkinson would've been great bets from the start, as they dispatched Simon Grayson and David O'Leary, but Coach Billy Bremner stopped the run of 14-seed Eddie Gray and Steve Evans couldn't overcome his awful weekend, losing to 12-seed Gary McAllister. Again, this looks like a bracket where the top two seeds will move on, but the people love their Billy, even as a coach. Stay tuned.
Now on the other side of the bracket, Billy Bremner definitely deserves to move on. Both top seeds won their matchups, with Billy handily topping Allan Clarke, but Peter Lorimer barely held on against Johnny Giles, winning 36-35 in the closest result possible. Not to be outdone, John Charles held off Gordon Strachan by the same result, 36-35, to move to the Sweet 16, and Lucas Radebe pulled off the only upset of the bracket, topping 3-seed Eddie Gray 40-30. Will Radebe or Charles be able to stop Bremner or Lorimer? My money's on Radebe as the best chance for an upset in any of the first three brackets, and I still don't think his chances are good. Find out Monday.
And finally, the icons bracket held nearly true to seed, as the 1, 2, and 4 seeds all moved on too. The only upset of the round was The Old Peacock narrowly topping 3-seed Thorp Arch 38-32. That leaves the famous pub facing Billy's Statue and Elland Road facing Don's Statue in our Sweet 16 matchups. Obviously all are iconic; it'll be interesting to see which of these single-digit seeds wins out this week.
So that's the breakdown of the Sweet 16. So what happens now? We vote again! 32 First Round polls have narrowed to 16 in the Second Round, and 16 have narrowed to EIGHT. We'll keep these polls open through Sunday night. Monday, we'll have the results for the Elite Eight in this, the inaugural LUMM Tournament. Thanks for participating, and be sure to share with your friends on social media so the true Leeds champion can have his one shining moment.
4 Current Leeds United Players
4 Leeds United Managers
4 Leeds United Greats
and 4 Leeds United Icons
Tournament details: we have polls for each of the 32 First Round matchups, and the voting will run through Sunday night. Vote for your favorite in each matchup, and the loser is eliminated from the competition. Then, on Monday, we'll post the 32 winners and the polls for the 16 following matchups. Next Thursday, we'll post those 16 winners (the Sweet 16), and run 8 polls through Sunday night. On the following Monday, we'll post the 8 winners (the Elite Eight) and run 4 polls through Wednesday night. Then finally, on Thursday the 31st, we'll have our LUMM Final Four, winners for each of the four categories (Favorite Player, Favorite Manager, Favorite Great, and Favorite Icon), and a chance to crown the ultimate Leeds United March Madness winner for 2016.
(Thanks to Vertex42 for the amazing customizable spreadsheet there. Click the photo above to enlarge it and see the updated bracket.)
And here are your Sweet 16 polls. Enjoy the weekend, and thanks for following along with us on this crazy ride. No game Saturday, but we'll have coverage of our international players and more coming soon. GO VOTE. GET IN. #MOT.
THE PLAYERS BRACKET
THE MANAGER BRACKET
THE GREATS BRACKET
THE ICONS BRACKET
Thanks for voting in the Sweet 16 everyone. Check back on Monday to see who made the Elite Eight!