Mule Madness - Bracketology

Mule Madness

Mule Madness – Bracketology
Report IV

Commentary by Mike Bruckner, VP of Public Relations

Dispy do dunkaroo as Dick Vitale would say. It’s a heavyweight battle. Ali vs. Frazier, Duke-North Carolina, Red Sox vs. Yankees, the 76 ers and…..oops got carried away. Oh baby, the championship match of Mule Madness is set and it’s the track and cross country teams vs. the softball team. Check last week’s bracketology report. This is the exact match-up the Swami picked. The Swami is excited. And, you may recall, I picked softball to go all the way. What’s great is that the softball team is off to a fantastic start on the diamond, too. The track team defeated baseball, coming through with a monster week. With bonus points and 34 new gifts (including 21 from student-athletes), the track and cross country teams registered a whopping 68.28% compared to a very respectable 50.40% for the baseball team. Softball “squeezed” past the men’s lacrosse team 52.22% to 51.75% to earn a spot in the championship showdown.

Top Seeds: All of the top seeds fell early, but teams are fighting back through the consolation bracket.

Consolation Bracket: Last week’s results saw the football team knock off field hockey for the second time this year, 58.78% to 42.29%. Men’s basketball defeated the golf team 35.74% to 30.78%. Men’s soccer won the battle of the sexes, taking care of the women’s soccer team 43.21% to 36.09%, while the women’s basketball team took down the men’s tennis team 39.92% to 32.86%. The next round in the consolation bracket features football vs. men’s soccer and another battle of the sexes, this time men’s basketball vs. women’s basketball.

The Sleepers: Cross country and track was my sleeper two years in a row...Last year, they failed the swami. This year, they sprinted all the way to the championship match. The Swami appreciates the fact that Hackett’s Heroes came through, but I’m still picking them to finish as the runner-up this week. Will they prove me wrong?

Upset Alert: The soccer teams were the upset alert. After a rough start, the men’s soccer team is making a run through the consolation bracket. The American footballers will take on the “rest of the world” footballers this week. The women’s soccer team shattered the crystal ball and the Swami was despondent. Nothing that a night with the products of alumni Sam Calagione and Paul Silverman’s finest products could not cure, but still tough to see the women’s soccer team come up short again.

Longshot: The longshot pick before MULE MADNESS started were the two tennis teams and the volleyball team. Ugly. Just like my longshot at Saratoga, I think my horse is still running.

Overview: As mentioned in the crystal ball report, the participation rate for former athletes had been hovering around 12 percent before the 2013 MULE MADNESS campaign. The two Mule Madness campaigns have pushed every team over the 18 percent mark. The final four teams are all over the 50 percent mark in participation. In addition, the football team and track/cross country teams have had more than 200 donors each. Three other teams (baseball, men’s soccer and field hockey) have more than 100 donors. Several other teams are within shouting distance of 100 honors, including men’s (95) and women’s basketball (83).

The Real Madness: My final eight before the tournament started was Florida, Syracuse, Arizona, Wisconsin, Louisville, Duke, Michigan State and Villanova. Five of the eight were still alive, and then everyone’s brackets collapsed. The Florida Gators, my pick to win it all, are looking good and the only one of my three picks who won the semifinals. Everyone who had Dayton in the semifinals and Wisconsin, Michigan and UConn in the last four, please raise your hand. Liar, liar pants on fire!J

And don’t forget your gift REALLY COUNTS this year: The reason we call this the D-III Challenge is because trustee Jerry Galgano ’80 P’11, P’14 is adding these gifts to yours:

• $10 to every gift received from a freshman, sophomore or junior student-athlete or by a former athlete who graduated from Muhlenberg in the last ten years (2004-2013).
• $500 to every team that reaches 100% participation among senior athletes AND the head coach.
• $1,750 to the top three Mule Madness teams: $1,000 to the winning team; $500 to the runner-up and $250 to the top team in the consolation bracket.

Dickie V would be very happy. I think I heard him say “Jerry G, my favorite Mule, has stepped up big time with the D-III Challenge. A big plate of pasta to my main Mule Jerry Galgano. Go Mules!”