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March WILDERness: Rounds of 16 and 8

Here’s where we stand after the first two rounds of the March WILDERness bracket. My followers on Facebook and Instagram have picked favorites between different animals over twelve days. Only sixteen competitors remain, and it’s a total mixed bag (which was sort of my hope).

Here’s the bracket following the April 5 games:

March Wilderness 2022 Bracket

Round Two Thoughts:

Games got closer in the second round. Though we only had one overtime score (decided by Jenn’s vote), only a couple animals failed to garner at least double-digit votes. Some animals bounced back from tight first round contests with blowouts in Round 2. Meanwhile, some of the games I thought would be the toughest/closest matchups indeed played out that way. Note, for all scores from the second round, please check out the previous post.

Biggest Wins in Round 2:

Lilac-breasted Roller 32-6 Marico Sunbird
Short-beaked Echidna 32-8 Northern Tamandua

Closest Games in Round 2:

American Badger 23-22 Great Gray Owl (OT)
African Leopard 19-17 American Marten
Orca 21-19 Long-tailed Weasel
Grizzly Bear 21-19 Puma

Biggest Surprises (to me) in Round 2:

Well, I was the one who seeded the Aardvark #1 in the Not Strange, Just Different region. And now it’s gone. The pangolin was a 2-seed in the same group, and it lost in Round 1. This is a good reminder that seeds are based on how well an animal fits the regional theme. Aardvarks and pangolins are truly weird and unique… but that’s doesn’t mean they’ll be favorites of the voting populace in what amounts to a basic popularity contest. Still, I thought both animals would do far better (as you’ll see as I continue to unveil my pre-tournament predictions).

My Predictions: Here were my picks through the second round…

Max's Round 2 Predictions

Obviously, my Not Strange, Just Different region is toast. But I still have my other three picks for the Last Four alive!

Breakdown of the remaining participants:

Terrestrial Mammals: 10 of 29
Aquatic Mammals: 1 of 3
Birds: 4 of 22
Reptiles/Amphibians: 1 of 6
Bugs: 0 of 3
Fish: 0 of 1

Breakdown of Remaining Participants by Seed:

1-Seed: Lilac-breasted Roller, Grizzly Bear (2)
2-Seed: American Bison, Red-eyed Tree Frog, Orca (3)
3-Seed: Short-beaked Echidna, Spirit Bear, African Leopard (3)
4-Seed: Mountain Gorilla (1)
5-Seed: Marvelous Spatuletail (1)
8-Seed: American Pika, White Rhinoceros (2)
10-Seed: Resplendent Quetzal (1)
11-Seed: Bare-nosed Wombat (1)
12-Seed: Sword-billed Hummingbird, American Badger (2)

My Picks for the Best Matchups of the Round of 16:

Lilac-breasted Roller vs. Marvelous Spatuletail (1 vs. 5, Beautiful Region) – Roller won 25-19
Short-beaked Echidna vs. Resplendent Quetzal (3 vs. 10, Different Region) – Echidna won 23-21

The closest game was Sword-billed Hummingbird over White Rhinoceros, 21-20

Game Schedule:

Here’s the schedule I’ll try to adhere to every day on Facebook and Instagram. Folks will vote, and the next morning I’ll tally the results and note the winner here in bold green for all those playing at home.

ROUND OF 16

Friday, April 1
African Leopard (3-seed) vs. Orca (2) – Final Score: 28-11
American Pika (8) vs. Mountain Gorilla (4) – Final Score: 26-14
White Rhinoceros (4) vs. Sword-billed Hummingbird (12) – Final Score: 20-21
Spirit Bear (3) vs. Red-eyed Tree Frog (2) – Final Score: 24-16

Saturday, April 2
Grizzly Bear (1) vs. American Badger (12) – Final Score: 30-15
Bare-nosed Wombat (11) vs. American Bison (2) – Final Score: 10-34
Lilac-breasted Roller (1) vs. Marvelous Spatuletail (5) – Final Score: 25-19
Short-beaked Echidna (3) vs. Resplendent Quetzal (10) – Final Score: 23-21

ROUND OF 8

Monday, April 4
Lilac-breasted Roller (1-seed) vs Spirit Bear (3) – Final Score: 18-28
Sword-billed Hummingbird (12) vs. Short-beaked Echidna (3) – Final Score: 21-25

Tuesday, April 5
American Pika (8) vs. American Bison (2) – Final Score: 27-25
Grizzly Bear (1) vs. African Leopard (3) – Final Score: 27-20

My Picks for the Best Matchups of the Round of 8: Tuesday’s games… I really think they could go either way! (Pika/Bison was indeed the closest… followed by Echidna/Hummingbird)

FOR INFO ON THE FINAL ROUNDS, CHECK OUT THE NEXT BLOG POST!

As a reminder, you can participate by voting on my Facebook page, or my Instagram page, and check back here for updates!

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