The first TMG bracket challenge begged the following question: Are you smarter than three sportswriters who have covered, combined, more than 70 NCAA Tournaments?

With two weekends down and a Final Four to go, know this:  only one of TMG’s co-founders has a chance to compete for the grand prize.

That would be moi, DufRankman1, who currently stands t-7 with Gonzaga as his projected champion. That’s right, kids, Rankman has a chance to finish t-1 in his own tournament. That would be sort of like Bing Crosby winning his clam bake at Pebble Beach. Bad form. Actually, this is NOT what we expected, nor had in mind. And Rankman is rigorously rooting against that odorous possibility, even if it does reflect admirably upon his game-picking abilities.

Thankfully, there are still miles to go, though, before you weep.

TMG co-founder Jersey Guy is t-19 but his chances broke down like a nag at Churchill Downs when his champion, Kentucky, lost that white-knuckler to North Carolina. TMG co-founder HerbGould is down near the caboose, at t-36, which isn’t going to earn him many FedEx points.

Herb lost two alma maters along the bracket way, Wisconsin and Northwestern, with the Badgers’ losing ever-so-painfully in overtime to Florida.

Here’s the skinny: Smackyd3232 is our current leader, but he picked Duke as his champion. Basically, he’s leading the Indy 500 but he’s going to run out of gas on the final lap. Same for temporary second-place holder TerryfromMD, who also has Duke, and third-place renter (with no option to buy) WrightTX, who picked Villanova to win it all. That was SO last year.

The real action starts at No. 4 with figgyduck1 who, shockingly, did not pick Oregon to win it all. She picked North Carolina without, word has it, watching a single game all year.

But watch out for tmgLIZ (wife of our very own HerbGould), tied at No. 5,  who has Gonzaga and North Carolina in her Final Four. That means tmgLIZ can win with a UNC victory over the Zags in the title game.

Hapauot1 is also t-5 but, sorry, that Michigan-Duke final isn’t going to happen.

Also beware “dlee-cats or dogs,” who is t-7 with DufRankman1 but holds the advantage because he has Gonzaga beating North Carolina for the title. DufRankman1 does not have NC in his FF, meaning the best he can do is tie dlee for first…..or something like that.

Isn’t this fun? I mean, fun if you are actually in contention?

Here is a link to the TMG group standings via ESPN Tournament Challenge.

Housekeeping note:  if you end up finishing in the top three after next Monday, please send your contact information to themediaguides@gmail.com.