Presidential 21 Tourney: Round 2 Results

Shoals keeps us current. Gordon keeps us moving with the presidential 21 tourney. Find first round results and an overview of the tournament here and here respectively:

Democratic Bracket

Northeastern Division

(1)FDR 21, (2)JFK 6

FDR defeats injured JFK handily in bizarre wheelchair game

In what will undoubtedly go down as the single strangest game of the Tournament, Franklin Roosevelt eliminated John Kennedy 21 to 6. The strange part? They were both playing while sitting in wheelchairs. The story circulating is that Kennedy somehow hurt his back last night following his big win over Joe Lieberman. It is widely known that Kennedy has long suffered from chronic back problems, but he has been mum about just what triggered this new bout of pain. Just when it looked as if he would have to retire due to injury, as Goldwater did last night, Kennedy proposed to play Roosevelt in a wheelchair. To make it fair, of course, Roosevelt had to agree to play in a wheelchair as well (Roosevelt made it a point to stress that he had never, under any circumstances, been in a wheelchair before today). After some initial hesitation, Roosevelt accepted Kennedy’s offer. But the wheelchair only delayed the inevitable for Kennedy—the pain was simply too much for him to bear: he winced after every shot and change of direction. Roosevelt, on the other hand, looked surprisingly comfortable in his chair, scoring at will against the hobbled Kennedy. Roosevelt’s win sets up a Round 3 match with Harry Truman, who eliminated William Jennings Bryan in the Midwestern Division final.

Midwestern Division

(1)Harry Truman 21, (2)William Jennings Bryan 16

Two late bombs seal victory for Truman

He may not be a showman like his opponent, but Harry Truman had a flair for the spectacular tonight, dropping two huge daggers to beat William Jennings Bryan 21 to 16. Perhaps in an attempt to be taken more seriously, Bryan played conservatively, reigning in the “street” game that has made him so popular. This contest was tight throughout, and Truman didn’t put it away until hitting two clutch shots from deep, both from straight away immediately after checking the ball to Bryan. Truman’s next game, a highly anticipated match with former teammate Franklin Roosevelt, should draw quite a bit of interest.

Southern Division

(1)Bill Clinton 21, (2)Jimmy Carter 16

Clinton all business in victory over Carter

After taking off half the game with his wife in Round 1, Bill Clinton gave maximum effort the entire game, defeating Jimmy Carter 21 to 16 as a result. The game was extremely competitive, and there were multiple lead changes. Early on, Clinton did most of his damage in the paint, but as the game progressed, and Carter’s defense tightened, Clinton began working from the elbows. Both Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have been said to “play black.” Neither has ever been entirely comfortable with this characterization, but they generally seem to consider it a compliment. As the intensity of their contest was ratcheted up, Clinton and Carter demonstrated why this characterization has stuck. Up 13 to 9, Clinton rebounded a Carter miss, cleared out of the left side of the key, and then scored on a fantastic double pump two hander after a crossover through his legs. Not to be outdone, Carter had an even more impressive a highlight-worthy play. After cutting Clinton’s lead to 3 at the line, Carter checked the ball up, jab stepped, and shot to his left all the way to the baseline. When Clinton recovered, Carter dribbled along the baseline under the hoop, spun right, dribbled back under the hoop, then sank a lovely right-handed fingerroll over Clinton’s outstretched hand. But it was all for naught, as Clinton scored the winning jumpshot on his next possession. Clinton will now face Southern Cracker Division champ Lyndon Johnson for a slot in the Democratic final.

Southern Cracker Division

(1)LBJ 21, (2)George Wallace 14

LBJ takes down new-and-improved Wallace to fill out Democratic Final Four

George Wallace maintained the newfound energy that pulled him past Strom Thurmond, but it wasn’t enough to beat Lyndon Johnson, who also played with a spark. The massive Texan contested outside shots, drove to the hole more than usual, and even dove for a few loose balls. But like in his first game, Johnson won this one down low. He pulled down a number of offensive rebounds and tipped several balls off the glass to himself until he could get better positioning. And over the course of the game, Johnson dealt Wallace several shots to the back while defending against Wallace in the post. These blows eventually took their toll: Wallace’s legs gave out down the stretch, and Johnson seized the opportunity to end the game. Johnson’s win means that all four #1 seeds made it through to the Democratic final four; in fact, throughout the first two rounds of the entire Democratic Bracket, the higher seeds won every single game.

Republican Bracket

Northeastern Division

(3)Pat Buchanan 21, (1)Teddy Roosevelt 10

Buchanan capitalizes on Roosevelt’s shooting woes to pull off massive upset

In his last game, Roosevelt couldn’t miss; today, in his game with Pat Buchanan, he couldn’t buy a bucket. But Roosevelt was too confident in his outside stroke to give up on his biggest advantage. Trusting that he would bust out of his slump, Roosevelt kept firing, but to no avail: on this day, his larger-than-life game was shot. To create more space on offense, Roosevelt even tried to expand the court, routinely dribbling and shooting from what’s traditionally considered out of bounds. This strategy infuriated Buchanan, who insisted on more rigid boundaries, even though by the conventions of 21, nothing is out of bounds. Buchanan didn’t have an especially great game, but he was persistent; he simply plugged away after every Roosevelt misfire. Given Roosevelt’s cold streak, it was only a matter of time before Buchanan prevailed. Buchanan’s win removes the possibility of an all-Roosevelt final, but more importantly, it gives Buchanan a chance to play Abe Lincoln in the next round.

Midwestern Division

(1)Abraham Lincoln 21, (3)Dick Cheney 7

Lincoln finds his rhythm against outclassed Cheney

Following his unimpressive victory over Gerald Ford, questions remained about Lincoln’s ability to win it all. Maybe it was the weakness of his opponent, but Lincoln hopefully answered some of those questions in his convincing win over Dick Cheney. Lincoln’s length and deceptive recovery speed really bothered Cheney. On at least six occasions, Lincoln came from nowhere to send back Cheney’s attempted shots, and one time, Lincoln pinned a Cheney layup to the backboard. Lincoln looked better on offense as well. He unveiled a nice spin move and used the glass effectively outside the lane. Although his footwork was still a little shaky, Lincoln made huge strides in that respect. Immediately after losing, Cheney tried to get Lincoln to abide by the same post-21 shot rule that Dole agreed to in the 1st Round, but Lincoln was having none of that. In the 3rd Round, Lincoln will face George W. Bush, who stumbled out of the Southern Division by somehow beating top seed Dwight Eisenhower.

Southern Division

(2)George W. Bush 21, (1)Dwight Eisenhower 16

Bush ineffective, still inexplicably upsets Ike

In a complete head scratcher, George W. Bush defeated Dwight Eisenhower despite being thoroughly outplayed. Bush used his crossover to crush David Duke, but it’s starting to yield diminishing returns. Bush went to the crossover on just about every time he had the ball, but Eisenhower figured it out after a while, smacking it away off of the up bounce on about five instances. When Eisenhower couldn’t do that, he simply slid to the right, positioning himself in front of Bush when he saw that Bush was about to use the move. It’s not clear what was more amazing: that Bush continued to use the crossover despite the fact that it was no longer working, or that Bush managed to win the game given his failed strategy. Eisenhower’s tough game last round may have worn him down. Eisenhower certainly seemed to run out of gas toward the middle of the game, unlike Bush, who had energy to spare. If the last two rounds are any indication, Bush will continue to rely on the crossover in his 3rd Round match up with Richard Nixon, who upset Ronald Reagan in the Western Division final.

Western Division

(2)Richard Nixon 21, (1)Ronald Reagan 13

Reagan stymied by kinder, gentler Nixon; becomes third Republican #1 seed to fall
In a topsy-turvy day filled with upsets on the Republican side, top Western Division seed and prohibitive favorite Ronald Reagan fell to Richard Nixon, who played the game of his life. Nixon’s strategy was masterful from start to finish. On defense, he took away Reagan’s dominant left hand, and on offense, he attacked Reagan on the baseline. Against Reagan, Nixon was a completely different player from the physical—some might say dirty—player that he was against Barry Goldwater. The game itself was awesome, but the sportsmanship that Nixon displayed during the game was even more amazing. There were no cheap shots, no trash talking. Nixon helped his opponent up after every fall and said “nice shot” any time that Reagan scored from the field. In one night, Nixon may have softened his negative reputation. With top seeds Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and now Reagan at home, the tournament is wide open. If he can get by Bush in the next round—and if he repeats his inspired performance vs. Reagan, that seems like a good bet—Nixon will be in a great position to take home the title.

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At 9/17/2008 1:56 PM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

I'm curious, am I the only one beginning to take this tournament incredibly seriously? Personally, I got big money riding on Truman. His range should be the difference-maker in a tournament like this.

At 9/17/2008 2:04 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

This is easily the funniest thing that's ever been on FreeDarko. And, at the same time, yeah, I am really invested in it from a basketball standpoint.

My one quibble: Wouldn't Kennedy have gotten one of his special injections to deal with his chronic back pain, or was this just too serious? I know his usual narcotics would've dulled his game. .. but maybe the uppers could've countered that?

Or maybe I just missed the part where you outlined the rigorous drug testing guidelines.

At 9/17/2008 3:32 PM, Blogger TheGreatPumpkin said...

Heard rumors that Bill Belichek has been consulting on game management strategies for RMN.

'Course, this could mean Nixon may be karmically due for an ACL tear?

At 9/17/2008 4:49 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

I am sorta upset that Teddy Roosevelt can't face Truman in the final, because that would have led to a really great Bull Moose/"Buck stops here" joke.

At 9/17/2008 6:52 PM, Blogger The Cruise said...

I'm having touble suspending my disbelief. 90% of the time I read a phrase and my brain just keeps going, "but, that man's dead!"

Besides, Abe would win every game going away. He was the 19th century's Oden.

At 9/17/2008 9:43 PM, Blogger dunces said...

I was skeptical of this endeavor at first; only slightly so, but still.

However, with this latest entry, I succumb to the concept's genius.

I won't get into bracketology, though - just like I can't put money on Duke in March, I certainly won't put any money on Nixon.

At 4/13/2009 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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