It is halftime in the first round of our Bracket of Celebrity/Pundit Bracket Predictions and we have a few close games — plus a few upsets in the making.
For those just joining us, the bracket and current scores are below. Each Round 1 game predicted correctly gets the competitor a point; full details on the competitors are here.
Celeb/Web region, 1/8 seed matchup
Let's start at the top: President Barack Obama, for only the second time in his political career, is very likely to lose. He wasn't supposed to. YouTube star Kid President was an eight-seed, going up against his real-life mentor. In the history of the Bracket of Bracket Predictions, no eight-seed has ever beaten a one-seed. (The Bracket of Bracket Predictions is one day old.) But yesterday afternoon as results rolled in, Kid President was keeping up — and then jumped ahead. By one point. Two. Then four. Adult President Obama closed the gap a bit last night, but he has a lot of ground to make up in the second half today. (More like Bad Baracket Obama, amirite.)
Athlete/ESPN region, 2/7 seed matchup
An upset of a seven-seed over a two-seed isn't that big a deal, except for the competitors here. The seven-seed is Jack Jones, an unknown handicapper at BetFirms.com. But he's up a point on none other than ESPN's Dick Vitale himself.
Dick Vitale is almost literally the face of college basketball. For centuries, the strained cries of "Baby!" that punctuate every sentence he speaks have acted as a sort of informal calendar: the more "Baby!"s you hear in the distance, the closer we must be getting to March. His bracket contained some unorthodox picks — Ohio State and Michigan both in the Final Four? — but the guy has a reputation to defend. It might be in tatters by the time Jack Jones is done with him.
Reporters region, 1/8 seed matchup
Athlete/ESPN region, 1/8 seed matchup
Of the three other 1/8 matchups, two are within a point. USA Today's Mike Lopresti is barely holding off SI's Stewart Mandel; ESPN's Jay Bilas is only up one on the Atlanta Falcon's Kroy Biermann. (Biermann picked his home state of Montana to make the Sweet 16, if that tells you anything.) (I know that is his home state because of Real Housewives of Atlanta.) Neither would be a Kid President/President Obama level upset, but each could get interesting.
Athlete/ESPN region, 4/5 seed matchup
The Celtics' Rajon Rondo and College Basketball Insider's Jeff Goodman offer an interesting contest. Who knows more about college hoops, a veteran or an expert? So far, it's tied. As a Knicks fan, I'm rooting for Goodman.
Team CBS region, 4/5 seed matchup
The Talk's Sharon Osbourne and CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel offer an interesting contest. Who knows more about college hoops, the wife of a notoriously drug-addled metal star or a CBS sports journalist? So far, it's tied. As a Black Sabbath fan, I'm rooting for Osbourne.
Team CBS region: Mateen Cleaves
Cleaves, a studio analyst for the network, was a good choice as a one-seed. He's called 12 of the 16 games correctly, holding a handy three-point lead over Scott Gleeson of USA Today.
Team CBS region: Aisha Tyler
But Cleaves isn't doing quite as well as another competitor in his region: actress Aisha Tyler. Tyler, a three-seed, has called 14 of the 16 matches correctly — including Harvard, which she was the only celeb/pundit to get right. (Perhaps because she went to Dartmouth.) But somewhat amazingly, she's only up two points on the notoriously sports-savvy Charlie Rose. Rose's 12 points would be enough to be in the lead in nine other games. It could be a bit of bad luck that he drew Tyler in the first round.
Celeb/Web region: Joe Mantegna
Just as you would not want to run into Mantegna in a dark alley, you probably wouldn't want to meet him in our bracket either. The actor currently has the biggest lead of any competitor: five points. It's unlikely that his opponent, Matt Norlander, a college basketball blogger, will be able to catch up.
Celeb/Web region: Kid President
Can't say enough here. This is a child, and he's only gotten two games wrong so far. Harvard was one. Syracuse was the other. Kid President was one of the few other pundits to pick Montana, probably because he is a big Real Housewives fan.
But, as with the tournament itself, anything can happen in the Bracket of Bracket Predictions. Stay tuned, refresh the page regularly, keep an eye on our scoreboard. And if you still haven't completed your bracket of brackets, download away. Good luck in your office pool.