MIKE J. LANESIDE: Bowling Bracketology

by MIke Jakubowski March 11, 2010 16:32

Check the pba.com home page and fill out your PBA Bracket for the GO RVing Match Play Championship. It's FREE and there are some fun prizes to win. Make sure to follow the live scoring and live Xtra Frame coverage next week in Norwich, Connecticut.

Many people filling out NCAA Brackets just plug in the number one seeds all the way into the Final Four. The same temptation happened to me as I filled out my bowling bracket for the action getting underway next week at the Norwich Bowling and Entertainment Center.

It all starts with the Round of 64 on Thursday March 18th at 11 a.m. Eastern and 32 first round best-of-7 games matchups.

Let's start the discussion with the first quadrant of the bracket where Walter Ray Williams Jr. holds the number 1 seed. The TQR qualifiers will be added after the TQR round on Wednesday.

The pattern for this event will be mixed with Shark on the left lane and Cheetah on the right lane throughout the week.

Best 4 out of 7 games in match play, tough not to punch Walter Ray all the way to the finals, one of the hotter players on Tour and always tough to beat 4 out of 7 times. He gets the #8 TQR entry in the Round of 64.

Brian Voss vs. Parker Bohn III, wow, couple of Hall of Famers, now that's a toss up.

Jason Couch vs. Wayne Garber is a very interesting matchup, another lefty-righty combo. Couch is the vet, but with Wayne Garber and his incredible TV rolloff victory with Walter Ray in the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open, he fears no one. Potential Walter Ray vs. Garber rematch in the Round of 16.

Ryan Shafer vs. Jason Sterner -- Sterner's best finish this season is a 15th place finish at the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open while Shafer has 3 Top 10's in the second half, advantage Shafer.

Bottom half of the Walter Ray Bracket has Rhino Page going up against PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker. Page won at the World Series of Bowling Viper Championship and has 2 major shows in the second half at the Tournament of Champions and the USBC Masters, I'm going with Page here.

Stevie Weber vs. Tim Mack is a very interesting matchup, I give the edge to Mack based on his recent apparent health and energy level.

Ronnie Russell vs. Robert Smith, based on the Shark/Cheetah combo I like Russell's game here.

Finally, Tom Smallwood has been coming on in the second half picking up momentum in the last 4 events. Look for him to beat the #1 TQR entry. Always tough to adjust after the TQR.

Two wins for The Real Deal Bill O’Neill this year, including his first major win at the U.S. Open -- overheard: "the last thing O'Neill needs is a little confidence", well he has confidence, look for him to advance over the #7 TQR entry and get his footing early.

Version 2.0 Lonnie Waliczek gets Mike Wolfe in the Round of 64, that's a head scratcher, let me noodle on that one for a minute.

Mika Koivuniemi is looking more Mika-like these days and now that he has shed the madras-pants bet, look for him in a Round of 64 win over Derek Sapp.

Battle of the titans in the Norm Duke vs. Doug Kent matchup. I hope this one gets covered on Xtra Frame. Three USBC Masters wins between them, Norm seems to be back in form after his ankle injury, my pick is Duke.

Pete Weber vs. Eddie VanDaniker Jr., gotta go with PDW.

Michael Machuga vs. P.J. Haggerty, couple of intangibles for Haggerty: maybe some more experience on mixed patterns and an appearance in U.S. Open match play as an alternate gives Haggerty some high level practice. Intense match.

Brad Angelo vs. Stuart Williams presents another tough choice. For whatever reason, Williams could be on the verge of a run here late in the season. I like his ball roll here left and right.

Tommy Jones will get the #2 TQR entry, look for Jones to go deep in this bracket setting up a potential Jones-O'Neill showdown to make the show.

Just like the Number 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament coming up, tough to see any of the Top 4 getting knocked out at the GO RVing Match Play Championship in the Round of 64. If Player of the Year and King of Bowling is on his game, look for him in the Round of 8 to make the show. Wes gets the #6 TQR entry early.

Moving up the bracket Steve Harman faces Joe Ciccone. Both players have shown signs of life lately, Harman had a nice run in Columbus, may have a little more MO, I'll go with Harman.

Eugene McCune vs. Todd M. Book on the Shark-Cheetah left-right combo, things that make you go hmmm. I going to go out on a limb and say that McCune overpowers the lanes for an extra double late to win.

Mike DeVaney vs. George Lambert IV presents another head-scratcher. Edge to DeVaney's experience here.

Mike Fagan moves closer to home territory vs. Cassidy Schaub. Hometown edge to Fagan, his first singles win and a Top 11 finish in Columbus to work with.

It doesn't get any easier as you look at the Steve Jaros vs. Dino Castillo matchup. Jaros tends to keep it simple, which may be the difference here.

Brian Kretzer came oh so close to his first Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour win in Columbus, he will have to fight expectations here as well as a tough customer in Mitch Beasley. Beasley's equipment expertise may trump the feel game of Kretzer in this matchup.

Jason Belmonte made a deep run at the U.S. Open only to lose his legs in the final games. With some time off to rest look for Belmo to make a deep run here with a potential Belmonte-Malott barnburner to make the show.

Chris Barnes is a tough competitor and very tough to beat 4 times in this format. Super versatile on the mixed Shark-Cheetah, he gets the #5 TQR entry to start. Look for him to go deep as always, especially with some rest.

Moving up this bracket, Jeff Carter takes on Ritchie Allen. Carter has had a rough second half, my pick here is Ritchie.

John May takes on Chris Loschetter, C-Lo had a decent run in Fountain Valley and in Reno at the USBC Masters look for him to win in the Round of 64.

Jack Jurek takes on John Nolen in the Round of 64. Nolen is bowling for the first time since he had an emergency appendectomy, tough to imagine Rolen will be Smooth Rollin' this soon after recovery, I give the nod to Jurek.

Can Brian Waliczek upset Sean Rash in the first round? My guess is Rash makes it ahead to the Round of 32.

Patrick Allen pulled out of the Don Johnson Eliminator due to injury, a week rest will do him some good physically and mentally. Look for him to be sharp on the East Coast swing and win here against Troy Wollenbecker.

Mike Edwards made deep runs in the last 2 majors at the USBC Masters and the U.S. Open, look for him to beat Nathan Bohr in the Round of 64.

The Top 4 seeds are the Mount Rushmore of Pro Bowling at the moment, but how can you not argue that Mike Scroggins is the hottest player in the game? Two TV shows at the USBC Masters and the U.S. Open, nearly going back-to-back Open wins in Indy. Scroggy gets the #4 TQR entry, who can stop him?

That’s just the Round of 64, have fun making your picks all the way to the end of the GO RVing Match Play Championship. Follow the live scoring next week at PBA.com and the live streaming video on Xtra Frame. Who will win the tournament, then who will win the PBA Bracket Battle?

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