Round one is in the books in both the Cedric Ceballos and JR Reid Brackets, and I think it's fair to say the level of competition was nothing short of stunning. We had upsets, we had buzzer beaters, we had dominant performances by elite... um... arbitrarily created competitors. We had all that, and coin flips (to break the tie between Adam Morrison's facial hair and Trevor Ariza's tattoos). The highlights, of course, will be captured in the Official Lakers March Madness One Shining Moment montage.
But we can't live in the past. It's time for the Elite Eight!
#1 Adam Morrison's facial hair vs. #5 Phil Jackson's zen It was a narrow escape for the top seed in the first round. Can the thin 'stache/chin whisker combo hold up against a strong challenge from the unflappable five seed? If it does, will the zen limit whatever playing time might be available for AmMo's facial hair and the face attached to it? #6 Pau Gasol from the elbow vs. #7 Kobe's fadeaway The Spaniard's feathery face up game KO'd the brawn of DJ Mbenga's martial arts skills, while Kobe's trusty fadeaway buried Lamar Odom's fashion in a result that, if we might for a moment be completely frank with each other, disappointed me greatly.
#4 Shannon Brown's hops vs. #8 Andrew Bynum's physical therapist Yes, we lit a candle at Lakers Blog HQ after Von Wafer's rookie card on eBay bit the dust, but given the interest in Andrew Bynum's health, I get it. Can AB's knee whisperer take down the shocking athleticism of Shannon Brown without pulling a Tonya Harding?
#2 Derek Fisher's gravitas vs. #3 Sasha Vujacic's headband We talk a lot about Sasha's hair, and whether or not he'd be best to cut it (I say yes). Either way, none of the vitriol directed at 18's locks have damaged the reputation of the band that keeps it in place. Nobody (if I might for a moment humanize an inanimate object) turned in a more dominant performance than Sasha's headband, who ripped Jerry Buss' unnaturally orange hair with 74% of the vote.
This one's gonna be epic.
So there you have it. 16 becomes eight, which will soon be four. Voting below.