Wild controversies, sweet upsets highlight opening rounds

League releases first-ever Social Media MVP power ranking

Wild controversies, sweet upsets highlight opening rounds

Pour one out for the homies.

The weekend was a rush of activity and eliminations. Half the friends were systematically knocked out of contention, and there were several notable surprises along the way.

Jessie Opoien 🏅 (Wisconsin, CMA) had perhaps the largest upset of the opening rounds, toppling overall top seed and defending champ Katie Rutledge 🏆🏅 (Villanova, Big Eight).

The Battle of the Boes could not have been a more lopsided victory for Kasey Boes (Florida, OKC).

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend was Nick Schaefer (South Carolina, Pack-10), whose second-round win against Max Calanni 🏆 (Duke, Big Eight) has many convinced it truly is the #YearoftheSchaef.

With Rutledge and Calanni elimintated, Chris Lusk 🏆🏅🏆 (North Carolina, CMA) is the only former champion still in this thing. He’s recovering from a potential scandal and an additional investigation of a previous title game, but he’s back where he usually is: the next round.

The accusations came from Lindsey Lusk (Kentucky, Daily), commissioner of the Daily Conference, who also advanced to the Sweet 16.

The investigation has so far turned up nothing, but if both Lusks keep winning, their regional final game will be much-watch friending.

Another friend overcoming a controversyBrian Henry (Gonzaga, Big Eight) — also advanced in convincing fashion.

Henry seems to be the favorite now that Rutledge has been knocked off, and he appears to finally be on a collision course with conference foe Austin Dean (Arizona, Big Eight). More on Austin later.

The most unexpected friend in the Sweet 16 is Ben Richardson (Xavier, OKC), whose upset victories against Luke Olsen (Maryland, OKC) and Chris Silberstein (Florida State, Pack-10) broke many a bracket and have him squarely in the Cinderella seat. Will Dean be his next victim?

The Fighting Krans of Kirsten Therkelson (Michigan, OKC) ended championship hopes for Tarryn Kahre (Louisville, OKC), but Kahre’s fiance Jackson Anderson (Kansas, OKC) is favored to win the region.

You can guess what happened for Jeremiah Davis 🏅 (Purdue, CMA).

So let’s take a look at the 16 friends who are still in the running for Best Friend.

Sweet 16

Jessie Opoien 🏅 (8 Wisconsin)

Jeremiah Davis 🏅 (4 Purdue)

Chris Lusk 🏆🏅🏆 (1 North Carolina)

Kyle Todaro (3 Baylor)

Brian Henry (1 Gonzaga)

Austin Dean (2 Arizona)

Kasey Boes (4 Florida)

Ben Richardson (11 Xavier)

Jackson Anderson (1 Kansas)

Greg Horton (3 Oregon)

Kirsten Therkelson (7 Michigan)


Nick Schaefer (7 South Carolina)

Ashley Rush (4 West Virginia)

Daniel Ruffin (4 Butler)

Scott Michael (3 UCLA)

Lindsey Lusk (2 Kentucky)

Social Media MVP

The association has never published any material about the MVP race prior to announcing the winner, but we felt it is time to change that. These are not official results; they’re more like a power ranking.

The separation between No. 1 and No. 2 is wide enough to drive a truck through. Austin Dean is the clear favorite for MVP this tournament because of videos like this:

… and songs like this.

This thing seems like it is his to lose, but here is his competition:

2. Lindsey Lusk
3. Jessie Opoien
4. Katie Rutledge
5. Kasey Boes

Three rounds and the championship game remain. That’s a lot of time for this list to change.

For the MVP and in the Sweet 16, may the best friend win.