Scuttleball: No better time of year

Published on April 1st, 2024

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Is there a better time of year? Across North America, sailing activity is increasing as the days get longer and warmer. More so in 2024, anticipation rises for the upcoming the 37th America’s Cup, the 33rd Summer Olympics, and the 10th Vendée Globe. It is all on!

But there is more. Scuttlebutt closed its offices last week (sorry – no Friday newsletter) for Opening Day of Major League Baseball. The remaining games for the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League are critical as the playoffs begin April 20, while the draft for the National Football League is later in April. Everything is on!

However, this all lives in the shadow of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, aka March Madness. In this win-or-go home tournament, 68 teams have been reduced to four, with most of the favorites back in the classroom (allegedly). The Final Four is now on April 6 with the Finals on April 8.

And as just one team will cut down the nets, same goes for the winner of 2024 Scuttleball, the official pool where sailors go to ball. The podium – Kathy Alven, Will Myer, and Buttons Padin – all have UConn to win, as does half the top ten. Only Whitney Gladstone in ninth has Purdue… is it enough?

Purdue hopes to follow in the footsteps of Virginia as a school that was a #1 seed and lost in the first round, and then won it all the following year. History is on their side. Since seeding began in 1979, the #1 seed Boilermakers will play North Carolina State which are the sixth #11 seed to advance to the Final Four, but none of the previous five made it to the Finals. Vegas favors the Boilermakers by 8.5 points.

As a #4 seed, Alabama beat #2 Clemson to advance to the Final Four for the first time, connecting on 70% from the floor in the second half including knocking down 67% from beyond the arc. They will likely need to do more against UConn which has trailed for a total of 28 seconds in the entire tournament, posting an average winning margin of nearly 28 points. Vegas has the Huskies as an 11.5-point favorite.

As only one can win Scuttleball, we also honor the agony of defeat. Can anyone dislodge Chris Gosnell from the coveted position of DFL? Standing by.

Follow Scuttleball on the CBS Sports site.

From the first round on March 21 to the championship game on April 8, the 2024 Tournament delivers a healthy distraction as the winter and spring seasons provide their annual tug-of-war. The winner of the 35th edition of Scuttleball will receive personal bragging rights and recognition in Scuttlebutt Sailing News, while the DFL finisher earns public humiliation and a free lifetime subscription to Scuttlebutt.

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