By CHRIS MACKOWIAK
Featured image: 2018 SU College Life Tournament bracket. Chris Mackowiak image
With the influx of March Madness coming in with brackets flying off the printers, The Flyer brought back the Salisbury University College Life Tournament from two years ago. SU favorites battled it out on the 64-team playing field to determine who reigned over the hearts of the university community.
Two years ago the tournament entered the Final Four with two top-seeds and two underdogs. No. 1 Cook Out and No. 1 Summer Break ended up in the championship after No. 12 Bury Snapchat Filters and No. 13 Gulls Nest were knocked off.
In the end it was No. 1 Summer Break taking the top prize with a dominant run through the tournament. Would the tale change this season?
No, it did not.
Summer break owned the field of competition in the second ever tournament. The season did not face competition until the Elite Eight when it went up against No. 6 Ocean City. After a strong run to that point, the tourist destination could not take down the mighty force.
There is little argument at this point for summer break for summer break to not be considered a formidable dynasty. In the next running of the tournament, consideration might be needed to retire the term.
This season the Final Four came down to three No. 1 seeds which probably displays that the seeding worked out in the end. However, it was No. 4 Sammy the Sea Gull that rose out of the Guerrieri Region, showing school pride is alive and well here at SU.
While No. 1 seeds generally dominated the field, there were some upset stories that really bode well for the Salisbury community.
One of these was No. 8 Downtown Salisbury on its road to the Sweet 16. To get there, the location had to surpass No. 1 Walmart, which it did by the slight margin of one vote.
One thing this upset can demonstrate is maybe that Downtown Salisbury is improving in image for the SU population. Third Fridays have become a new trend for many student and the local community. New construction in the area also has benefitted in improving the landscape.
Weirdly enough, all three major local coffee establishments drew spots in the Dudley-Eshbach Region in the forms of No. 3 Rise Up, No. 4 Starbucks and No. 5 Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts was the last to remain on the bracket, staying alive into the Sweet 16.
Despite its location in Sea Gull Square (soon to move to the former Arby’s location), Starbucks was knocked off by No. 13 Bury Snapchat Filters in the First Round. Second Round action brought the end of Rise Up’s run as No. 6 Ocean City continued its surge.
The question is if this means that Dunkin’ Donuts is the favorite coffee of the SU community.
In other food battles, Hopper’s and 1400 South claimed the No. 7 seed in the Guerrieri Region and fared well. The restaurant grouping defeated heavily favorited No. 2 Chipotle in the Second Round before falling to No. 3 House Parties in the Sweet 16.
No. 7 Auntie Anne’s took down No. 2 Cheers in the Quinn Region too before falling in the Sweet 16. A heavy favorite in No. 2 Brew River surprisingly fell to No. 6 Ocean City in the Sweet 16.
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The penultimate fast food war came in one of the Final Four match-ups as top-seeds Cook Out and Chick-fil-a battled for supremacy. It was Chick-fil-a that came out narrowly by less than five votes, which may decide the SU favorite food at least this year.
New to the tournament, No. 3 Academic Commons made a steady run to the Elite Eight, showing its popularity as the main stop for a late-night study session or bite to eat.
A surprising early ending, No. 6 Squirrels did not fare well in the Seidel Region, falling in the Second Round after making the Elite Eight in the inaugural tournament. This region felt the punch of SU Athletics into the Sweet 16 as both No. 3 SU Athletics and No. 4 Sea Gull Stadium made it that far.
Lessons from this edition of the tournament certainly revolve around a love of food, but also a big recruiting tool for SU: the beach.
Ocean City had many opportunities to lose in the tournament ahead of the Elite Eight but continued to ride out the storm. It left No. 3 Rise Up and No. 2 Brew River both behind. While proximity to the beach was thought to be a big reason for coming to SU, this might confirm it.
There was no UMBC pulling off the nearly impossible in this tournament. Enticing participants and fifteenth seeds Wind and Rain both were handled easily in the First Round.
Parking was an easy term to name the last seed in the tournament as that seems to still cause the most dismay among SU students. It lost to eventual champion Summer Break.
For the last few weeks, The Flyer staff would like to reach out thank everyone that participated in this fun tournament both on Instagram and Twitter. Hopefully, voters will stick around on our website for the latest SU information and stories from our writers.
Enjoy the summer break in just a few months as the dynasty reigns on.