With Day 7’s finale treating us to the biggest upset in the tournament, so far, Day 8 of the All-Time Tournament had a lot to live up to. Luckily for us, it lived up to the bar Day 7 set for fun, and continued the trend of an exciting Round of 32.
Here is the block of games that took place on the eighth day:
Our day started off with a match-up that was nearly unanimous in our experts predictions. Everyone backed the 1972/73 Bucks over the 2003/04 Bucks, who are came in over matched and fatigued, needing a two-point win in the Play-in Round to be at this point in the tournament. Was this as much of a cake walk as we all thought?
Not quite, but the majority of our experts were still correct with their pick. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored a game-high 44 points and snagged a game-high 20 rebounds as the 72/73 Bucks pulled ahead early and never looked back in their wire-to-wire win. The 03/04 chipped away at their half time deficit throughout the entire second half, but it was too little, too late. Tim Thomas spearheaded the failed comeback effort with a 29 point and 13 rebound double-double performance. The 72/73 Bucks move on and will face the winner of our next game in the Round of 16.
The next game was viewed as a near toss-up by our pundits with just over 50 percent of the voting going in favor of the 2017/18 Bucks to pull off the upset over the 1982/83 Bucks. A younger version of Giannis Antetokounmpo is already in the Round of 16, can his current-self join in on the fun? (Note: recall that the 17/18 team is not on whatifsports.com quite yet, so we are using the 16/17 roster and adding seven points to the team’s final score since the 17/18 team finished with 14 more ELO points than the 16/17. Half of 14 = 7 — this is all very scientific.)
Never doubt the man! I know the note says I’ll add seven points, but it’s not needed! The 17/18 pulled off the upset over the 13th seed and were led by Antetokounmpo and his 27 points, 11 rebound, and seven assists. Not to be outdone, Khris Middleton notched 29 points of his own on a blistering 5/5 shooting from beyond the arc. The Marques Johnson-Sidney Moncrief duo for the 82/83 Bucks did not show up in their tournament debut. They combined for just 35 points on 13/31 shooting from the field. Their dreams have been dashed as they will watch the 17/18 squad take on the 72/73 Bucks in the Round of 16.
In another near unanimous vote from our experts, they had the 1973/74 Bucks bulldozing their way past the 2010/11 Bucks and into the Round of 16. Were Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings able to topple the Western Conference champions and prove everyone wrong?
Eh, not quite. Once again, our experts are smart for leaning heavily on Abdul-Jabbar and Co. He had a more subdued game than most people thought (22 points and 12 rebounds), but Oscar Robertson and Bob Dandridge pitched in enough of an effort, combining for 32 points on 10/23 shooting to hold off the 10/11 Bucks. Bogut notched another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, but was only helped out by Jennings (18 points) in the scoring department. The 73/74 Bucks are into the Round of 16 where they will face the winner of Day 8’s finale.
Day 8’s finale featured the 1998/99 Bucks and their coming-of-age stars, Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson, taking on the 50-win 1986/87 Bucks and their battle tested All-Stars. Were Allen and Robinson able to replicate their Play-in Round performances and lift their untested team past an experienced roster?
Oh my goodness did they ever. Allen went off for 31 points on 3/5 shooting from three-point range, while Big Dog dropped 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The name of the game for the 98/99 Bucks was team defense, as they did not allow any player on the 86/87 team to score more than 12 points. Terry Cummings and Jack Sikma were the joint leading scorers in the losing effort as they both scored 11 points and combined to go 7/23 from the field overall. With the upset, the 98/99 Bucks will take on the fifth seeded 73/74 Bucks in the Round of 16.
With half of the Round of 16 filled, let’s take a look at the updated bracket:
Looking Ahead to Day 9
We have reached the halfway point in the Round of 32 and will finally get a glimpse at the last team to raise a banner in the Bradley Center.
Here are the four games that will be featured on Day 9:
Day 9 starts off with a 1989/90 Bucks and their stable of veterans looking to put together another complete performance and pull of the upset. They knocked off the 1975/76 Bucks team, 122-112, behind strong performances from Alvin Robertson and Jack Sikma.
The 1971/72 were the second of three straight 60-win seasons from the early 70s, and this one came on the heels of an NBA championship. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (34.8 PTS/16.6 REB/4.6 AST) won his second straight MVP award and shared the court with fellow 24-year old, Bob Dandridge (18.4/7.7/3.1), and fellow future Hall of Famer, Oscar Robertson (17.4/5.0/7.7). Unfortunately, this unit could not replicated the 1970/71 Bucks and were bested by the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the Western Conference Finals.
So, which Robertson will advance to the Round of 16?
This poll is closed
Both of the opponents in our second match-up earned their way into the Round of 32 via the Play-in Round. The 1977/78 Bucks needed overtime to squeak by the inaugural 1968/69 Bucks, 128-124. Brian Winters and rookie-Marques Johnson were the leaders for the 77/78 squad as they avoided a big-time upset.
Speaking of avoiding big-time upsets, the 1978/79 Bucks nearly lost to the lowest seeded team in the tournament. A one-point, 100-99 victory over the 2013-14 was not pretty, but it got the job done as the name of the game is to survive and advance. Marques Johnson and Junior Bridgeman combined forces and willed their team into the Round of 32.
Which team will shake off their respective close calls with upsets and advance?
This poll is closed
The 1987/88 Bucks needed a hot fourth quarter to advance past the 1994/95 Bucks, 106-96, but they are here in the Round of 32 ready to make some noise. The 87/88 team was bailed out by Terry Cummings’ and Jack Sikma’s hot shooting and rebound scooping, as the pair each posted a double-double.
As for the 1984/85 Bucks, they were led by a young Terry Cummings (23.6/9.1/2.9) and prime-aged Sidney Moncrief (21.7/5.4/5.2) and Paul Pressey (16.1/5.4/6.8) en route to a 59-win season. This was the first season post-Marques Johnson trade and with Cummings coming over in the deal, the Bucks were able to cruise in the regular season throughout the rest of the decade.
Can a young Cummings and Co. be enough to avoid a veteran upset?
This poll is closed
With an 11-point win over the 1991/92 Bucks, the 1990/91 Bucks are in the Round of 32. Alvin Robertson will look to keep his hot-hand going as he finished one rebound shy of a double-double on top of crossing the 20-point scoring threshold. They 90/91 squad will also count on the one-man-bench-mob, Ricky Pierce, to continue to be an impact player.
We have finally arrived to the last team that won a division title in Bucks’ history. The 2000/01 Bucks were also the last team to win 50 or more games in a season and the last team to win a playoff series. Lots of lasts. Ray Allen (22.0/5.2/4.6) and Glenn Robinson (22.0/6.9/3.3) were both named to the All-Star roster this season. Allen shot a then career-high 43 percent from three while averaging nearly six three-pointers a game. Sam Cassell (18.2/3.8/7.6) completed the Big 3 as the 31-year old veteran guided the league’s best offense to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Will the 2000/01 Bucks light up the team that existed a decade prior?
This poll is closed