The History of Fantasy Team of 16
Back in 1994:
Back in early March of 1994, while preparing to fill out that year’s Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket, I was reflecting on how poorly I had done the previous years. Whether it was upsets or just bad picks my bracket got busted early and often. That is when I decided to do something different. Fantasy baseball was just then gathering a huge following and was the biggest of all the Fantasy sports games. So I decided to add something to that year’s tournament; merge the two. By combining the Tournament with Fantasy type sports, I was able to add some interest into the Tournament that wasn’t there before.
Now that I had the idea of doing something different how do I go about doing it? I thought that maybe we could have a draft to picks players. But that idea was quickly scraped due to the short time frame between Selection Sunday and Thursday Tip-Off. Many questions were asked and many options were considered. We finally settled on all of us picking our own team and see whose team of players generated the most points. That would work, but how many players do we choose? Eight? Ten? How about 16? If we did go with 16, we could call the game The Team of 16. And with that “Fantasy Team of 16” was born.
The "Fab 5":
There were only 5 of us that played “Fantasy Team of 16” that first year, (we didn’t even use a spreadsheet), but we made it work. I can still recall my first roster. I had guys like Corliss Williamson, Lawrence Moten, Kerry Kittles and Ryan Minor who all turned out to be solid picks for me and did really well, but their teams dropped out early and that cost me. So in the end, I still didn’t do very well, (I ended up placing third), but “Fantasy Team of 16” did exactly what we thought it would. It added so much more interest. It’s better than brackets!!
Thru the Years:
So we decided to keep playing and now the Fantasy Team of 16 is in it’s 16th season and for those of us who were there since it’s inception it’s been a lot of fun. There have been some very interesting records set thru the years like the most points scored in a tournament, (1290 point in 2009), the most points scored in the 1st round, (314 points in 2006) and the most points scored in the championship game, (115 points in 2001). Even items of interest such as J.J. Reddick being on every roster for 3 straight years did not go un-noticed. So I hope you decide to join every March and discover this “New Twist to the Classic Bracket!”