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Choosing the greatest Northwestern athlete of all time: Sweet Sixteen

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Chalk prevailed on Sheridan and Central, while all hell broke loose on Sherman and Orrington.

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The Sweet Sixteen of this not-so-serious tournament is here! Here’s a summary of each region and its upcoming matchups. Get your votes in Thursday by 11 p.m. Central Time.

Sheridan Region

John Shurna pulled away from a tough competitor in Damien Anderson, garnering 58 percent of the vote. The contest with the most turnout, by a wide margin, was the 4 vs. 13 matchup between field hockey’s Gretchen Scheuermann and basketball’s Frank Ehmann (who, according to a commenter, might’ve invented the jump shot). Scheuermann won a whopping 2,083 votes to Ehmann’s 1,487. Luke Donald and Chelsea Armstrong both advanced in relatively close victories over their respective opponents, with Armstrong knocking out Taylor Thornton by 50 votes.

Gretchen’s high voter turnout makes her regional semifinal enticing. Whoever is fueling her campaign will need to show up again if the field hockey star wants to take down one of Northwestern’s greatest basketball players. Donald and Armstrong meet in the 2 vs. 3 showdown. Armstrong had a stronger turnout than Donald in the Round of 32, but the former world no. 1 golfer has the name recognition. Buckle up.

1. John Shurna (Men’s Basketball, 2008-2012) vs. 5. Gretchen Scheuermann (Field Hockey, 1991-1994)

Poll

John Shurna or Gretchen Scheuermann?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    John Shurna
    (352 votes)
  • 69%
    Gretchen Scheuermann
    (787 votes)
1139 votes total Vote Now

2. Luke Donald (Men’s Golf, 1997-2001) vs. 3. Chelsea Armstrong (FH, 2009-2012)

Poll

Luke Donald or Chelsea Armstrong

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Luke Donald
    (410 votes)
  • 50%
    Chelsea Armstrong
    (421 votes)
831 votes total Vote Now

Sherman Region

What a wild region. Sherman featured one of the closest matchups in this bracket between Billy McKinney and Chris Hinton. The former advanced by a final tally of 254-240 thanks to a surge of late votes. The two were tied as recent as Sunday afternoon. Seven-seed Anthony Walker Jr. notched an upset over 2-seed Anucha Browne Sanders by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin, perhaps owed to the name recognition of a current NFL player. Eleven-seed Alexis Prousis continued her Cinderella run by defeating 3-seed Shannon Smith by 135 votes. Pat Fitzgerald held strong to deny an upset bid from former teammate Darnell Autry.

Fitz is once against favored, this time against McKinney, while Walker and Prousis are both lower seeds seeking to crash the party.

1. Pat Fitzgerald (Football, 1993-1996) vs. 5. Billy McKinney (MBB, 1974-1977)

Poll

Pat Fitzgerald or Billy McKinney?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Pat Fitzgerald
    (452 votes)
  • 26%
    Billy McKinney
    (166 votes)
618 votes total Vote Now

7. Anthony Walker Jr. (FB, 2013-2016) vs. 11. Alexis Prousis (Women’s Tennis, 2003-2007)

Poll

Anthony Walker Jr. or Alexis Prousis?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Anthony Walker Jr.
    (374 votes)
  • 57%
    Alexis Prousis
    (507 votes)
881 votes total Vote Now

Orrington Region

All higher seeds held serve in the Round of 32 in an Orrington Region that has been full of chalk. Tournament favorite Otto Graham dispatched Jennifer Averill while his next opponent, softball’s Lisa Ishikawa Sliwa, squeaked by an upset-minded Todd Martin. Lindsey Pulliam came into her duel with Hilary Bowen carrying plenty of hype and momentum as the only current Northwestern athlete in the bracket, but the lacrosse star advanced with 64 percent of the vote. Evan Eschmeyer edged Brett Basanez to ensure that the top four seeds in the region went through.

Graham is the favorite against Sliwa, and Bowen could have the upper hand against Eschmeyer after her supporters’ impressive turnout in the prior round.

1. Otto Graham (FB, MBB, BASE, 1941-1944) vs. 4. Lisa Ishikawa Sliwa (Softball, 1984-1987)

Poll

Otto Graham or Lisa Ishikawa Sliwa?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Otto Graham
    (516 votes)
  • 59%
    Lisa Ishikawa Sliwa
    (746 votes)
1262 votes total Vote Now

2. Hilary Bowen (Women’s Lacrosse, 2006-2009) vs. 3. Evan Eschmeyer (MBB, 1995-1999)

Poll

Hilary Bowen or Evan Eschmeyer?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Hilary Bowen
    (569 votes)
  • 41%
    Evan Eschmeyer
    (405 votes)
974 votes total Vote Now

Central Region

The drama and intrigue on Central Street. Justin Jackson was nearly the first 1-seed to fall, as he edged former Wildcat catcher and current Phillies manager Joe Girardi by a mere 11 votes. Two-time Tewaaraton Award winner Kristen Kjellman topped two-sport athlete Kate Oleykowski Bernatowicz, but Hannah Nielsen, who boasts a similar résumé to Kjellman’s, fell to another underdog tennis star in 10-seed Katrina Adams. Ndidi Opia Massay also pulled off an upset, blowing out wrestler Jake Herbert by 132 votes.

Jackson is once more on upset alert against the accomplished Kjellman, while Katrina Adams will hope to continue tennis’ strong showing against a tough opponent in Opia Massay.

1. Justin Jackson (FB, 2014-2017) vs. 5. Kristen Kjellman (WLAX, 2004-2007)

Poll

Justin Jackson or Kristen Kjellman?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Justin Jackson
    (1448 votes)
  • 50%
    Kristen Kjellman
    (1473 votes)
2921 votes total Vote Now

10. Katrina Adams (WTEN, 1984-1987) vs. 6. Ndidi Opia Massay (SB, 1986-1989)

Poll

Katrina Adams or Ndidi Opia Massay?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Katrina Adams
    (2146 votes)
  • 43%
    Ndidi Opia Massay
    (1677 votes)
3823 votes total Vote Now