The NCAA Bracket Challenge has come and gone for another year. This year’s winner is Karl Mealor. Ben Stratton made a strong run through the “Trail of Blood” in the Final Four, but Karl would not be denied. He picked three of the four Final Four teams correctly. However, he did not see the Connecticut train a-coming, picking Virginia instead. He picked Wisconsin over Kentucky (and barring a ridiculously evil, wicked and horrifying 3, he’d have been correct) and he picked the Gators to win out. In spite of picking both Final Four games wrong, he had a big enough lead by landing 3 of the Final Four teams that there was no catching him.
Well done, Karl.
Fact is, not a single person in our group of our 43 participants picked Connecticut to win. Not a single person even picked them to be part of the Final Four. Ben Stratton is the only person who earned any points at all in the last two rounds, picking Kentucky to go to the championship game. But both he and Karl had picked Florida to win it all, so even a Kentucky win would not have changed the outcome. (By the way, how does a Kentucky fan pick Florida to win the national championship?) UConn won in all (both men and women) but none of us picked the men to do so.
Andy Hynes, last year’s champ, slipped into a tie for 6th. My bracket blew up early and often. Paul Thompson demonstrated that his other job as a Vegas bookmaker is probably not going to work out, finishing in last place (of those who actually submitted a bracket). That was nice of you, Paul, because if you hadn’t tanked so spectacularly, then “IowaFarmer” – one of my deacons – would have occupied the basement. Never good to get the deacons upset, eh?
Anyway, maybe next year we will do better, eh?