Bracket Challenge: This Never Happens

I won the NCAA Tournament bracket challenge that included my family and about 40 others. There is a nice little cash prize since entry fee was $10. I have won these before, but it almost never happens that I’m even close to being still alive when the Final Four arrived. This time, it looked pretty good if Virginia won since hardly anyone else had them in our bracket past the Sweet 16. I’m not really someone who tracks all of college basketball so I’m pretty ill equipped to pick the bracket. I’m the only one in our challenge who picked Virginia to win. I would not have finished in the top three (those who win money) if Virginia had not gotten some favorable bounces in the previous two rounds.

Congratulations Clay. I had 13 left in the sweet 16. It went downhill from there quickly. Zero in the final 4.

It takes serious skill to get 13 of the Sweet 16, but as you know, that doesn’t help you nail the Final Four.

Same here Clay. I do a pool every year with friends from college, and haven’t won it in at least the past 10 years. I honestly didn’t expect Virginia to win, but picked them over Michigan State in the championship game just to go against the grain. Out of 49 people, 23 picked Duke - which is exactly why I went the way I did.

I picked a lot chalkier bracket this year than I normally would have, which ended up paying off. I also had 13/16 in the sweet 16. I looked at ESPN’s “people’s bracket” to see where the crowd was going, then tried to strategically pick against the grain in later rounds. Definitely going with the same strategy next year, and will undoubtedly finish last.

I also picked UVA which was first time I picked the winner in…eons! I don’t know how bracket challenges are measured other than who picks the final winner, but I also picked 45 winners v. 18 losers. I have no idea if that is good or mediocre - but was one of my best brackets!

On another note, the Cavs win was somewhat interesting in that they were the first tournament winner that did not face a #1 or #2 seed on their way to victory. #3 T.Tech and Purdue were highest seeds, and of course a 16, 12, 9, and 5. So even tho most of their games were very close, they had a relatively easy road.

One of my best friends would have won $1,000 if Auburn had advanced to the national championship game. He picked AU to win it all after he and I watched them demolish Tennessee in the SEC Tournament final.

I texted him that Auburn had come back from a 10-point deficit to take the lead late on Saturday. Myself and several others were still wrapping up spring game coverage, and my friend called. He couldn’t watch the game, so he asked for play-by-play updates for the final 30 seconds. He was heartbroken when I told him Auburn fouled UVA’s best shooter with less than a second to play.