By Peter Melling /// Staff Writer
Ah, the sequel we’ve all been waiting for. March Madness is finally over, as the UCONN Huskies have beaten the Kentucky Wildcats for the NCAA National Basketball Championship. In my last article, I presented my Tournament Bracket covering each round. So, here is a breakdown of what I predicted and what happened.
Round of 64
This round seemed to be fairly straightforward. Out of 32 games, I predicted the correct outcome for 23 of them. However, I did miss some interesting upsets. I did not have Dayton, Tennessee, Mercer or either of the championship teams (UCONN and Kentucky) surviving this round. Apart from my prediction of Duke going to the Elite Eight, none of my misses were that destructive to my bracket.
Round of 32
Next up, there were a few more significant upsets that I missed. I did not have Dayton beating Syracuse, UCONN evading Villanova or Stanford advancing over Kansas (both Villanova and Kansas went to the Elite Eight in my bracket). However, I do have one feather in my cap: I predicted that Wichita State, famed for their perfect regular season, would fall in this round. Maybe it was a gut feeling that any “perfect” team will fold under serious pressure, but I did feel it with Wichita State. Ultimately, I predicted 9 out of 16 games correctly.
The Sweet Sixteen
Here’s where my bracket took a real punch to the face. I lost my national champion, Louisville, to Kentucky. It was also in this round where several unpredicted matchups happened (namely Michigan vs. Tennessee, Iowa State vs. UCONN, and Dayton vs Stanford). This hurt my score, which ultimately left me with only 3 out of 8 correct picks.
This round also dealt a fair amount of damage to my bracket. I lost another one of my Final Four in this round, Michigan State (usurped by the eventual champion UCONN). This round featured another unpredicted matchup, namely Michigan vs Kentucky. Despite this, half of my Final Four (Wisconsin and Florida) did survive the Elite Eight, leaving me with 2 out of 4 correct matchups.
Final Four and the Championship
Out of the two games played, both of my original Final Four picks still left, (Wisconsin and Florida), fell to Kentucky and UCONN, respectively. While I did not have Wisconsin getting beyond this point, I did have Florida in the championship game. Now that that was impossible, my bracket was officially dead. However, I did not care when this round was over. I was excited to see the experienced UCONN take on the Kentucky youth movement. My alignment was pretty thoroughly with UCONN, seeing as how Kentucky took out my national champion this year, and had done so in my 2012 bracket as well (Louisville). Both teams kept it close, but UCONN’s emerged from the scuffle victorious, and with their reputation cleaned following their 1-year tournament ban last year.
The Final Bracket
Enclosed above is my bracket, complete with all the markings for wins and losses. In the end, I came in 2,126,867 place on ESPN’s bracket challenge, with 690 points and an a final percentage of 80.7.