Congratulations to Steve Wilging on claiming the coveted title as champion of the second annual Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest! Steve, who is wrapping up his junior year at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and is a member of the Cougar soccer team, beat out 67 other determined competitors to claim the top spot thanks to his predicted champion, UCONN, winning the NCAA national title.
Steve successfully edged out runner-up Wade Foley, who ironically is a senior teammate of his on the MVNU soccer team, by 20 points. Wade also chose UCONN to win it all and had a 20-point lead on Steve after the first round when he correctly picked 24 of the first 32 games to Steve's 22-for-32. However, Steve had one more correct pick in the Sweet Sixteen round than Wade and that's what eventually won him the title.
Niki Murray, who serves as the community relations manager for the Washington Nationals, also had a great finish as she was the final person in my contest to correctly pick UCONN as the national champion. The Huskies' title vaulted her to third place in the contest just ahead of George Hartz, who had led the way heading into the Final Four.
While I finished in the top third of the contest in a tie for 18th place, I do have reason to celebrate as for only the ninth time in the past 19 years I was able to beat my wife (and the winner of the inaugural Six Degrees of MVNUSID contest last year), Carla Parsons. At some point in the coming days, I'll be enjoying a trip to Outback Steakhouse as she pays up. (Honestly, agree with me that a trip there is really a win for both of us.) :)
Well, thanks again to everyone who participated. I'm going to keep working on sponsors for future years to help me award more prizes. I think having a bracket contest makes the games even more fun to watch and brings more people together in a common bond. I just wish the final game would have lived up to the excitement and intrigue that the rest of the tournament contained.