Saturday, April 2, 2011

Final Four is Really Final Two

As Butler and VCU got set to tip off the Final Four action in Houston tonight, the road to the Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest title is winding down. In fact, when the final horn sounds in the Kentucky-UCONN game, the champion of my contest will be crowned. More on that later.

Once again, the NCAA Tournament has not disappointed with all the upsets, buzzer-beaters, and great performances. Whoever the marketing genious was who coined the term March Madness, deserves extra props this year as for the first time ever there are no No. 1 or No. 2 seeds in the Final Four. And, we are guaranteed that a true Cinderalla will play in the championship game on Monday with No. 8 Butler and No. 11 VCU battling it out in the semifinals for a chance at their One Shining Moment.

Taking a look at the latest standings in my bracket contest, George Hartz is still in the lead with 60-point lead or more on the rest of the 68-entrant field. George added to his lead by getting five of the eight picks right in the Sweet Sixteen games and then joined 22 other entrants in the contest to get one of the Final Four teams correct.

However, based on the possible points remaining and the current standings, there are only two possible winners remaining in this year's contest. Looking to pass George to claim the $25 gift card and the coveted bragging rights that go with it are either Josh Wood or Steve Wilging. Josh is currently in second place right behind George and has been among the leaders the entire contest. He can lock up the victory tonight if Kentucky, who is his pick as the national champion, can advance past UCONN. Matt Hannaford also picked Kentucky to win the title, but he's too far back in the standings to pass Josh.

The other person vying for the title is Steve, who has UCONN as his pick to win the title. Steve is a junior at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a member of the men's soccer team. If UCONN beats Kentucky tonight, he will move ahead of George and Josh. Steve, Wade Foley, and Niki Murray each picked UCONN to win the national title, but Steve is currently ahead of the other two and would win it all.

So, just like most of the experts would say about the second semifinal tonight, it's for all the marbles when UCONN and Kentucky tip off at 9:23 p.m. ET. However, while the Six Degrees of MVNUSID winner will get determined tonight, don't count out those Butler Bulldogs on Monday night when they get their second straight shot at national title after coming up just inches short on a game-winner at the buzzer last year.

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