I'm pleased to announce that the winner of this year's Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse is Jim Clark.
Jim, who is the assistant sports information director at Cedarville University, made his move after the Elite Eight round. George Hartz maintained his lead heading into the Final Four as he was one of 12 of the 69 entrants in my contest to pick three of the final four teams in the field correctly. He held a 950-920 lead over both Troy Current and Chris Bean at that point with Troy joining him in picking Ohio State to win it all and Chris having had his predicted champion, Duke, eliminated back in the first round. For his performance, George earned the coveted Bloomin' Onion card for that round.
In the Final Four, Jim joined eight other participants in correctly picking Kentucky and Kansas to advance to the national championship game as he claimed the Bloomin' Onion card for the round. At that point, it came down to who would win the championship game to see who would take home the grand prize.
In the title contest, Kentucky prevailed to give Jim the title, bragging rights, and the $45 voucher that Outback Steakhouse so generously donated. (Yes, originally, it was supposed to be $25, but they are so cool that they upped the ante.) I'm also throwing in a Bloomin' Onion card for runner-up, Jay Stancil, who only entered because Outback was involved, and I drew one more name from among the people who correctly picked Kentucky as the champion and that Bloomin' Onion card goes to Amanda Rykoff.
And for those wondering how bad my wife, Carla, beat me this year...she finished 12th out of 69 people with 1290 points, while I was a distant 22nd with 1200 points.
A big thank you to Outback for sponsoring the prizes for this year's contest. It would be great if you each took the time to follow them on Twitter and dropped them a note. Also, thanks to everyone who played along as this was the biggest field of participants yet. Here's hoping that even more people will join in on the March Madness next year.