March Contest Renders Winner

Jeremy Way, Reporter

The 2013 men’s NCAA basketball tournament concluded with crowning the Louisville University Cardinals as champions, and participants in bracket challenges have claimed their share of that victory.

Students participated in the March Madness chaos as they filled out their predictions as to who would win each round and ultimately the National Championship.

Senior sport management major Jeff Huss was one of many students to join in the  competitions. Huss entered 20 brackets into competition, including several on ESPN.com.

“The tournament this year was very entertaining, and I even called the upset of Ole Miss winning over Wisconsin,” said Huss.

Huss’s favorite team to win the tournament was the Cardinals and the team’s leading point guard Peyton Siva, said Huss.

Huss’s aspirations for his favorite team came true  when the Cardinals went on to beat The University of Michigan Wolverines in the National Championship with an 82-76 final score.

Louisville went on to win the title after the dramatic  and gruesome leg injury to player Kevin Ware only two games before.

The road to the championship was entertaining, students said. Many higher seeds upset lower seeds to advance in the bracket, and stun the experts. Fifteen seeded Florida Gulf Coast University advanced to the Elite Eight and defied the odds.

First year Ross Baver was enthusiastic about FGCU’s play early in the tournament.

“I never heard of them before, but I went to their first round game which was an upset, and they turned out to be an exciting team to watch,” said Baver. “You always have to cheer for the underdog, and that’s why I was so enthusiastic about them for the rest of their time in the tournament.”

Other upsets included the appearance of 9 seeded Wichita State in the Final Four and the victory Ole Miss claimed over Wisconsin.

First year MJ Krsulic said his favorite upset was Wichita State making the Final Four.

MU hosted its  own bracket challenge on ESPN.com in which students, faculty, and staff made entries online to take on President Michael MacDowell and the MU community in hope of earning Coca Cola prizes.

The top 5 placing contestants received Coca Cola prizes.

Krsulic found out about the MU Bracket Challenge through the E-MU portal, he said. By the end of the competition he was in tenth place, which was just a few places shy of earning prizes.

“I expected not to do so well since the tournament was so wide open,” said Krsulic. “The pick that was most devastating to me was picking my favorite team Villanova to lose to North Carolina.”

Although Krsulic didn’t win the MU Bracket Challenge, he enjoyed the competition.

“It was entertaining to see who would win because it was so wide open,” said Krsulic.

Math professor Patrick Touhey also had an entry in the challenge in which he had Wisconsin winning the title.  Touhey said he avoided obvious picks.

“I thought about Duke or Gonzaga but figured lots of people would use them as long shots,” said Touhey. “I wanted to pick a real shocker, but unfortunately I didn’t know that that was Wichita State’s nickname.”

With much of his bracket dead early due to the fact that he was going for  upsets, Touhey quickly lost interest in the standings, he said.

“Like lots of people, I was rooting for Florida Gulf Coast,” said Touhey. They play a good disciplined, well thought out brand of basketball.”

Touhey described FGCU as a John Wooden nightmare but an exciting team to watch.

“I also didn’t think that Syracuse would go as far as they did, but I was glad they did because I like watching them play,” said Touhey. “When that 2-3 defense is executed correctly it’s a lot of fun to watch.”

The final winner of the MU Bracket Challenge on ESPN was junior physical therapy major, Corey Reviello.

“I feel pretty good about winning the bracket challenge.  It’s always nice to win those kinds of competitions,” said Reviello. “I fill out a bracket every year and to be able to finally win something is cool.”

The winnings included various Coca Cola prizes such as a t-shirt, cooler, ice scraper, cases of product, and a Powerade sports bottle.

Reviello said he enjoyed the National Championship game and he is grateful it turned out the way it did because if it hadn’t, he would’ve taken third in the challenge, he said.

“I thought I had a decent opportunity, but didn’t really think I would end up winning the MU Bracket Challenge,” said Reviello. “I actually almost didn’t enter a bracket, but my roommate kept telling us to enter one, so I finally did one the night before it had to be entered, and obviously it was a great idea.”

Reviello may have won the MU challenge, but other students who participated in multiple competitions harvested rewards.

“Of the 20 brackets entered, I did get third place in one,” said Huss.

Louisville University’s victory dance came as no surprise as the team entered the tournament ranked number one out of the Midwest pool.

“Louisville deserved to win but I’m not a big fan of Pitino, and the affair in the Louisville restaurant has seemed to disappear from sports consciousness,” said Touhey. “Anyway I’m betting that his Cardinal tattoo will be of the temporary variety, but I could be wrong about that too.”

This National Championship marked Louisville’s third in history.

[email protected]