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Chicagoist March Madness Challenge Winner

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 4, 2006 8:42PM

2006_03_sports_basketball.gifThe NCAA Tournament never turns out like we think it will, and this year's tournament had even more unepected twist and turns than a typical year. From the numerous upsets, to all the top seeds missing the Final Four, to George Mason making the Final Four, to the large margins of victory in the the Final Four and Championship games. Last night, Florida defeated UCLA 73-57 to claim the NCAA basketball title.

With the conclusion of the 2006 NCAA Tourney, Chicagoist is ready to announce the winner of our Chicagoist Tournament Challenge. The winner is t. stanton, who finished first out of 49 entries in Chicagoist's pool. Congrats! Email me [blipsman at] your contact info and we'll get your prize out to you.

Personally, we finished tied for 13th, which is better than last year's 31st place finish. We thought we'd be bringing up the reach after Duke went out early, but when the other top seeds exited prematurely as well, we didn't drop as far as we'd feared. We didn't have any team in the Final Four -- we saw on last week that 66% of all brackets in their Tournament Challenge failed to pick a single one, too! Even with all four #1 seeds out and George Mason in, we were a bit surprised by that stat.

With the surprising runs for Bradley and especially George Mason, it's expected that next year's NCAA Tournament will feature more schools from the mid-major conferences. Chicagoist has long supported this, as many of those teams from the non-power conferences are actually very good. We'd much rather see the second best school from the Colonial or Missouri Valley Conferences play than the 8th best team from the Big Ten or SEC. While the power conferences exhert a tremendous amount of influence over the NCAA, the success by schools outside those 6 leagues is changing things for the better. Now, only 49 more weeks until the 2007 Tournment begins!