(Editor’s Note: the initial draft of this blog was written at end of day Friday. Much has changed since then...mistakes were made.)
At Blue Chip Talent, we’re a driven, competitive bunch that can turn a mundane task into a full-blown, knock-down, drag-out challenge. One such competition that is currently ravaging throughout our office is the annual March Madness bracket contest. Each year, everyone on the BCT team fills out their bracket in hopes of earning the prestigious honor of being the omniscient college basketball guru of the office. With the title comes the fame, the bragging rights, and the boatload of riches at the end of the Madness (a $100 Amazon Gift Card).
Here is a breakdown of how Blue Chip Talent has prognosticated the NCAA Tournament shaking out:
Virginia Cavaliers (21%) (WELP)
Michigan Wolverines (18%)
Villanova Wildcats (15%)
Michigan State Spartans (12%) (WELP)
Duke Blue Devils (12%)
Most have (wrongly) hitched their bandwagon onto the Virginia Cavaliers’ convoy, admiring Virginia’s stout defense and tempo-slogging offense. Hometown favorites, the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans, received considerable nods as this year’s champion but not enough to eclipse the support behind Virginia.
South Region Champion
Virginia Cavaliers (51%) (YIKES)
Arizona Wildcats (27%) (ALSO YIKES)
Cincinnati Bearcats (9%) (NO BUENO)
Kentucky Wildcats (6%)
Tennessee Volunteers (6%)
It comes as no surprise that the Virginia Cavaliers took the most votes to emerge from the South Region given their majority support to win the National Championship. At the time of this writing, 27% of our team are muttering four-letter words under their breath as their Arizona Wildcats selection was immediately demolished after the first night of the tournament thanks to the Buffalo Bulls’ upset of Arizona. Yours truly still has some choice words for Arizona. (Personal Pick: Arizona) At least we were able to witness history as University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) became the first ever 16-seed to defeat a 1-seed when they dominated Virginia Friday evening.
West Region Champion
Michigan Wolverines (51%) (LOOKING GOOD)
Xavier Musketeers (24%) (NOT SO GOOD)
North Carolina Tar Heels (18%) (OH BOY)
Gonzaga Bulldogs (3%)
Texas A&M Aggies (3%)
Local favorite Michigan Wolverines are the pick to win the West Region. This Michigan Wolverine alumnus appreciates the sentiment, but to win the bracket challenge you must lead with your head and not with your heart. (Personal Pick: North Carolina) And what heart it took for Michigan to survive at the buzzer with the heroics of freshman Jordan Poole knocking down the game winner from way beyond the arc.
East Region Champion
Villanova Wildcats (63%)
Purdue Boilermakers (18%)
Florida Gators (6%)
Wichita State Shockers (3%)
Virginia Tech Hokies (3%)
Butler Bulldogs (3%)
UCLA Bruins (3%)
This region broke down into two schools of thought: Villanova or Someone Else. Those who believed Someone Else would win could not come to a consensus on their own as five different teams received at least one selection as Region Champion. If you still care about my bracket by this point, you will discover I am fully in the Villanova camp as they are also my National Champion. (Personal Pick: Villanova)
Midwest Region Champion
Duke Blue Devils (45%)
Michigan State Spartans (33%) (2-3 ZONE’D)
Kansas Jayhawks (18%)
Auburn Tigers (3%)
Unlike it’s in-state brethren, Michigan State did not receive the most selections out of this region. Although it may be Michigan fans who were responsible for such to happen, selecting Duke over Michigan State. (Personal Pick: Duke, regrettably as well)
2018 Homer Special – Of the 33 brackets entered, three have selected a Michigan vs. Michigan State National Championship matchup. Should such a matchup occur, there definitely will be high tensions and hurt feelings in the lead-up and aftermath of the game.
Most Common Finals – The championship matchup selected the most was Virginia vs. Villanova (4). There was a three-way tie for the second-most common with Virginia vs. Duke (3), Virginia vs. Kansas (3), and Michigan vs. Villanova (3).
There you have it, the 2018 edition of Blue Chip Bracketology. May the best bracketeer win and to the victor goes the spoils.
Go Green Go White