The 27th edition of Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco was true to its name. For most of the 3,253 entrants, predicting the winners was indeed a forlorn hope. For Ronnie Turner of Vidalia, an NCAA tournament that all but defied prognostication somehow became easy pickings.
Turner, 57, picked 25 of the 32 second-round winners correctly, 11 of the Sweet Sixteen, five of the Elite Eight and three of the Final Four. He tabbed Kentucky, a No. 8 seed, as the 2014 national champion, which didn’t seem likely when the Big Dance began but darn near happened. For such inspired forecasting, Turner is our Fiasco winner and receives the traditional sweatshirt plus a Samsung Galaxy S4 smart phone from Verizon, our sponsor.
“I’m a Georgia fan,” Turner said. “I have been all my life. I watched Herschel … But outside Georgia, I’ve always been a Kentucky fan.”
His support for the Big Blue — and many other sagacious selections as well — enabled Turner to finish 305th among upickem’s 213,367 national entrants, placing him in the 99th percentile. This would seem quite an achievement, but Turner has a history of knowing what he’s doing. Every year since 1998, he said, he has picked more than 100 correct winners in the Georgia high school football playoffs.
Turner has entered the Fiasco many times but saved his best effort for a year that saw a No. 7 and a No. 8 seed play for the title, which had never happened. In what might have been the hardest NCAA tournament to pick, our winner aced the exam.
Others, alas, fared less well. None of our 3,253 Fiascans picked the correct Final Four, and none picked UConn to win it all. But a good time was had, if not by all or even most, then at least by me. Thanks again to everyone for playing along.