Basketball Sports

Sophomore Bonner finishes 1st in Bracket Challenge

By Henry Erlandson ’16
THE ROUNDUP

College basketball’s March Madness Tournament was filled with huge upsets and close games this year.

There were many brackets that made the competition close until the very last game, including a bracket from Mr. Matt Hooten, who finished the school’s Bracket Challenge tied in 10th place.

However, only one participant of the hundreds who partook in Brophy’s Bracket Challenge could emerge victorious and Daniel Bonner ’17 was this year’s champ.

Bonner correctly picked a Wisconsin-Duke matchup in the final game and chose the victorious Duke to win it all, scoring 109 points in total, closely followed by second place finisher, Luke Mailliard ’15, who racked up 107 possible points.

“My favorite team is Michigan and I watch a lot of Big Ten basketball, so I saw Michigan State play a couple of times this year and I saw that they had what it would take to make it to the Final Four,” Bonner said.

Bonner made up a very small percentage of participants in the final rounds of the Bracket Challenge to pick Michigan State to go all the way to the Final Four.

One of the major upsets in the tournament that ruined a large number of brackets was the heavily-favored 1-seed Kentucky falling to Wisconsin.

“I thought there weren’t a ton of early surprises that really made much of an impact later in the tournament,” Mailliard said in an email to The Roundup. “However, I was surprised how Kentucky went from seeming unstoppable in the Sweet 16 against West Virginia to almost losing to ND and then losing to Wisconsin.”

“Kentucky was ultimately upset by Wisconsin who had the best offense in the country and similarly Notre Dame had a high-scoring and efficient offense who I felt had what it took to beat Kentucky,” Bonner said in contrast to Mailliard’s surprise of Kentucky’s early exit.

Both Mailliard and Bonner said they closely followed college basketball throughout the course of the regular season, which they claim is why they were so successful in predicting some of the key upsets and big match-ups during the tournament.