Five hundred participants around the Northwest signed up for the Oregon Sports News March Madness contest. If it weren't for Yahoo! giving us a bracket limit, we would have had more. But out of those 500, only one person stood out on top: Billy Warden. Mr. Warden not only chose Louisville to win it all, but he also had three out of the four Final Four picks! His victory earned him a crisp $100 gift card to Amazon.com. I asked him some questions about the contest:
1. You beat 500 other participants to win the grand prize. How are you feeling right now?
I feel pretty fortunate to have won because I know that there were probably several that were picking in this bracket, of whom, had more college basketball knowledge than me. Without ESPN Sports Center, I would have not done as well.
2. What made you pick Louisville to win it all?
I picked Louisville because I felt they were the best #1 seed that had a chance to go all the way and it's very rare for there to be more than 1 number one seed to make it to the Final Four, which is why I chose Michigan and Syracuse as lower seeds to beat the favorites in their brackets.
3. What pick do you regret making the most?
I can't say I regret picking Ohio State over Wichita State, because I still think they had the better team, they just got outcoached. If their coach would have insisted that they drive the ball to the hoop more in the beginning of the game instead of shooting so many 3-point shots and missing, they could have won the game easily.
4. How nervous were you watching the Louisville / Michigan game?
I wasn't really that nervous about watching the game because my lovely wife Tonya was in the hospital for her 6th day following a neck operation and was having difficulties with the pain and her oxygen levels weren't high enough to release her to come home and watch the game with me. Tonya actually had enter another bracket to try and win me a 50 inch tv and was in first place until Ohio State lost. She was so disappointed that I promised her that if I won the $100 in my bracket that I'd let her have it to shop online while she is doing her 4 to 6 weeks of recovery at home, which of course made her very happy, especially when I got to tell her Tuesday morning that my bracket had actually won.
Congratulations, Mr. Warden, and thanks to everyone who signed up! Let's do it again next year.