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First-Year Student’s Hoops Bracket Outpaces ESPN Challengers

A bracket-picking challenge on campus took hoops tyro Matt Carlson ’19 all the way to the highest echelon – nationwide.

Each year, the members of the first-year class are invited to participate in a bracket-picking challenge for the NCAA basketball tournament. The challenge is sponsored by the college advancement office and by Bert the Pig, mascot of that office’s student-engagement program.

The challenge, along with thousands of others created by groups nationwide, is hosted by espn.com. A staggering 13 million people filled out brackets on the sports network’s site this year.

St. Norbert’s own first-year challenge winner was Carlson, whose bracket earned an impressive score of 1,560 points. Just how impressive? Among all 13 million espn.com entries, Carlson’s ranked 1,869th – or, among the top two hundredths of one percent of all contestants in the country!

Students are encouraged to choose creative names for their brackets, and while Carlson might credit basketball savvy for his success, the name he chose suggests other forces might well have been at play. He called his bracket “Blessed by Father Neilson.”

Calson’s prize earned him free food from Dale’s, the popular sports-themed space in Michels Commons where students often gather to watch the basketball action and many other sports. A prize was also awarded for most creative bracket name, and that, too, was “divinely” inspired: the winner named her bracket “Abbey Is My Spirit Animal” in honor of our campus dog. Abbey is the black lab owned by the Rev. Jay Fostner, O.Praem., ’84.



May 3, 2016