Winner of The Page’s annual March Madness Challenge!


Emily Kibler

Library assistant Amber Smeal conferred with her younger brother, a basketball lover, to complete the winning bracket.

Emily Kibler

Smeal’s winning bracket, up close.

Library assistant Amber Smeal won The Page’s annual March Madness Bracket Tournament, correctly picking Villanova to win it all, which was the difference between first and second place.

“When I found out about the poll, I called my younger brother who follows basketball, and he helped me build this,” said Smeal.

She picked Villanova to take the national title, which was the deciding factor between first and second place. When asked about her strategy, Smeal said, “[My brother] tends to pick Nova to win almost every year, and I usually root against Duke.”

The runner-up is defending champion junior Katie O’Connell.

“This year I looked further into upsets,” said O’Connell. “This didn’t really work out though, as there were upsets that no one could have ever predicted.”

There was a four-way tie for third place among Principal Danny Little, freshmen Kevin Lindenberg, Maddy Alarcon, Shannon Dinniman.

Page staff writer junior Ella Mangels was not eligible for the school-wide contest but actually had the most correct picks in the school.

Forty-two percent of the brackets entered in this challenge picked UVA to win it all. The second-most picked team was Duke at 24 percent, with the real winner Villanova coming in at third place with 18 percent.

Brackets this year were thrown off by an early exit from UNC, UVA, and Michigan State. Loyola-Chicago’s Cinderella story, carrying them to their first Final Four since 1963. Only three 11-seeds had made it to the Final Four before them: LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, and VCU in 2011.