It took him less than three minutes to make all his picks, but in the end, Scott Bowers is happy that he stuck with his instinct to have UConn advance all the way in his KUsports.com bracket.
Bowers was the big winner in KUsports.com's 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket contest, sponsored by Henry T's, Brotherhood Bank, Lynn Electric, Crown Automotive and Intrust Bank. He will have his 42-inch HDTV, courtesy of Kief's Audio/Video in Lawrence, delivered to his home in Webb City, Mo.
Bowers was one of only 29 KUsports.com contestants that picked UConn to win the title. He also correctly picked Kentucky to advance to the Final Four.
"I went into the tournament feeling good about UConn based on their play in the Big East tournament," Bowers said. "I felt if Kemba Walker continued his great play into the NCAAs, keeping UConn out of the Final Four was going to be difficult."
Bowers — a KU fan who attended KU's second- and third-round games in Tulsa, Okla., last month — said he hated not picking the Jayhawks to win the title, but "since it was a KU website, I figure my odds were better picking someone else to win."
Bowers said he filled out his bracket quickly, using the knowledge he had of the teams in the tournament from watching college basketball all year.
His late picks were much better than his early ones.
"After the first weekend, I pretty much gave up on the idea of winning the contest and told myself next year I'm letting my cat pick the teams," Bowers said. "I don't remember where I was ranked but it wasn't good."
Bowers decided to check back in when he realized he had correctly picked two teams into the Final Four. He had moved all the way up to fifth.
"I think I read the rules of the point system 50 times to make sure," Bowers said, "but I knew with no one having UConn as a champion in front of me, that my success was tied to them."