HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Hundreds entered. Only one emerged victorious.
In 2018, Jerry Higgins selected Virginia to win it all. It was the first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament that a 16 seed defeated a 1 seed. The Cavaliers were ousted from the tournament by UMBC in a stunning 75-54 upset.
What a difference a year makes. Virginia went from a devastating first round loss to NCAA National Champion. A triumph that came with close calls in each of the last four games of the tournament. It took overtime for Virginia to defeat Texas Tech in the National Championship.
It would have been easy for any basketball fan to cross No. 1 seed Virginia off this year’s bracket after a couple of rounds. In fact, the Cavaliers provided that “here-we-go-again” feeling against Gardner-Webb to open this year’s tournament. The Cavaliers trailed by six at halftime of that game before outscoring the Runnin’ Bulldogs by 21 in the second half.
“I picked Virginia last year,” Higgins said. “Of course everybody knows they lost the first game. I thought, you know, I like their team. I like their coach. I like the way they play.” So Higgins went with the Cavaliers again.
This time, the pick paid off.
Higgins selected the best bracket in Yoder Meats March Mania powered by Erickson Custom Building and The Medicine Shoppe. He scored eight more points than the entry that finished second by selecting 39 of the 63 matchups correctly. The picks netted him $750 from Eagle Communications (My 93-1, Country 102.9 and KWBW).
Still, with the money and the best picks, would Higgins call himself the Master of the Bracket? “I don’t know about that,” Higgins laughed.