They always say it's the quiet ones you have to watch. I'm starting to believe it. Because it isn't any of the millions of guys who have been screaming at the TV for the past three weeks of March Madness who correctly picked the Final Four teams in their bracket. It's Diana Inch.
Out of the millions of people who entered their brackets online, Inch is the one person who knew VCU, Butler, Kentucky, and UConn would meet in Houston this weekend. So who is Inch? She's a high school librarian in Oregon (see what I said about quiet?), a girls' soccer coach, and one-time volleyball player ... and apparently one of the very few people in America with a soft spot for the bracket-busting Virginia Commonwealth University?
Inch told Yahoo! she had a real strategy: VCU impressed her with their hustle, teamwork, etc. But here's the linchpin: their mascot is a Ram, and she was working on an animal-based bracket the whole time. That's the big secret!
Not being a savvy sports guru with stats coming out her ears, but being a sports fan with a sense of humor. She set it up as cats and dogs with a little leeway for other four-legged critters. Hence pushing the Butler Bulldogs into the Final Four. Hence picking VCU's Rams over the Boilermakers or Aggies.
Huzzah! The so-called "girly" way to pick a bracket just proved to be the best way to go. I pick teams based on the same sort of criteria: I go with a few biases from my heart (we hate Duke in this house, love UNC for example), but the rest is all "ooh, I like the color of that uniform" or "ooh, I'd like to visit that spot."
My husband has always laughed -- I think HE is the first person to tell me my methods were girly -- but his bracket is lying in tatters and there's Diana Inch doing her thing and kicking some serious butt: At ESPN, they estimate only 29.7 percent of the 5.9 million entries had at least one Final Four team correct; 2.1 percent had two right; and just 1,093 had three of the Final Four correct. At Yahoo!, where Inch entered her picks, 80 percent of entries failed to correctly project a single Final Four team. Only 0.1 percent of entries had VCU in the Final Four. And the one guy who walked into Vegas and put down $10 on VCU winning the championship is expected to take home $50,000 if it happens.
So what does the WOMAN who correctly predicted the Final Four want? To use her fame for a little bit of good -- she's hoping she can use her "fame" to encourage people to donate to her teeny weeny cash-strapped school district. Maybe you can split your winnings on the big game bet between the school and your wallet? Inch says the UConn Huskies are going to take it all ...
Image via JoelK75/Flickr