Boy, I'm glad that's over.
If you see me sprinting from light pole to light pole through town, don't worry, I'm just trying to avoid being seen after this year's Henry Hoopla contest. It's become an annual tradition for me though - filling out my bracket with high hopes, letting everyone in the community know who's going to win, then slowly backpedaling down the list until I hit close to rock bottom. Usually by this time, shortly after the final weekend of games, I'm a bit embarrassed to leave the office.
If you want to find my name on the list, it's pretty easy - just start and the bottom and work your way up, and you'll be there in no time. At least I beat my mom this year, even if it was just by one point.
As for the rest of the 245 Henry Hoopla contestants, Curtis Blevins of Pleasureville came out on top with a total score of 103 points. He successfully picked 46 games correct, had all four final four teams remaining heading into the final weekend, and went with Kansas over Memphis in the finals - ding, ding.
Blevins passed Lance Timberlake (100) in the final weekend of games, and edged past Kayden Clark (102) down the homestretch for the victory. Blevins, Clark and Timberlake were the only contestants to score above 100 points. Last year's winner, Harold Frazier, finished with 77 points, which tied him for 63rd overall.
I'll have to admit, I wasn't very impressed with this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. Of course Davidson made a good run and there were a few other upsets, but, overall, the games just didn't do it for me. I'm not a fan of all four No. 1 seeds advancing to the Final Four, and I hope it never happens again.
But I will say this, the championship game Monday night was one of the better ones I've seen in a while. It was the first time the title game went into overtime to decide the outcome since Arizona defeated Kentucky in 1997. Although I was rooting for Memphis, and I think they should have closed out the game at the end of regulation, it was an exciting finals nonetheless. It was a great end to an otherwise below par tournament.
So, the tournament has come to an end. The drinks have run dry and the chips have gone stale. March Madness has left us once more, leaving Kansas and Blevins bragging rights for the next 12 months.
As for me, I'll spend the next year devising a new approach that I know will pay off when the tournament rolls around again. There'll be another March - another chance to redeem myself. I just hope I'm not sprinting from pole to pole this time next year. I don't know if my pride can take it again.
Tommie Kendall can be reached at email@example.com. Check out page B4 for all the results from this year's Henry Hoopla contest. Congratulations to Curtis Blevins.