Hoopla... it’s back!

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By Tommie Kendall

It’s Henry Hoopla time, again.

Don’t let me fool you. I will boast, saying my bracket is 100-percent right. I’ve already told everyone in my office to copy my bracket, team for team, if they want to have the correct picks. I will swear that there’s no way “my” Kentucky team will not win it all this year. I will say that Butler will advance to the Final Four regardless of it being a No. 5 seed. I will say that Kentucky, Kansas and Baylor will join Butler there. I will say how Louisville will beat California in the opening round but lose a tight game to Duke in round two. I will say how Kansas will lose, 82-74, in the finals on April 5 in Indianapolis. Again, don’t let me fool you.

Deep down, I know the truth. It’s not so hard to find. Just go back the previous six years and look over the results of the Henry Hoopla contest. Yes, I’m terrible and I’m finally admitting it — at least on paper. You now have two choices: either wad up this paper and throw it in the garbage, or take my predictions and turn them inside out.

To be honest, there’s only three things I’m certain of this March Madness: this is the first year in a long time that I have a legitimate reason to cheer for Kentucky; I have a zero-percent chance to ever win the Hoopla contest; and there will be no repeat champion with North Carolina playing in the NIT (sorry North Carolina fans, cough-cough Sedrick Williams). March Madness is crazy for the average person, but even crazier for me.

With that being said, I hope all of you join in on all the action in this year’s Henry Hoopla contest. I’m sure most of you have already filled out a bracket or two (or three, or four, or five, etc.) and are deciding which one to submit to this year’s Hoopla contest. You have until this Thursday at noon to decide. Either drop it by the office, mail it, fax it or e-mail it.

Last year’s winner was Eminence Mayor Jim Petitt, who tied New Castle Elementary student Jakob Beckley with 102 points each. But Petitt won the tie breaker — total points in the finals. As for me, I finished with 73 points as a mid-packer.

There will be plenty of storylines to follow this March Madness and I’m sure plenty of excitement. I can’t wait for all the upsets that are to unfold. There will be top teams to get knocked out early. There will be the Cinderellas. There will be the surprises. It’s one time a year that I actually enjoy drama.

Now, it’s all about guessing which teams to move on. Apparently, that’s not something I’m very good at.

Tommie can be reached at (502)845-2858 or sports@hclocal.com. See page A12 for Hoopla details. The deadline to submit a bracket is Thursday at noon. Only ONE bracket per person.