If you were like me and foolishly picked the Arizona Wildcats to win the Men’s NCAA tournament, your bracket went up in flames when the Buffalo Bulls easily handled the heavily favored Wildcats 89-68 on the opening night of the 2018 men’s tournament. But there were some like Seattle, WA Mayor Jenny Durkan who used sound logic to not only select the Villanova Wildcats to win the men’s tournament but also had the insight to pick the Notre Dame Lady Fighting Irish to win its first women’s national championship in 17 years.
It wasn’t in-depth research or whimsical luck that led Mayor Durkan to select these two teams; point blank there was a lot of homerism tied to the selection. Her grandfather, Dan Noonan attended Villanova and Durkan tried out for the Irish basketball team while attending the university.
The ‘Nova pick was an easy one as 16% of 17,304,320 brackets submitted to ESPN’s Tournament challenge correctly picked the Wildcats to win its second national championship in three years but picking Notre Dame to win over the likes of UConn, Mississippi St, and South Carolina took guts. The Fighting Irish needed its share of luck and two game-winning three-pointers in the national semi-finals and championship game from junior guard Arike Ogunbowale to keep Durkan’s prediction intact.
It’s good to see a political official correctly pick the champion as President Obama showed over the years that he may have been focused on the job of being president and not closely watching college hoops. In the 10 years, he’s made predictions as the president, he’s correctly chosen the men’s champion only once and that was in 2009 when he selected the heavily favored University of North Carolina Tar Heels to cut down the nets at Ford Field in Detroit, MI.
Maybe this Mayor Durkin should take this good fortune to the NBA offices in New York and convince league commissioner Adam Silver to bring back professional basketball to the Emerald City… because its long overdue.