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April 7, 2011

The Champion of the Bracketless Bracket

The NCAA tournament ended with a brick-laden thud in the championship game. But even if Butler had somehow found a way to win (perhaps by making more than 9 field goals), Joel Landas would still have won Gelf's inaugural Bracketless Bracket competition. Besides having both the finalists on his list, Landas had five of the final eight teams, and scored points with 11 of his teams, more than any of the 646 other entries in the tournament.

Landas credited his victory to picking teams with defense, interior size, and the presence of NBA talent. For his overwhelming victory, Landas wins a Gelf T-shirt and a copy of Dave Zirin's book Bad Sports.

Second place went to David Adair, who tells Gelf he picked his teams by going with the ones that were the hottest going into the tournament. That led him to UCONN, Kentucky, and 12-seed Richmond, the latter of which won twice and vaulted Adair above several similar brackets. He gets a copy of Zirin's book for his efforts.

The last T-shirt goes to third place finisher David Burke, the only other competitor to get more than 4,000 points.

How did a selection of our other competitors do? CBSSports's Eric Angevine picked UCONN but ended up in the middle of the pack after choosing Ohio State and Notre Dame as his one- and two-seeds. Basketball Prospectus's Neil Paine finished even farther down the list after choosing Purdue as his three-seed and Texas as his four-seed. Your humble author managed to pick Butler, but otherwise underwhelmed, and didn’t pick up a single point below the eight-seed line.

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