LATEST PAPER
81° Good Evening
81° Good Evening
Sports

Dick Vitale, Punxsutawney Phil square off in NCAA Tournament bracket challenge

Who can pick NCAA Tournament games better: a renowned college basketball analyst, or a groundhog? We may find out the answer soon enough.

ESPN's Dick Vitale put his NCAA Tournament bracket up against Punxsutawney Phil's picks as part of Allstate's March Mayhem Challenge. Here's how the two have fared heading into the Sweet 16 games on Thursday.

DICKIE V'S BRACKET

Vitale has Kentucky winning the national championship over
Photo Credit: Allstate

Vitale has Kentucky winning the national championship over Gonzaga. Virginia and Arizona were his other two Final Four picks, but Virginia lost, 60-54, to seventh-seeded Michigan State last Sunday. That leaves three of Vitale’s Final Four picks -- including both of his national title game teams -- intact.

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL'S BRACKET

Punxsutawney Phil isn’t faring quite as well. The
Photo Credit: Allstate

Punxsutawney Phil isn’t faring quite as well. The weather-predicting groundhog had Villanova over Wisconsin in the national championship, with Butler and Gonzaga in the Final Four. No. 1 Villanova suffered a stunning 71-68 upset to eighth-seeded N.C. State on Saturday, and Butler fell to No. 3 Notre Dame in overtime, 67-64, just a few hours later. That leaves Punxsutawney Phil with just two of his Final Four picks still intact.

NO SHADOW FOR PHIL

It wasn’t all bad for Punxsutawney Phil, however.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Grant Halverson

It wasn’t all bad for Punxsutawney Phil, however. He did pick Duke, Gonzaga, Utah and UCLA to make the Sweet 16. For comparison’s sake, only 1.7 percent of ESPN’s brackets had those four teams making it this far. He also said that Xavier and Arizona would square off for an Elite Eight bid, one of only 15.3 percent of ESPN brackets to do so.

AWESOME, BABY!

Vitale correctly picked 10 Sweet 16 teams --
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

Vitale correctly picked 10 Sweet 16 teams -- Kentucky, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, Louisville, Oklahoma, Duke, Utah and Gonzaga. That’s one more than Punxsutawney Phil (West Virginia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Xavier, Arizona, Oklahoma, Duke, UCLA, Gonzaga) predicted.

'CATS AND 'HOGS DON'T GET ALONG

Punxsutawney Phil apparently didn’t have much faith in
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

Punxsutawney Phil apparently didn’t have much faith in Kentucky, predicting that the undefeated Wildcats would be upset by Purdue in the third round. Kentucky beat Cincinnati, 64-51, on Saturday to reach the Sweet 16 and keep its quest for a perfect season alive.

PHIL HAPPY WITH UPSETS

Punxsutawney Phil correctly picked two of the bigger
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

Punxsutawney Phil correctly picked two of the bigger opening-round upsets, predicting that No. 14 UAB and No. 11 UCLA would win. Like many other brackets (including Vitale’s), Phil didn’t foresee No 14 Georgia State’s stunner over No. 3 Baylor.

THE GLASS SLIPPER DIDN'T FIT

Punxsutawney Phil thought No. 15 Belmont would become
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bob Leverone

Punxsutawney Phil thought No. 15 Belmont would become this tournament’s Cinderella team. He had the Bruins advancing all the way to the Elite Eight, beating No. 2 Virginia and No. 3 Oklahoma along the way before falling to Villanova. Unfortunately for Phil, midnight struck early for Belmont, as they were eliminated in the second round with a 79-67 loss to Virginia.

QUIET STORM

Both Vitale and Punxsutawney Phil had St. John’s
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Grant Halverson

Both Vitale and Punxsutawney Phil had St. John’s beating San Diego State in the second round but falling to Duke in the Round of 32. The Red Storm didn’t make it that far, losing to the Aztecs 76-64 in the Round of 64.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Top Photos & Videos