Upper Arlington News

Armstrong outlasts field to take UA March Madness at MSC


The city’s director of finances proved to be the “princess of pick ’em” after holding off the rest of the field in the Upper Arlington March Madness at the Municipal Services Center contest.

It wasn’t a convincing victory, and none of the five participants in the ThisWeek Upper Arlington News NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament pool finished particularly strong, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a champion to be crowned.

Heading into the Sweet 16, UA Finance Director Cathe Armstrong  sprinted out to a four-point lead (45 to 41) over both UA Fire Chief Jeff Young and UA Mayor and City Council President Don Leach. She picked just precisely well enough to earn the best overall bracket following Monday night’s (April 7) championship game.

In doing so, Armstrong held off a charge by Young and managed a one-point win over the fire chief by a tally of 58-57.

“It was a lot of fun and I hope to be invited back next year as the reigning champion,” Armstrong said. “It’s nice to have the bragging rights for the next year.”

Leach finished with a score of 54, which was only good for third place.

The competition was rounded out by UA City Manager Ted Staton, who went from 40 points heading into the Sweet 16 to finish with 50, and UA schools Superintendent Paul Imhoff, who couldn’t recover from picking Syracuse to win it all and finished with 47 points.

Unlike the final rounds of the NCAA tournament, which saw a series of close games and a few game-winning shots, each March Madness at the MSC contender went out in relatively quiet fashion.  

Armstrong only correctly picked Florida to reach the Final Four, and her championship pick of Louisville over the Gators never materialized.

Likewise, the only accurate Final Four selection Young and Leach made was Florida.

For Young, that wasn’t enough to overtake Armstrong after the chief picked Arizona to beat Michigan State in the final, and Leach had Michigan State defeating Arizona for the title.

Staton also chose Arizona over Florida in the championship, and missed out on bragging rights after filling out his Final Four with Louisville and Virginia.

The popular Final Four picks of Michigan State and Louisville were among Imhoff’s choices, as well, but they served him as poorly as they did the rest of the field. He also wasn’t buoyed by swimming against the tide, incorrectly picking Oklahoma State and Syracuse to make it to the Big Dance in North Texas.

You can see how your bracket stacked up against the UA participants on the “Upper Arlington” community page of www.thisweeknews.com.