What a long strange trip it’s been.
We started FanPulse for College Sports back in August (well, signups started in July). Since then, we’ve done a lot of voting via SurveyMonkeys, and LSU was crowned the Champion of College Football at the Superdome as well as (and probably more importantly) the SB Nation FanPulse.
The Basketball voting was a little different - no top 25 voting - but plenty of questions.
It’s all come down to this. With college sports participation having halted four weeks ago, our journey of selectively choosing the winners of a basketball tournament as a collective is over. And we have a champion!
The Championship game
No. 1 Gonzaga (60%) def. No. 3 Michigan State (40%)
I’ll be honest in saying I’m a little surprised at the lopsidedness here. My guess for why Michigan State made it to the championship game was largely due to their favored status preseason and play down the stretch. Gonzaga is good every year, and this year they didn’t have the elite NBA talent they’ve had in recent years, but they were so good offensively all year. But I think a lot of people were willing to vote for the Zags because it’s a great story. Mark Few is a good man who has turned a quiet program in the Pacific Northwest — which plays in the West Coast Conference against teams like Loyola Marymount and Pacific — into one of the premier programs in the country. But he never was able to get them over that final hump to a National Championship.
But the Zags finally got over the hump. Unfortunately it was in a year where the tournament wasn’t played, and this championship is more in the Butch Jones-fashion of ‘Life Champions’.
So Congrats to the Zags, and SlipperStillFits. What a ride!