2017 TVNewser Bracket Challenge Update: Final Four

By A.J. Katz 

North Carolina was the final team to punch its ticket to the 2017 Final Four, earning a last-second win over Kentucky last night in what was perhaps the best game of the tournament so far.

The Tar Heels join the Gonzaga Bulldogs, South Carolina Gamecocks and Oregon Ducks in the national semifinals, which take place on Saturday night in Phoenix.

Both the Gamecocks and the Bulldogs are making their first ever appearance in the Final Four. The Ducks are making their first Final Four appearance since 1939. North Carolina makes its first Final Four appearance since, well, least season. They lost to Villanova in last year’s national championship game.

South Carolina versus Gonzaga is the first game. Oregon and North Carolina will follow in prime time. CBS will broadcast both.

In more important news, the 2017 TVNewser Bracket Challenge field is starting to come into focus.

CNN Early Start co-host Dave Briggs has the lead with 84 points. He correctly predicted Oregon and North Carolina to make the Final Four, but actually has Duke winning it all. Will this hurt him in the future?

Fox Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell anchor Liz Claman had a good weekend, and now sits in second place with 77 points. She correctly predicted Oregon and Gonzaga to make the Final Four, but she has UCLA winning it all. We’ll see if that comes back to bite her.

CNBC’s evp of communications Brian Steel may have an inside track to victory. He currently sits in 3rd place with 74 points, and has Oregon and North Carolina in the Final Four. He has UNC winning it all.

NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander and CNBC’s senior executive producer of Squawk Box Matt Quayle, both have Gonzaga winning it all. They’re also both in the top 10.

No one has Oregon or South Carolina winning it all. In fact, no participant chose South Carolina to even make it to the Final Four.

Here’s a look at the field:

STANDINGS
RANK NAME SCORE CORRECT BEST SCORE BEST CORRECT CHAMPION
1 Dave Briggs 84 44 100 45 Duke (161)
2 Liz Claman 77 41 93 42 UCLA (126)
3 Brian Steel 74 40 138 43 N. Carolina (137)
3 Jessica Golden 74 41 74 41 Duke (158)
5 Sara Eisen 73 44 73 44 Duke (160)
6 Matt Quayle 71 37 135 40 Gonzaga (150)
7 Kelly Evans 70 42 86 43 UCLA (155)
8 Peter Alexander 69 40 117 42 Gonzaga (147)
9 A.J. Katz 68 42 68 42 Duke (145)
9 Kasie Hunt 68 41 68 41 Kentucky (150)
11 Dominic Chu 66 42 66 42 Kentucky (129)
11 Joe Kernen 66 40 114 42 N. Carolina (139)
13 Matt Rosoff 65 41 81 42 Arizona (128)
14 Andrew Ross Sorkin 63 39 63 39 Villanova (140)
14 Janelle Rodriguez 63 36 63 36 Villanova (186)
16 Todd Bonin 62 36 78 37 Kansas (154)
17 Eric Chemi 58 40 58 40 UCLA (155)
18 Blake Burman 57 38 57 38 UCLA (152)
19 Bob Van Dillen 56 33 104 35 N. Carolina (123)
20 Brian Kilmeade 55 37 103 39 N. Carolina (149)
21 Bill Weir 54 37 54 37 Kansas (128)
21 David Westin 54 33 54 33 Michigan (167)
23 Willie Geist 47 29 47 29 UCLA (145)
24 Janice Dean 42 28 42 28 Louisville (160)
25 Steve Kornacki 38 29 38 29 Villanova (141)
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