Here’s Who Is Leading the 2021 TVNewser March Madness Bracket Challenge After Round 1

By A.J. Katz 

The leader after Round 1 of the 2021 TVNewser March Madness Bracket Challenge is Bloomberg TV anchor and editor at large Francine Lacqua.

The Bloomberg Newser—who anchors Bloomberg Surveillance: Early Edition out of London—was 26 for 32 in Round 1 of this year’s challenge. No, she didn’t choose No. 15 Oral Roberts over No. 2 Ohio State (who really did, though?), No. 13 Ohio over No. 4 UVA, or No. 14 seed Abilene Christian over No. 3 Texas. But she was on point when it came to most other matchups, including correctly picking the winner of the the 11 vs. 6 seed matchups, the 10 vs. 7’s, and notably chose No. 12 Oregon State to knock off No. 5 seed Tennessee.

Lacqua is one of the few who has UCLA in the Sweet 16, a pick that’s looking pretty good right now, as it will certainly be tough for Abilene Christian to repeat its Saturday heroics on Monday.


Lacqua has Gonzaga beating Houston in this year’s National Championship game.

CNBC Closing Bell co-anchor Sara Eisen, who always seems to perform well in our annual Bracket Challenge, is right behind Lacqua with 25 points after round one.

WETA svp/general manager of the PBS NewsHour Michael Rancilio, and CNN Newsroom anchor Kate Bolduan are tied for 3rd place with 23 points a piece.

Following that group are a whopping 7 participants with 22 points each: NBC News chief White House correspondent and Saturday Today co-host Peter Alexander, CNBC Squawk Box co-host Joe Kernen, managing editor Jeffrey McCracken, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent and MSNBC Way too Early host Kasie Hunt, Bloomberg Surveillance co-anchor Tom Keene, CNBC Power Lunch co-anchor Tyler Mathisen, and Fox Business correspondent Edward Lawrence.  

Needless to say, this challenge is still WIDE open going into the Round of 32 games, which begin at 12:10 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS with Loyola-Chicago vs. Illinois, and continue through Monday evening.