Willie Geist Is Your 2018 TVNewser Bracket Challenge Champion

By A.J. Katz Comment

The Villanova Wildcats are your 2018 national champions, which means that Willie Geist is your 2018 TVNewser Bracket Challenge champion! The Sunday Today host and Morning Joe co-host finishes this year’s challenge with 121 points, six points clear of second place finisher CNN Early Start co-host Dave Briggs, and 9 points clear of TVNewser co-editor A.J. Katz, who finished in third.

“Every kid who ever dribbled a basketball in the backyard has dreamed of hitting the big shot to win the TV Newser bracket,” Geist told TVNewser. “As I stand here covered in confetti, and the sweet sweat from a Donte DiVincenzo hug, I can tell you the reality exceeds the dream. I accept your cash prize with gratitude and humility… and preferably in non-sequential 50-dollar bills.”

Senior field producer Jessica Golden and markets reporter Dominic Chu, both of CNBC, rounded out the top 5. The top 10 finishers included PBS NewsHour anchor and senior correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, CNBC senior executive producer of Squawk on the Street and Squawk Alley Todd Bonin, CNBC Squawk Box co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin, Fox News on-air correspondent Peter Doocy, and PBS svp and general manager Michael Rancillo. Each of the top 10 finishers chose Villanova to win it all.

As mentioned, this Villanova squad delivered the school’s second college basketball title in the past three years (third overall) with yet another blowout victory in the NCAA Tournament – 79-62 over the Michigan Wolverines last night in San Antonio. ‘Nova won all six games in this year’s tournament by double digits, joining Michigan State (2000), Duke (2001) and North Carolina (2009) as the only other teams to accomplish that feat.

Michigan kept the game close for the first half of the first half, but the Wildcats pulled away thanks to a legendary performance from sharp-shooting sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo (aka. “Big Ragu”) who was hitting three pointers from all over the floor, and was named Final Four most outstanding player.

Many thanks to each of the 47 TV newsers who participated in this year’s challenge. This was our most successful Challenge yet. See you in 2019!

STANDINGS
RANK TEAM NAME SCORE CORRECT BEST SCORE BEST CORRECT CHAMPION
1 Willie Geist 121 40 121 40 Villanova (148)
2 Dave Briggs 115 39 115 39 Villanova (136)
3 A.J. Katz 112 37 112 37 Villanova (158)
4 Jessica Golden 107 33 107 33 Villanova (136)
5 Dominic Chu 107 39 107 39 Villanova (129)
6 Hari Sreenivasan 106 37 106 37 Villanova (135)
6 Todd Bonin 106 36 106 36 Villanova (135)
8 Andrew Ross Sorkin 106 37 106 37 Villanova (133)
9 Peter Doocy 106 32 106 32 Villanova (151)
10 Michael Rancilio 106 37 106 37 Villanova (158)
11 Hallie Jackson 104 38 104 38 Villanova (163)
12 Robin Meade 103 37 103 37 Michigan (132)
13 Kevin Corke 102 36 102 36 Villanova (147)
14 Brian Sullivan 101 33 101 33 Villanova (161)
15 David Westin 98 35 98 35 Michigan (137)
16 Liz Claman 98 35 98 35 Villanova (120)
17 Matt Rosoff 88 28 88 28 Villanova (165)
18 Todd Piro 82 36 82 36 Virginia (157)
19 Kasie Hunt 79 36 79 36 Michigan (155)
20 Matt Quayle 78 34 78 34 Virginia (145)
21 Blake Burman 76 35 76 35 Michigan (150)
22 Lynn Smith 76 34 76 34 Virginia (117)
23 Craig Melvin 71 33 71 33 Virginia (143)
24 Dylan Dreyer 71 35 71 35 Nevada (191)
25 Bob van Dillen 70 34 70 34 N. Carolina (132)
26 Peter Alexander 68 37 68 37 Virginia (145)
27 Janelle Rodriguez 68 36 68 36 Kansas (103)
28 Brian Steel 67 31 67 31 N. Carolina (144)
29 Lisa Desjardins 66 31 66 31 Kansas (102)
30 Coy Wire 65 35 65 35 Kansas (137)
31 Mike Bettes 65 33 65 33 Virginia (153)
32 Sara Eisen 62 36 62 36 Virginia (136)
33 Jeffrey McCracken 61 33 61 33 Michigan St. (152)
34 Tyler Mathisen 61 36 61 36 Virginia (128)
35 Harris Faulkner 59 33 59 33 Kansas (150)
36 Ana Cabrera 58 35 58 35 Duke (144)
37 Judy Woodruff 58 33 58 33 Duke (136)
38 Becky Quick 57 31 57 31 Xavier (142)
39 Tom Keene 57 34 57 34 Purdue (136)
40 Joe Kernen 54 32 54 32 Xavier (137)
41 Jason Kelly 53 32 53 32 Virginia (136)
42 Sandy Cannold 53 32 53 32 Michigan St. (152)
43 Anne Tironi 49 30 49 30 Michigan St. (156)
44 Scarlet Fu 49 31 49 31 Kansas (164)
45 Alex Wilson 43 32 43 32 Virginia (159)
46 Melody Taylor 41 29 41 29 N. Carolina (146)
47 Gerri Willis 27 23 27 23 N. Carolina (160)

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