CHRONICLE OF THE CONTEST:
Twenty one years ago in upstate South Carolina, a few friends with a large, shabby poster-board on a hallway dormitory wall started a small bracket contest available for anyone on campus who wanted to join. We only had 41 participants that first year.
The tournament began to gain more and more traction in subsequent years as advertising dollars increased and sponsors began coming in. Dunkin Donuts was a faithful sponsor of the modest NCAA Contest in those early years. The tournament intensified to 121 contestants during my senior year in 2002. With the advancement of the World Wide Web and the remarkable assistance of New England friends like Lucas Lampman and Craig Anderson, the NCAA Contest continued to grow in the 2000’s. The number of contestants has steadily increased over the past decade and is positioned for unrelenting expansion thanks to your faithful participation. Last year, we gave the contest a bona fide name, PYO Challenge, and created a website as a home for this contest. Design sleuth, Hannah Stanley, has voluntarily used her God-given web design talent to enable this contest to scale with demand. We’ve added 4 additional ‘sponsors’ in 2019 to truly position this contest for broader reach to expose more people to opportunities to pour themselves out.
Some highlights of past years include:
In 2003, Paul Dickerson won by a jaw-dropping 138 points and still holds the all-time largest margin of victory.
In 2009, Matt Dodge selected 53 out of 63 games correctly, including a perfect elite eight, final four, finals, and champion. Matt still holds the highest point total in PYO Challenge history at 981.
In 2014 we had our youngest winner, Luke Bush (age 6), ride an implausible Kentucky team to victory.
In 2016, Shannon Brown won despite his Tar Heels losing to the Villanova Wildcats at the buzzer.
Last year, Bryan Torres from Reading, PA won it all with 732 points defeating 645 formidable challengers.
I sincerely delight in hosting this tournament to facilitate someone’s One Shining Moment!