Kevin Roberts Wins Annual Marchinal Madness Bracket Challenge

Monday, April 15, 2019
Kevin Roberts (winner) with trophy

This year’s March Madness was filled with twists and turns. From busted brackets to underdog victories, no one could have predicted how it would turn out. No one except Kevin Roberts, a second-year Ph.D. student who was the undisputed winner of Duke Economics annual Marchinal Madness bracket. Roberts won with Virginia as the champion, and scored 1460 total points in the bracket, 60 points ahead of the nearest competitor.

When asked what strategy propelled him to victory, Roberts said, “I’m not proud to say my strategy mostly came down to betting against Duke, so I should make it clear I was still pretty devastated by our loss despite what it meant for my bracket. I picked upsets by teams like Texas Tech and Auburn in part because I watched them play well (but lose) against Duke earlier in the season. Maybe the indirect confidence in Duke I expressed with those picks excuses me for being a cold-hearted opportunist that benefited from our school’s failure.”

Last year’s champion Maria Zhu chose Durham’s Partnership for Children as the beneficiary for tournament entry fees. Their mission is “To ensure every child in Durham enters school ready to succeed, we lead community strategies for children birth to age 5 and their families that promote healthy development and learning and enhance access to high quality care.”  

Duke Economics ended up raising $565 for DPFC. According to Executive Director Laura Benson, this translates to one of the following:

  • 140 families will receive 31 hours of Spanish language interpretation as they apply for pre-k services
  • 50 parents with rising Kindergarteners will enjoy a Transition to Kindergarten event at their new elementary school
  • 16 babies will receive one book in the mail every month for a year through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – that’s a total of 193 books!  (It only costs $35/year for the program to mail 12 books a year, and our aim is to bring a library of 60 books to Durham children by the time they turn 5. We’ve enrolled 7,000 children in Durham in the past year!) 
  • 1 child care center will receive spring plantings for its “Outdoor Learning Environment” with farm-to-fork gardens that young children help tend.

Congratulations to Kevin for winning the coveted trophy, and a big thank you to everyone who participated and donated! Until next year...