March is the month for bracket madness, and, thanks to a full-court press by the Tribe’s devoted fans, William & Mary made a fast break through one such bracket yesterday to score the title of “Best College in America.”
The Wire, a news aggregation website previously known as The Atlantic Wire, awarded the title as part of a light-hearted, month-long series in which they are creating virtual tournaments on a variety of subjects. The madness began on March 4 when America’s metropolises vied for the title of best city in America (Chicago won).
The contest for best college in America began at noon Wednesday with 32 contenders. Those contenders included “a mix culled from our staff's alma maters, the big state schools that win everything, and the little private schools that you love (or love to hate),” according to The Wire.
Voting began at noon for the first, hour-long round, which saw William & Mary face off against Princeton. The Tribe edged President Taylor Reveley’s alma mater out of the contest with 59 percent of the vote.
In the Sweet 16 round, William & Mary took on the University of California, Los Angeles. This time, The Wire, which had correctly predicted that the Tribe would win against Princeton, put its money on UCLA. Little did Wire staffers know the dedication and endless voting abilities of the Tribe’s sixth man, ensuring a narrow but truly sweet victory for the Tribe in with 55 percent of the vote.
In the third round, William & Mary easily topped New York University with 80 percent of the vote before taking on Georgetown in the Final Four as Hampshire College battled it out with Michigan State. Crushing Georgetown with 87 percent of the vote, the Tribe moved on to the championship round to face Hampshire, which The Wire correctly had predicted would make the Final Four. However, Wire staffers incorrectly guessed that Hampshire would fall to Michigan, which The Wire picked as the overall winner of the tournament.
But once again, the Tribe defied expectations, and as the clock ticked down to 5 p.m. EST, William & Mary used nothing but net – the Internet and its vast network, that is – to score vote after vote. In the end, William & Mary took the title with 71 percent of the vote.
The Wire championship wasn’t the first time that the Tribe has harnessed the power of the Internet to win a contest. Last year, the “Best College in America” won free food from MOOYAH and Pita Pit – all through the power of online voting.
The Tribe’s real march through the March brackets begins this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. when the men’s basketball team takes on the College of Charleston in the quarterfinal of the Colonial Athletic Association conference tournament. In advance of the game, Tribe fans are encouraged to wear green and gold this Friday and tag photos with #MarchOnTribe. William & Mary will share some of the best photos on its own social media sites.