It’s safe to say not many people, when they filled out their NCAA basketball bracket, picked Butler and Connecticut to meet in the championship game. But, one person from Des Moines did – with a little help from his dog. Dan Bolsem has a 7-year-old Red Heeler he named Phoenix, a nod to both the city in Arizona and his admiration for the actor Joaquin Phoenix.
The 36-year-old photo journalist at KCCI-TV has already won his office pool after using Phoenix as inspiration. “I had my dog pick all dog names,” Bolsem said. “If there wasn’t a team with a dog mascot, I had her pick teams (with the colors) black and white. If there wasn’t a black and white team, then she picked the team closest to Arizona.”
The lone exception to the method involved Kansas. Bolsem says that region of the bracket didn’t have a “dog” team, except the Boston University Terriers. “My dog hates Terriers,” Bolsem said. “So, I had all the Terrier teams lose.”
Bolsem ended up picking the correct championship matchup of the Butler Bulldogs, a #8 seed, versus the Connecticut Huskies, a #3 seed.
“I’ve looked it up online and nationally, I think it’s less than one-percent had that matchup,” Bolsem said. He also selected Kansas and the Washington Huskies to make the Final Four. Bolsem plans to split his winnings with his pet pooch.
“I’m going to get her a real nice toy,” Bolsem said. Tonight’s NCAA championship game between Butler and U-Conn tips off at 8 p.m. Phoenix picked the Huskies to beat the Bulldogs.