That's it! It's over! Your winner, by five votes, in the championship match of the inaugural Leeds United March Madness tournament here at Through It All Together is....
Is this an upset? I think this is an upset! The legendary manager Don Revie has fallen to the grounds synonymous with Leeds United Football Club. After all 4,640 votes were tallied (thank you for voting!), Elland Road emerged as our first winner, voted by you the fans as the most Leeds United of all the Leeds United... things.
The fabled grounds shoved off worthy contenders Don Revie and Billy Bremner in the Final Four, topped Billy's Statue to win the Icons bracket, and knocked off Don's Statue, Vinnie Jones, and GFH Financial along the way. Built in 1897, maybe it pulled on its 119 years of history or its nearly 100 years of hosting Leeds United itself to power through when it mattered most and secure the win.
I thought for sure Don Revie would win this contest when I made the brackets. I was wrong (and pleased to not have put any money into the office pool). I also never expected the runs of Gaetano Berardi or Lucas Radebe in this tournament, that Steve Evans would make it out of the first round, that The Smiley would get knocked out in the first, or that The Old Peacock would knock out Thorp Arch in the Sweet 16. The tournament is called March Madness after all; the Madness part it gets right, the March... well... it finishes in April every year, so it's at least half correct.
Here is the final bracket. Print one off, attach it to your fridge, and dream of doing it all again in March 2017 like all the crazy college basketball fans in the States do.
(Again, thanks to Vertex42 for the amazing customizable spreadsheet we used in this tournament. Click the photo above to enlarge it and see the updated bracket.)
Tournament details: we have polls for each of the 32 First Round matchups, and the voting ran Thursday through Sunday night. We asked readers to vote for their favorite in each matchup, and the loser was eliminated from the competition. Then, on Monday, we posted the 32 winners and the polls for the 16 following matchups. The next Thursday, we posted those 16 winners (the Sweet 16), and ran 8 polls through Sunday night. On the next Monday, we posted the 8 winners (the Elite Eight) and ran 4 polls through Wednesday night. Then finally, on Thursday the 31st, we declared our LUMM Final Four, winners for each of the four categories (Favorite Player, Favorite Manager, Favorite Great, and Favorite Icon), and ran three more polls to crown the ultimate Leeds United March Madness champion for 2016.
Again, thanks for participating in this crazy tournament. The four winners of the four brackets were all worthy of taking home the title; Revie, Bremner, Elland Road, and even Lewis Cook are all "the most Leeds" in their own way. But there could only be one champion. And we enjoyed hearing back from you as we went along, we never expected this sort of response on social media.
We'll do this again next year, especially if the international break lines up with the tournament. Maybe we'll do a bracket of super-fans or blog commenters or legendary matches or media personalities or... what would you want to see? Let us know in the comments or on social media. Thanks for reading, for all your votes, and for being all Leeds, through it all, together. #MOT.