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Public Health Final Four

March Madness 2014: Final Four

the2x2project’s public health March Madness tournament

Published on April 5, 2014

It’s game day folks, and we are down to the Final Four! While UConn, Florida, Kentucky, and Wisconsin battle it out for a championship berth in the NCAA tournament, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria will be taking on Federal Funding Fiascos and top-seeded E-Cigarettes will challenge Gun Violence in our Public Health March Madness tournament.

The CHEFs outline their thoughts on which public health issue will rise to the occasion and land a spot in Monday’s championship game, but ultimately the power is in your hands.

Vote for which team you think deserves to be in the finals:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9KPHP96

#2 Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria vs. #2 Federal Funding Fiascos

Kathleen  This round will be one for the history books. The Elite Eight featured brilliant play and some truly spectacular upsets. Chris, I was stunned that top-seeded Jenny McCarthy got knocked out of the tournament before the Final Four. I’m sure my bracket was not the only one that took a plunge. I think this goes to show that public health March Madness is a truly team effort, and competitors can’t rely on a single player to take them all the way. What’s your take as our Infectious Disease region analyst?

Chris  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Defense wins championships! Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria has been relentless, allowing fewer points against opponents than any other team. After handily dispatching the region’s No. 1 seed, they show no signs of slowing down. It’ll be interesting to see if their Elite Eight upset was a fluke, or if they can keep the momentum going against Federal Funding Fiascos, a team that’s arguably having their best performance in tournament history! Thoughts Kathleen?

Kathleen  I agree, the Bacteria have been absolutely relentless in their defense. Overcoming the tougher playoff defense is the only way Federal Funding Fiascos can prevail. But if the best defense is a good offense, don’t count out the Fiascos. I predicted they would upset top-seeded ACA Enrollment in the Elite Eight, but their comfortable 7-point victory exceeded even my expectations. The Fiascos have been on fire ever since the October 2013 shutdown. And now that they’re making their first ever Final Four appearance, they just might be this tournament’s Cinderella story.

If they can keep dominating the offensive glass, I think the Fiascos might be able to squeak by the Bacteria’s defense to win by 2 points. But it’s going to be a close one. Which way do you think this match-up will go? I can’t wait to watch. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Chris  This isn’t the match-up I would’ve predicted on this side of the bracket, but there’s no doubt both of these teams deserve to be here. Federal Funding Fiascos are virtually unstoppable, but when the buzzer goes off, I think we’ll see Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria on their way to Monday’s final.

#1 E-Cigarettes vs. #3 Gun Violence

June  Coming off an emotional victory like last round’s thriller, one might expect the Drug Region’s top seed, E-cigarettes, to be out of gas. Lucky for them, they run on tiger blood (nicotine extract) and are refillable. Honestly, if the FDA can’t regulate this force, who can?

Patches  Gun Violence has already proven it can upset a No. 1 seed by knocking off Childhood Obesity, a team with a much deeper—and wider—bench than E-cigarettes. Are you really talking up a team that can’t even reconcile when to play offense or when to play defense? Are they a health scourge or harm reduction?

June  Okay, sure E-cigarettes haven’t yet established their identify as a team, but that’s to be expected with such a young squad. Plus, how can other teams even formulate a game plan for that contest if they don’t know what to expect? For all we know, the offspring of E-smokers will have LED-encrusted gills that light up when they inhale.

Patches  Think that’s scary? Try wresting a gun from a gun owner. This defense is top-notch. Watch them set the pace early with the run-and-gun and shoot out to an early lead, leaving E-cigarettes out of breath.

For a more in-depth breakdown of all the teams in this year’s tourney, see our first March Madness article on the public health Sweet 16, and follow with our Elite Eight recap!

Edited by Dana March

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The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and do not represent those of the Department of Epidemiology, the Mailman School of Public Health, or Columbia University.