Brennan’s Bracket Challenge Brings March Madness to Nonnewaug


Izzy DiNunzio

UConn’s Gampel Pavilion will have another championship banner hoisted to the rafters after the Huskies won the NCAA men’s basketball championship.

Izzy DiNunzio, Community and Multimedia Editor

WOODBURY — Each year March Madness rolls around, Brennan’s Bracket Challenge is in full swing. 

March Madness is the nickname given to the NCAA’s tournaments for Division I college basketball athletes. This year, the LSU Tigers beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in a tough women’s championship game to earn their first title in school history. On the men’s side, UConn beat San Diego State for its fifth championship. 

This year, there were many upsets, and there were no perfect brackets left in either the women’s or men’s competitions, according to ESPN’s Perfect Bracket Tracker. 

For Kyle Brennan, a social studies teacher at Nonnewaug, each year March Madness comes around, it’s a fun and exciting time. 

“I started my first bracket pool when I was in eighth grade in 2005, and it became a tradition that I have done every year since,” said Brennan, who teaches a Sports and Society class at NHS. “To this day, I still have friends I talk to once a year when it becomes bracket time. It’s always an exciting and a nostalgic time.”

Ben Stewart, a senior at Nonnewaug, competes in the challenge every year. Stewart picked Alabama to win but had UConn reaching the final, which helped him win third place in Brennan’s competition.

“It’s something I do every year. I think it’s fun and the best time of the year. It’s also a good competition,” says Stewart.

Junior Ben Roden was one of two contestants who correctly picked UConn to win the men’s tournament, earning him the victory.

Students who beat Brennan get an “I beat Mr. Brennan” pen, which Brennan says is a hot commodity.

“I try to do a gift card or something locally if you win,” says Brennan. “If you beat me, I give a little extra credit and an ‘I beat Mr. Brennan pen’ that is sought after.”