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Hoops challenge: Commissioners split in their Final Four picks

With Duke and Carolina knocked out of the NCAA tournament, Henderson County commissioners and other officials distributed their national championship predictions among three of the Final Four remaining teams.


At the end of a four-hour meeting on Monday night covering the budget, N.C. 191 and a greenway master plan, County Manager Steve Wyatt introduced the light-hearted tradition of board members picking the winner of the college football championship, the Super Bowl and the NCAA tournament.
Everyone had their reasons. Commissioner Bill Lapsley had good luck with his college football prediction when he picked Clemson, because one of his sons went there. The rest of his “retirement money” went to Auburn, where another son matriculated, so the commissioner made Auburn his pick. Commissioner Rebecca McCall also picked the Tigers, because "they beat my Tar Heels” in the round of 16. Commissioner Grady Hawkins also picked Auburn.
Picking the University of Virginia were County Attorney Russ Burrell, Commissioner Charlie Messer and Assistant County Manager Amy Brantley. County Manager Steve Wyatt and Commissioner Michael Edney picked Michigan State. No one picked Texas Tech. A partisan in the room who actually attended one of the contenders did not get to make a public pick. Derek Lacey, the county government reporter for the Times-News and a 2011 graduate of Auburn, gave a shoutout to the War Eagles from his perch in the audience.