By Page 2 staff

On Thursday in Greensboro, N.C., the University of Tennessee survived a scare in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Vols, the No. 2 seed in the Washington regional, edged No. 15 seed Winthrop 63-61 thanks to a Chris Lofton basket in the final seconds. And let's not forget that Coach Pat Summitt and the No. 2 seed Lady Vols open the NCAA Women's Tournament against Army in Cleveland on Sunday.

Page 2 visited Knoxville to find the best Vols' college basketball fans in its cross-country search for Mr. and Miss Bracket 2006.

Mr. and Miss Bracket Contest
Miss Bracket: Tennessee semi-finalists
Buckheit: Home, sweet home
Video: Searching UConn ESPN Motion
Caple: Orange love
Video: Searching Tennessee ESPN Motion
Caple: Bleeding UCLA blue
Video: Searching UCLA ESPN Motion
Caple: Go Zags or bust
Video: Searching Gonzaga ESPN Motion
Caple: The Search begins

We've narrowed the candidates in our first round of Mr. Bracket finalists. Check out the four candidates and vote for your favorite in the poll on the right. And vote for your favorite Vols' Miss Bracket candidate.

And don't forget that it's not too late to enter the online version of our contest. Click here to show support for your school, submit your essay and photo … and enter to win a Mobile ESPN phone.

Ben Oliver
Age: 19
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Why I should be Mr. Bracket:
Any good fan goes to the games, but how many fans get a power T tattooed on their lip? This is what you call permanent fan gear! I'll show anyone who asks to see it … except my mom because it's hard to be the biggest Vol fan if she kills me! But, there it is, stowed in my mouth so I can carry UT pride wherever I go!!
Matt Heard
Age: 24
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Why I should be Mr. Bracket: Besides being the adopted bastard son of Pat Summit and Bruce Pearl, what better [reason] is there than watching C.Loft drain 3's in your eye … or seeing Major crash the boards like Moses Malone … or dripping sweat with Captain Pearl? C'mon! I love my Vols, Flava Flav style. Yeah boyee!

Tim Ainger
Age: 22
Hometown: Centreville, Va.
Why I should be Mr. Bracket: I have given every ounce of my soul to support this university in every endeavor. We have camped in the rain to support a team that so many picked to finish LAST in the conference! Now we're a No. 2 seed! We at UT know our players and trust our coach and THEY know that we're behind them 1st or 65th I'm there, cheering for the Big Orange.

Daniel "Scout" Barnes
Age: 20
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Why I should be Mr. Bracket: I owe it to UT to be so passionate. They took me in after Hurricane Katrina and took care of me. Now, I'm an RA in the athletes' dorm. I get to eat with them, stay in the same hall and help keep them safe and in line. UT is the best. Our basketball team has everything it takes to go all the way. They've got my support just as I've had theirs.


Photo credits: Steven Bridges for ESPN.com.




Page
2
staff