It was a great opening day for baseball and even a better day for Harlem RBI, as Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohen won the Bloomberg Bracket Challenge, the media company’s winner-take-all charity March Madness event. Thirty-six leaders from top corporations and financial institutions each pledged $10,000 for the NCAA basketball tournament challenge, with Cohen and the baseball charity Harlem RBI taking the top spot.
Cohen had all The Final Four participants in his bracket, which amassed 170 points and will bring $360,000 of support to the inner-city program. He bested Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers who had all Final Four participants and 156 points and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who also had a perfect Final Four and had 154 points.
In an interview with Bloomberg Cohn said he “put his Cleveland upbringing to use in perfectly predicting the men’s college basketball Final Four. It wasn’t dumb luck at all. I look at the two Midwest guys, Dan Gilbert (Cavaliers owner and Quicken Loans founder) and myself, picking Michigan State and Wisconsin to be in the Final Four. For guys that watch Big Ten basketball, it was pretty obvious.” Gilbert fell from second to fourth in the final standings, as he went with Kentucky to best Wisconsin on Saturday.
Harlem RBI, builds charter schools and playgrounds and develops after-school and family programs for inner city youth. The $360,000 will go toward expanding pre-kindergarten and other school programs and building a baseball field in the country’s poorest congressional district, located in the South Bronx.
LA Lakers President Jeanie Buss ended up at the bottom of the pool with 90 points, just behind Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.