MULCH MADNESS 2022: Hold onto your gardening hats, sports fans!

Two years ago, following the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Basketball tournament, the RORG team started our own version: MULCH MADNESS. We’re excited to announce the THIRD ANNUAL tournament! This competition involves 28 flowering native plants found in the Red Oak Rain Garden battling it out to find out who will make it to the Final Forb. (Yes, that’s a gardening joke!) 2020 saw Butterflyweed take the title, while Virginia Bluebells won it all last year. Which plant species will be the 2022 champion? Your votes will decide.

ROUND ONE RESULTS (updated 3/23/22)
ROUND TWO RESULTS (updated 3/29/22)
ROUND THREE RESULTS (updated 3/31/22)
FINAL RESULTS (updated 4/2/22)

The creator of the winning bracket will receive a $20 gift certificate to the local business of their choice. 


  1. Click on the bracket below.
  2. In the tab that pops up, click the “download” icon
  3. Fill it out with your picks and save the document. Please include your name! Note that you can learn more about the plants by clicking their names in the bracket.
  4. Submit it to by Tuesday, March 15th at 11:00 am.
To enter, click on this bracket, download it, fill it out, and send to

Beginning Tuesday, March 15th and continuing each workday through March 31st, games will take place at 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm CST. The final matchup will begin at 12:00 pm on Friday, April 1st. All “games” will take the form of polls and will be held on RORG’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter platforms. Follow us @RainGardenUIUC to play along! You do not have to submit a bracket to participate in the games.


  1. One bracket entry per person
  2. Brackets must be submitted by Tuesday, March 15th at 11:00am. Games start at 12:00 pm the same day.
  3. The winning bracket is chosen based on the ESPN Fantasy scoring system.
    A correct pick in each round is shown below:
    1. Round 1: 10 points per pick
    2. Round 2: 20 points per pick
    3. Round 3: 40 points per pick
    4. Round 4: 80 points per pick
    5. Championship: 160 points per pick

Reportedly, in the history of the (real) NCAA tournament, no one has ever filled out a perfect bracket. Will YOU be the first with a perfect bracket in MULCH MADNESS?


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