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March Madness: The Final Four

While the British and American heads of state were busy fine-tuning their own March Madness bracket picks over dinner last week, the Oxford Dictionaries Bracket Challenge has already hit its stride. How did your favorite sports expressions do?

The gloves are off

In the closest match-up yet, the venerable saved by the bell proved to be a genuine competitor for the Championship title by knocking out the popular high-five with just over half of the votes. B-ball fans will have to tune in to the NCAA tournament to get their fix now.

Clumsy takes the cake

Though 70–90% of the global population would be classified as one, righty was no match for fellow hand-related opponent, butterfingers. A whopping 82% of the votes shepherded Cricket into the Final Four over Baseball.

Riding the bench

As it is sometimes said, “a little schadenfreude never hurt anyone,” and that is certainly the case for own goal, the usually accidental self-sabotage that may elicit satisfaction in an adversary. In the eternal rivalry between the Footballs, Association is the preferred choice of OxfordWords voters with a solid 68% lead over the gridiron sport.

A hole in one

Par for the course and the ball is in your court are two common idioms used in the English language. Unfortunately, only one of these sayings could make it to the Final Four, and with 53% of the votes, Golf edges out Tennis for a coveted spot in the next round.

We’ve now reached the semi-final round, sports fans, and we’re in the homestretch. Final Four polls close on Wednesday, so be sure to make your picks!

The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.