UNMC and the Final Four

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | April 04, 2014

Image with caption: University of Florida alum Paul Sorgen, Ph.D.

University of Florida alum Paul Sorgen, Ph.D.

Each year at this time, it's fun to find a few UNMC staffers with ties to the schools in the NCAA Final Four. If you're also a fan, alum or former faculty of one of these schools, please tell us your story in the comments below.

Paul Sorgen, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, earned his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida and claims (we haven't seen any peer-reviewed research) to bleed orange and blue. He's even tried to turn his kids into Gator fans, though one went the other way.

From an evidence-based, scientific standpoint, why will your team win?
Dr. Sorgen said: "Payback is a #@%*%! While we did lose to Wisconsin and Connecticut on the road this year by six and one, we are now at full strength and revenge is a dish best served cold! Oh, and we already beat Kentucky three times this year. Enough said."

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Jeffrey Payne, D.D.S.
Jeffrey Payne, D.D.S., associate dean for research at the UNMC College of Dentistry, did his residency, received a certificate in periodontology and a master's degree at the University of Connecticut. He also served on the UConn faculty for two years following his residency.

From an evidence-based, scientific standpoint, why will your team win?
Dr. Payne said: "The experts did not think that UConn would make the Final Four, but my son, Jeremy, picked them to make it. UConn has nothing to lose since they are the underdog (No. 7 seed) and already beat Florida in December. The Huskies are the team to beat!"

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David W. Mercer, M.D.
David W. Mercer, M.D., chair and McLaughlin Professor of Surgery, was on the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus from 1982-90, earning his B.S. and M.D. degrees there. His daughter carried on the tradition, receiving her bachelor's in biochemistry from Wisconsin in 2013.

From an evidence-based, scientific standpoint, why will your team win?
Dr. Mercer said: "Because when you say Wisconsin, you said it all!!"

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Greg Oakley, Ph.D.
Greg Oakley, Ph.D., assistant professor of oral biology in the College of Dentistry, has deep roots at the University of Kentucky. He and his parents are UK alums and one of his cousins played for legendary coach, Adolph Rupp. "He mostly played in the last two minutes of games," Dr. Oakley said.

From an evidence-based, scientific standpoint, why will your team win?
Dr. Oakley said: "They have Coach Cal!" (John Calipari, who has taken three schools to the Final Four and already won an NCAA championship at Kentucky.)

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