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NJBIZ Brackets: Lykins celebrates brother's birthday by cutting down nets with Kentucky

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There's no better birthday gift for a University of Kentucky fan than a championship trophy, and Chance Lykins received just that when his sister, Insurance Council of New Jersey President Deana Lykins, cut down the nets as the winner of NJBIZ Brackets last night.

While Lykins will sweep up the streamers from her family affair today, Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla P.C. shareholder Sharlene Hunt won't get to dance around the house with her dad in Topeka tomorrow, since her Kansas University Jayhawks failed to soar over the Wildcats. But Lykins gives Hunt a lot of credit, noting that the Jayhawks' defense was "super intense" and didn't "fear the brow" of freshman forward Anthony Davis like she had expected, as Hunt's team consistently kept him away from the basket.

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"When you go back and read about the game, you think, 'Wow, we really dominated last night,'" Lykins said. "But when I was watching it, I felt the whole time that they were playing nervous and just couldn't get into the game, even when we were winning by 14 at the half."

Lykins said it was Kentucky's melting pot of talent that led to her team's victory.

"Different people come with different kinds of games. Kansas really shut down Davis, so luckily for us, other people like (Doron) Lamb and (Terrence) Jones stepped up and did an amazing job," Lykins said. "I thought Jones emotionally kept us in the game, and they held out long enough to win. If the game had gone on longer, there might have been a different outcome."

As the final horn sounded in New Orleans, Lykins shot off more than 20 text messages and e-mails to her friends and family in her hometown of Owenton, Ky.

"This experience has been like a reminder of being in college," Lykins said. "It was unbelievable and really exciting. Even though we weren't at the games, it was just like being right there."

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