Phoenix Zoo Bananas Over Monkey NCAA Picks

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A squirrel monkey at the Phoenix Zoo has done a NCAA March Madness bracket.

The Phoenix Zoo has an inside track on the winner of this year's NCAA tournament -- and it was chosen by a monkey. A squirrel monkey named Spock, specifically, completed a full NCAA bracket just in time for March Madness. This is the second year a squirrel monkey has participated in a college basketball March Madness bracket.

So who did the monkey pick to win? North Carolina. Spock also anointed underdogs Old Dominion, Stanford and Villanova to make the Final Four.

"Of course, we recognize that filling out a bracket is no monkey business," says Zoo marketing executive Jim Brewer. "But considering that so many people get the March Madness this time of year, it's simply a case of monkey see ... well, you know what we mean."

The request to have the monkey participate in a March Madness started last year, when a local newspaper included him in their 'expert' picks. In 2007, another local daily newspaper and the Phoenix CBS affiliate are also including Spock in their in-depth college basketball analysis.

Phoenix Zoo Monkey Makes March Madness Picks    

The squirrel monkey made the picks by choosing poker chips with each team name on a chip for each round of March Madness. His reward for picking a chip is a sweet fruit treat. Spock is a 7-year-old squirrel monkey and weighs in at about two pounds. Squirrel monkeys like Spock can be seen in the Phoenix Zoo's unique walk through exhibit, Monkey Village -- where people an animals share the environment.

The Phoenix Zoo is a private non profit zoological park and relies on admissions, memberships, events and donations for its funding. For more information, go to http://www.phoenixzoo.og

Spock's completed bracket and a photo of his pick for winner are available upon request.

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AIMEE YAMAMORI
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