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Check Out Line: Duke wins, but there’s another bracket to fill

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duke1Check out a different kind of tournament bracket still underway.

The Duke Blue Devils may have won yet another college basketball title Monday night, but consumers can still make their “Sweet 16″ picks in Consumerist.com’s annual “Worst Company in America”  tournament, which runs through April 26.

In its fifth year, the website, owned by Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, lets consumers vote for their least favorite companies in matchups much like the NCAA tournament. Starting with 32 “teams,” the tournament pairs companies in votes in which the “winner” (think about it, in a worst company vote you want to lose) advances to face the next competitor.

In the first round this year, Bank of America beat Citibank, GM beat Toyota and in an “upset” Cash4Gold beat defending “champion” AIG. Other companies that advanced included Walmart, Ticketmaster, United Airlines, Best Buy, Apple and Comcast, which has lost in the title game the last two years.

In addition to AIG, past winners have included Halliburton, Recording Industry Association of America and Countrywide. In last year’s final, AIG whipped Comcast 3,528 to 1,968 as voters took their frustration over the recession out on a company that was bailed out by the U.S. government.

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