It was too close for comfort among the top three corps, but the Cavaliers won their seventh DCI title Saturday night in Madison by capturing the Jim Ott Best Brass Award, the Best Visual Award, and the Don Angelica Best General Effect Award. Phantom Regiment surprised Blue Devils in capturing its first Fred Sanford Best Percussion Award, but Blue Devils nailed down the George Zingali Best Color Guard Award. The Cavaliers (1st-97.200) surprisingly placed third in general effect visual, a caption it had owned the rest of the week, took general effect music, visual performance and visual ensemble, music brass and music ensemble, and placed second in color guard and fourth in percussion. Phantom Regiment (2nd-96.850) sprung into first in general effect visual and opened a .7 spread over the Cavaliers in percussion and a .3 spread over Blue Devils, its nearest competitor in the caption. Bluecoats, long a contender for the title, settled for third in percussion. Blue Devils (3rd-96.550), after being undefeated until the San Antonio major event, slipped to third for the first time all season by placing fourth in brass and third in general effect music. However, the second place in general effect visual, visual performance and percussion kept the corps in the hunt until the end. One must remember that although BD placed third overall, the corps was .65 from winning the Championship outright. Bluecoats (4th-93.175) have to be happy with moving up from sixth in Semifinals to fourth in Finals for the corps' highest finish in history, passing up the Cadets and Santa Clara Vanguard. Bluecoats accomplished that task on the basis of third place finishes in music brass and music percussion and fourth place finishes in general effect music and music ensemble. The Cadets (5th-93.075), defending Champions, fell just .1 under Bluecoats to slip one spot from Semifinals. A fourth place in general effect visual was one of the corps' brightest spot. Santa Clara Vanguard (6th-92.350) improved on its eighth place lowest placement ever from last year's Finals. Blue Knights (7th-90.125) passed up Carolina Crown (8th-89.975) on the basis of a 1.2 point advantage in music percussion. Madison Scouts
(9th-87.700) moved above Boston Crusaders (10th-87.325) by minor spreads in a number of captions, the corps' weakest captions largely mirroring the weaker captions of Boston. Glasssmen (11th-86.000) and Spirit (12th-84.825) finished off the finalist corps for 2006, only the second time that all corps in Finals were Finalists the year before, (1988 being the previous time).