Finest March Insanity bracket of all time: What’s the longest an NCAA bracket stayed excellent?

Filling out a bracket in March has grow to be one of the crucial extensively endulged traditions within the nation. Sixty-seven games are performed over three weeks in arenas throughout the map. The aim is to be excellent, and once we’re inevitably not, we simply hope to be slightly bit higher than our associates.

Trying again at latest years, it is exhausting to recollect what first-round upset you picked or which underdog you have been satisfied was headed to the Closing 4. A few of us fill out too many brackets to maintain observe of. Nevertheless it’s simple to recollect the school children that grew to become family names, or the photographs that led some to grow to be immortalized in school basketball historical past.

The agony of being one of many 67 fan bases that get its coronary heart ripped out in some unspecified time in the future in March is a close to certainty, but the insanity of March can present any silly fan with a glimmer of hope. Within the rollercoaster of feelings that come and go in March, generally it is best to tear up your bracket and simply take pleasure in basketball and its purest type.

That is not the main target now, although. Within the midst of March, it is time to create a bracket (or 4), disregard the percentages of bracket success, and hope that is our 12 months. We’re sports activities followers, it is what we do greatest.

MORE: Why it is practically inconceivable to have excellent bracket

Who was the closest to an ideal NCAA bracket?

Gregg Nigl was sick on the primary Thursday of the 2019 NCAA Event. He known as in sick to work and deliberate to remain in mattress to recuperate, however earlier than he may take a nap, Nigl determined to fill out a bracket so he may take part within the event group together with his associates. That bracket turned out to be the most effective one ever recorded. His picks began successful on Thursday morning and stored it up. He was excellent via the primary spherical, then the second. 

Nigl grew to become the primary particular person to have a verified bracket that accurately predicted each game via the Candy 16. He picked the primary 49 games accurately, crushing the outdated recorded file of 39. Tens of hundreds of thousands of brackets are crammed out yearly, so it is doable somebody has produced a greater bracket on paper or earlier than web sites stored an official file. In line with its web site, the NCAA has “carefully tracked about 20-25 million on-line brackets per 12 months at a half dozen main games since 2016 utilizing public leaderboards together with direct reporting and knowledge gathering with these games.” They relied on stories and on-line archives previous to 2016.

The act of accurately predicting the primary 49 games of the Event is unbelievable, nonetheless. If each game is seen as a 50-50 likelihood, the percentages of accurately selecting 49 straight games, as Nigl did, are one in 562 trillion. Nigl, a neuropsychologist from Ohio, misplaced for the primary time on the fiftieth game of the event when Purdue beat Tennessee, 99-94, in extra time. His bracket misplaced a little bit of its magic after that. After accurately selecting each Candy 16 crew, he obtained 5 of the Elite Eight groups proper and one Closing 4 crew.

Odds of an ideal bracket in March Insanity

To maintain it quick, the normal odds of selecting each game accurately, if every matchup is taken into account a 50-50 shot, is one in 9.2 quintillion. For reference, a quintillion is one billion billion. No. 1 seeds have crushed the 16-seeds each time aside from one, so we all know not all matchups are toss-ups. FiveThirtyEight tasks that the percentages for his or her mannequin, which elements in precise basketball information and event historical past, are one in 2.15 billion. 

The chances are lengthy it doesn’t matter what metric is used. Billionaire Warren Buffett has provided $1 billion to anybody who obtained an ideal bracket, however the odds say that is unlikely to ever occur. He is since taken it down a notch, pledging $1 million a 12 months for all times to any Berkshire Hathaway worker who precisely predicted the Candy 16. Buffett’s different supply to staff at Berkshire Hathaway is a pleasant $1 million to anybody who obtained all 32 first-round games appropriate.

Finest March Insanity brackets by 12 months


Nigl’s 49-for-49 begin wasn’t simply the most effective begin to a bracket in 2019, it was the most effective verified begin in recorded historical past.


Whereas the most effective bracket thus far got here in 2019, brackets in 2019 by no means actually had an opportunity. 16-seed UMBC knocked off 1-seed Virginia and the 25 remaining excellent brackets have been spoiled.


A bracket on Yahoo! began with 39 straight wins, a file till 2019. The bracket stayed excellent till the second spherical when Iowa State fell to Purdue.


Good brackets have been deterred early when 2-seed Michigan State was upset by 15-seed Center Tennesse State. The perfect bracket lasted 25 games. 


One bracket within the ESPN on-line bracket game picked the primary 34 games accurately. ESPN mentioned the bracket was the most effective begin to a event it had on file in 18 years of its game.

2014 and earlier

In 2014, Yahoo! Sports activities reported {that a} bracket was excellent going into the second spherical and began with 36 straight wins. Yahoo! mentioned it was the solely time the location had a bracket with an ideal first spherical in its 18-plus years of monitoring brackets. A bracket in 2010 made headlines when it reportedly was excellent via two rounds, however there was no solution to confirm the bracket’s authenticity.

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