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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Gregg Nigl’s perfect NCAA Tournament bracket is busted – all the way to 348th place

This photo provided by Casandra Nigl shows Gregg Nigl posed in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, March 26, 2019. By the end of the day Tuesday he was a national celebrity, the only known person among the tens of millions who filled out NCAA Tournament brackets online to have picked every game correctly through the first two rounds. Two of his four picks on Thursday lost, however. (AP)
This photo provided by Casandra Nigl shows Gregg Nigl posed in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, March 26, 2019. By the end of the day Tuesday he was a national celebrity, the only known person among the tens of millions who filled out NCAA Tournament brackets online to have picked every game correctly through the first two rounds. Two of his four picks on Thursday lost, however. (AP)
By Matt Bonesteel Washington Post

Gregg Nigl had a good run. The 40-year-old neuropsychologist from Columbus, Ohio, picked the first 48 games of the NCAA Tournament correctly in his bracket contest, becoming the first person to do so in recent memory, according to the NCAA. The accomplishment landed him on the “Today” show, and a tournament sponsor flew him out to Anaheim, California, so he could watch his beloved Michigan play Texas Tech in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night.

Alas, Nigl has joined the rest of us in bracket misery. After extending his record-setting streak to 49 with Gonzaga’s win over Florida State in Thursday night’s first game, his perfect bracket went up in smoke when Purdue beat Tennessee in overtime.

“Well, it was a good run… Thank you to everyone who joined me along this incredible journey! Maybe next year we’ll get it!” he tweeted Thursday night.

Then Nigl got to watch as his Wolverines stumbled to a 19-point loss against Texas Tech.

Nigl’s other two picks Thursday night – Virginia and Gonzaga – both won, leaving him 50 of 52 for the tournament heading into Friday’s Sweet 16 games (he has Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina and Kentucky winning). But that’s only good enough for a tie for 348th in the NCAA’s bracket-challenge standings.

The new leader for bracket supremacy among the contests offered by the NCAA, ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo, Fox, and Sports Illustrated appears to be a CBS Sports entry entitled Ned Ryerson (perhaps from a “Groundhog Day” fan), which has whiffed on all of one game so far: Mississippi State’s upset loss to Liberty in the first round.

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