Only one man in the world has a perfect NCAA tournament bracket thus far, and now we know who he is.
His name is Greg Nigl, he’s 40 years old and he works as a neuropsychologist in Columbus, Ohio. NCAA.com, which first discovered Nigl’s feat, got in touch with him on Monday to peer inside his mind.
Nigl told NCAA.com that the perfect bracket almost didn’t get filled out at all. It’s part of a small contest with just a couple of friends and he wasn’t feeling well. The only reason he entered his picks was because he didn’t want to let his buddies down.
“I did four. And I almost didn’t fill that one out, because I was actually sick on Thursday, and I filled it out Thursday morning, right before the deadline, and I almost didn’t do it,” Nigl said. “I was lying in bed, I was sick, and I called into work. I almost went back to bed and didn’t fill it out, but I did it anyway because I felt bad because it was my friend’s [group].”
After NCAA.com found Nigl, he was booked to appear Tuesday morning on Today and Good Morning America.
The secret to Nigl’s success is watching a lot of the Big Ten and listening to ESPN’s “Bracketology” experts say on Selection Sunday, he said. But some picks were far from scientific. Nigl told Today that he picked UC Irvine to beat Kansas State because he and his wife had visited friends near Irvine last summer.
Nigl didn’t even realize the bracket was perfect until the NCAA reporter told him it was. He hasn’t even been watching that many games, either. He and his wife drove this weekend from Ohio to Vermont for vacation, leaving little time to sit down and watch basketball. Nigl did make a pit stop somewhere in New York on Saturday evening to watch his Michigan Wolverines beat Florida.
Nigl isn’t a total Michigan homer, though. He has the Wolverines beating Texas Tech in the Sweet 16 before losing an Elite Eight matchup against Gonzaga, his eventual national champion.
Not only is Nigl the only person with a perfect bracket at this point in this year’s tournament, he may very well be the only person ever to make 48 correct picks through the first two rounds of March Madness. Since the advent of the easily verifiable online bracket entry system, there has never before been a reported instance of a set of picks remaining perfect as long as Nigl’s has.