The NCAA’s longest ever perfect slide

The longest (verifiable) streak of correct selections in an NCAA Tournament class to start the beloved March Madness Tournament is 49, a streak established in 2019.

An Ohio State man correctly predicted the entire 2019 NCAA Tournament at the Sweet 16, something we haven’t seen in years of publicly verifiable online March Madness bracketing across all the major games.

The last verifiable perfect NCAA men’s slide in 2022 was set on the first Friday of the tournament when No. 11 Iowa State beat No. 6 LSU, 59-54. That’s when This arc was created by ESPN user “Bekins24” – It’s set.

In 2021, multiple massive disruptions occur All remaining perfect arcs are set to 28yGame. That of course comes after 2020, when COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the longest streak of correct picks we’ve seen in March Madness was 39 games, achieved in 2017.

Then Greg Neagle, of Columbus, broke that record with his short fame.Center RoadThe NCAA Tournament is in bracket Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challengewhich correctly predicted the first 49 games of the 2019 tournament before losing in game 50, when No. 3 seed Purdue beat Tennessee 99-94 in overtime of Game 2 in the Sweet 16.

Nigl, a neuropsychologist from Columbus, Ohio, became the first ever verified chip to correctly pick the Sweet 16.

With over three decades of paper brackets online for revision (the current format has been around since 1985) and with 60 million to 100 million brackets filled annually, it’s very likely that someone somewhere will do better. Setting an official record is made more difficult by the fact that online games have only recently begun to comprehensively keep records.

We’ve been closely following about 20 to 25 million online brackets annually in half a dozen major games since 2016 using public leaderboards along with live reporting and data gathering with those games. Prior to 2016, we relied on reports of those games as well as online archives for the best information available.

Until this year, we couldn’t find verified brackets that were perfect in the Sweet 16 at all. There was a widely reported example of an arc that was perfect over two rounds in 2010, but there was no way to validate the correctness of the arc. It was introduced in an online game where the shots can be changed between rounds As Deadspin reported at the time.

Gregg Nigl's 2019 NCAA slide perfect through the first two rounds.Gregg Nigl’s 2019 NCAA slide perfect through the first two rounds.

This is where we stood in each of the previous years:


The perfect NCAA slide didn’t last through Friday night’s first round, thanks Historic 16-1 UMBC win over Virginia. Of the millions of brackets we tracked, 25 were perfect over the first 28 games of the tournament, but UMBC’s win in Game 29 knocked them all out.


We saw an astonishing 39 picks to start the tournament, a number that was the highest number recorded until 2019. The record-setting bracket, entered in the Yahoo bracket, was the only category to pass 37 safeties, managing to reach 39 valid picks back-to-back before Iowa failed to come back against Purdue and handed the Arc its first loss of the tournament.


tThe longest anyone has played this year was 25 games. With Stephen F. Austin’s victory over West Virginia on Friday night, the last remaining perfect bracket of the NCAA Tournament was broken. A 15-2 loss (Middle Tennessee at Michigan State) made this a tough year for the Brackets.


This was another great year, with one chip in the ESPN online bracket game selecting the first 34 correctly, According to a story by ESPN Senior Writer Darren Rovell. ESPN said in 2016 that its 2015 group was the best start to a tournament it has recorded in the 18 years of its game.

2014 (and earlier)

Prior to 2017, the longest tracked perfect arc line was 36, according to Yahoo! sports. in 2014, Brad Bender went 36 for 36 to start the tournament. Hey ho! Sports reported that the binder bracket was The only time he had a perfect chip, he moved to the second round in more than 18 years of hosting the game

In the 2019 tournament, the relative predictability (winning the top seed) of the NCAA Tournament resulted in an abnormally high number of perfect arcs surviving the first round. We’ve tracked an estimated 25 million arcs since inception, across six major online games, including Mad Capital One Mars Challenge Here at Of these, 15 were perfect after the first 32 matches in the tournament.

Saturday trimmed that field a bit more, and in games on, CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! , only two March Madness brackets have remained perfect through 40 games heading into Sunday — Nigl’s and Yahoo’s.

The brackets differed in the fourth game of the day – Texas Tech-Buffalo. When Texas Tech won, that left only Nigl’s “Central Road” bracket as the only perfect March Madness bracket remaining. Center Road survived several scares on Sunday, including an overtime win at Tennessee and a Duke run over UCF.

And after Gonzaga’s wild win to start the Sweet 16, the Central Road team suffered its first loss, as Purdue beat Tennessee 99-94 in overtime in the 50th game of the tournament. It will be very difficult to get past 49 correct plays in the future. Side note, it’s the second time in three years that Purdue has broken a record-holding perfect slide.

Odds for a perfect 63-game NCAA bracket can be as high as 1 in 9.2 quintillion — although those are perfect odds in parentheses if each game is a 50-50 coin flip. If you take the knowledge of NCAA men’s basketball into the formula, the odds of picking a perfect chip can be as low as 1 in 28 billion, According to the late DePaul professor Jeff Bergen.

Bergen estimated whether every person on the planet is 7.5 billion Starting to fill a slice per minute, it would take over 2,000 years to fill 9.2 quintillion.

Dan Gibberson, Mike Szhag, and Daniel Wilko contributed to this report

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