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Daniel Wilco | | March 20, 2018

The surprising celebrity bracket that outpicked all the rest

The odds of filling this out perfectly are about 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

Celebrities, they’re just like us!

After a wild start to the NCAA tournament, none of the celebrity brackets we were tracking are much to write home about.

But the best of the bunch was former president, George H.W. Bush.

We looked at dozens of celebrity brackets, from former presidents, to Super Bowl champions, to CNN anchors and Charles Barkley.

Bush’s bracket came out on top of all of them, with 43 points, which would put him in the 98th percentile. Right now, the average score in the Capital One Bracket Challenge Game is 36 points, and the leader has 54 points.


A little bit of home-team bias may have played a role in the former Texas representative’s bracket. He has Texas A&M winning the championship.

That pick meant he nailed one of the more surprising games of the second round: Texas A&M’s blowout of 2-seed UNC, an upset picked in just 4.1 percent of all BCG brackets.

Texas A&M upsets North Carolina, 86-65

Bush also predicted Nevada’s thrilling comeback over 2-seed Cincinnati.

Nevada wins after 22-point comeback

He saw Michigan State losing in the second round, but thought TCU would get the job done, not Syracuse.

In total, Bush picked zero upsets in the first round, and just five in the second (of which he got two correct).

While Bush’s bracket has performed pretty well so far, he only has five Elite Eight teams, and three Final Four teams left alive. That’s not a good setup for a winning bracket — the past four BCG champions have all picked the Elite Eight, Final Four, and championship game perfectly.

Check out Andy Katz' podcast for even more on college basketball:

College basketball rankings: Even unranked teams find success in the NCAA tournament

Since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 — its modern format — only four of 35 national champions were unranked to start the season. That’s about one in every nine years.

Only .025 percent predicted the 2021 Final Four teams in the Bracket Challenge Game

UCLA's upset of No. 1 Michigan in the Elite Eight turned what could have been a record-high number of perfect picks into a tiny number that went 4-for-4.

A huge majority of NCAA brackets have a No. 1 seed winning the 2021 championship

Here is how many brackets predicted each seed to win the national championship, from Gonzaga and the No. 1 seeds through Drexel and the rest of the No. 16 seeds.
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