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Daniel Wilco | | April 3, 2019

Tracking the best (and not best) celebrity NCAA brackets

Exploring the absurd odds of a perfect bracket

There are only three games left in the 2019 NCAA tournament, and chances are if your bracket isn't busted, it's at least mostly busted.

Only 0.02 percent of the millions of brackets entered into our Bracket Challenge Game correctly predicted all four Final Four teams: Virginia, Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Auburn.

THE PERFECT BRACKET: We found the man who has the last perfect bracket in the world. Here's what he said.

In following the quest for the first-ever perfect bracket (which ended in the 50th game of the tournament this year), we tracked tens of millions of brackets in major online bracket games across the country. But we also tracked a smaller subset of brackets — those filled out by celebrities. And it turns out they're not perfect either. Of the dozens we looked at, only a handful were above average.

Those who did pretty well include:

Inside the NBA host Ernie Johnson (85 points, 64 points remaining)

Ernie Johnson's NCAA tournament bracket


TBS star Conan O'Brien (81 points, 48 points remaining)

Conan O'Brien's NCAA tournament bracket


Rapper Method Man (81 points, 48 points remaining)

Method Man's NCAA tournament bracket


Then there are others who started strong, but faltered after the Sweet 16, like: 

President Barack Obama (61 points):

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (63 points):

And others, well... they tried. Mainly Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty, who picked an eclectic group of teams, such as "Godzilla," "Crest is better," "Missssisssipppi," "No Thanks," and "Love Buff chick dip." Even giving Gritty the benefit of the doubt, that bracket only scored 24 points so far. Stick to hockey.

But one celebrity bracket did score better than all the rest: 

Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory

Jim Parsons' 2019 NCAA tournament bracket

Above: Jim Parsons' bracket.

After correctly picking 29 first-round games, 15 second round games, six Sweet 16 games, and one Elite Eight game, Parsons sits at 91 points — more than any other celebrity bracket we’ve tracked this year. That still wouldn't see him crack the top 500 brackets in our Bracket Challenge Game, though.

View the Bracket Challenge Game leaderboard here

He’s gotten 51 out of 60 games correct, for an accuracy of 85 percent.

Parsons predicted all three of the 12-5 upsets correctly, choosing Liberty to beat Mississippi State, Murray State to beat Marquette, and Oregon to beat Wisconsin.

Ja Morant leads Murray State to dominating win over Marquette

He also picked 10-seed Liberty to beat 7-seed Louisville — something that only 34.6 percent of all BCG players predicted — and 10-seed Iowa to beat 7-seed Cincinnati (only 33.8 percent of BCG brackets picked that one).

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Iowa Hawkeyes: Game Highlights

In the second round, Parsons went 15-for-16. The only game he missed was 12-seed Oregon’s win over 13-seed UC Irvine. Parsons picked 4-seed Kansas State to beat UC Irvine in the first round, then beat Oregon in the second.

UC Irvine upsets Kansas State for first tournament win

His Sweet 16 was pretty spot on. Parsons has all 1 and 2 seeds winning, except for Michigan, who he has losing to 3-seed Texas Tech. That gave him six of eight correct picks, only missing Auburn's win over North Carolina and Purdue's win over Tennessee.

Parsons didn’t fall victim to one of the most popular bracket traps — putting too much faith in your alma mater. The Texas native graduated from Houston, but picked his Cougars to lose to Kentucky in the Sweet 16, which they did.

Unfortunately for him, Parsons is out of potential points. His Final Four had all four 1-seeds reaching the national semifinals. The only Final Four team he got right was the Cavaliers, but he had them losing to North Carolina in the semifinal, so he'll finish at 91 points.

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When thinking about Final Four picks, what should you look for?

March Madness: Getting to know the No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament

Here's a detailed history of how No. 5 seeds have fared in the NCAA tournament.

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