Has There Ever Been A Perfect March Madness Bracket?

Written By Nicole Russo on March 15, 2022
March Madness betting

Each year, tens of millions of Americans fill in teams in hopes of a perfect March Madness bracket. With all of those brackets out there, has there ever been one to finish 100% correct?

If not, who holds the record for the most accurate bracket to date?

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The Longest March Madness Bracket Streak

There might be tens of millions of brackets filled out each year, but to date, nobody has secured a perfect one.

That’s probably because the odds of a perfect bracket so are 1 in 9.2 quintillion if you flip a coin for all of your bracket choices. Throw in some basic college basketball knowledge, and those odds increase to about 1 in 120.2 billion.

You have a much better chance of getting struck by lightning…twice.

The longest (verified) streak of correct choices came in 2019 from a man in Ohio. He correctly predicted the tournament all the way to the Sweet Sixteen.

His 49-game streak beat the previous record set in 2017 of 39 games.

Gregg Nigl’s streak was busted when 3-seed Purdue beat 2-seed Tennessee 99-94 in overtime during the Sweet Sixteen matchup.

How Many Brackets Are Tracked?

The NCAA has sifted through over three decades of brackets to find the longest streak. Of course, there are millions out there that haven’t been officially verified.

It’s estimated that 60 million-100 million brackets are filled out annually. There could be one out there that has a better record than the one from Nigl, but there’s no way to confirm.

Since 2016, the NCAA has tracked 20-25 million online brackets annually using public leaderboards. Prior to that, the organization went off of game reports and online archives.

In 2019, when Nigl secured the streak, there were an abnormally high amount of correct brackets through the first few rounds of the tournament. That’s because the top seeds went on to win most of their games.

Fifteen people were perfect through the first 32 games in the tourney. These brackets came from the 25 million the NCAA tracked through six different online competitions.

Selection Sunday takes place this year on March 13, and then the bracket competitions begin once again. Will someone defy the odds this year and secure the perfect one?

Good luck in your quest for the perfect March Madness bracket.

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Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for TheLines.com. Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for PlayTenn.com and PlayIndiana.com. She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

View all posts by Nicole Russo