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Grant Anderson, that Reno 9-year-old, still has the nation's best NCAA bracket

Grant Anderson
Grant Anderson got 58 out of 63 games in the NCAA Tournament correct. (Handout)

Grant Anderson wasn't a one-hit wonder.

As Nevada Sports Net first reported after the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Anderson, a fourth-grade at Reno's Nick Poulakidas Elementary, had the nation's best bracket after correctly picking 47 of the tournament's first 48 games. It's a story that went viral and landed him a spot on Good Morning America.

But Anderson's bracket did not fall apart after the hype about his hot start died down. With the championship game being played Monday with Baylor beating Gonzaga, 86-70, Anderson's bracket still reigns supreme. The now 10-year-old — he was 9 when he filled out his bracket in early March — correctly picked 58 out of the tournament's 63 games.

In the first round, Anderson correctly picked all 32 games.

In the second round, he got 15 out of 16 games.

In the Sweet 16, he was five for eight.

In the Elite Eight, he was three for four.

And he accurately had Baylor beating Gonzaga in the championship game.

Add it all up and Anderson posted one of the best NCAA Tournament brackets of all-time, doing so in a tournament that had a historic number of upsets with a 15 seed, a 12 seed, two 11 seeds and an 8 seed getting to the Sweet 16. Missing only five games, Anderson's bracket had a success rate of 92.1 percent. Coincidentally, all five of Anderson's misses came with Pac-12 teams winning, including USC twice, UCLA twice and Oregon State once.

So how did Anderson's bracket compare to the best in the nation? Still elite. ESPN's top bracket correctly picked 47 out of 63 games, 11 worse than Anderson. It scored 1,690 points on ESPN's default scoring system. Anderson's bracket would have scored a 1,700. Yahoo! Sports' top bracket correctly picked 52 out of 63 games, six worse than Anderson. It scored 174 points on Yahoo!'s default scoring system. Anderson's bracket would have scored a 170, good for second place among all brackets. And CBS Sports' top bracket correctly picked 52 of 63 games, six games worst than Anderson. It scored 167 points on CBS' default scoring system. Anderson's bracket would have scored a 170.

So it's fair to say Anderson had the nation's best bracket after the first two rounds and the nation's best bracket when all was said and done. Additionally, he almost posted the best start to a bracket in NCAA Tournament history. According to the NCAA, the longest verifiable streak of correct picks to start an NCAA Tournament is 49 in 2019. Anderson got his first 47 picks right before missing the final game of the opening weekend, USC beating Kansas.

The odds of a perfect bracket are estimated at one in 9.2 quintillion (that's 9,223,372,036,854,775,808). And while Anderson didn't quite hit that mark, he did best tens of millions of brackets filled out across the nation. Not bad for an elementary-school kid.

Columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMurray.


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