When it comes to the NCAA basketball tournament, picking the perfect bracket takes a little knowledge of the game, and a little luck. With all the upsets so far in the tourney, there is no perfect bracket left in any of the three biggest tournament pools, but one Panama City native is as close to perfect as there is left.
This year, over 11 million brackets were entered in ESPN's Tournament Challenge, and while none are still perfect- two brackets are pretty close, and one of them belongs to Mosley High SChool alum Marc MacLean.
"I've been trying to get my wife to realize the magnitude of it," he laughed. "We've been talking about it, and she just keeps rolling her eyes at me and says why do we have to keep watching all this basketball? She's just like, I just don't get it. I'm like, you realize there are 11 million people, and I have the best bracket out of 11 million people?"
That's right- Marc stands tied at the top with his near perfect bracket, a bracket he says is the best he's ever picked, and he cites his analytical mind for his success.
"I went through and read some things over the x-number of years there has been an 11-seed or higher that reached the Sweet 16 and there's been approximately 50-percent of the 12 seeds that's beaten the 5 seeds, for the most part it was educated guesses, but I got lucky on a lot of them," he said.
Call it educated guesses, or call it luck, but the fact is- it's working. Marc's East Region is completely perfect, and Cinderella Dayton? He picked them over Ohio State and Syracuse.
"I figured in order to try and do something different it might help me out in the long run, or it may hurt me, but so far, it's helped me," Marc stated.
Marc knows he's got a ways to go, but with his Final Four intact, and with luck on his side, he's hoping for a finish to remember- for his bracket and for himself.
"I'm a big Gator fan. I'm about as big a Gator fan as you can find," he said. "To me it would be a consolation even if I missed out on all the rest of the games, even if the Gators could make it all the way through, that would be a good year."
It'd be a good year for Marc, and his favorite team. Along with his ESPN bracket, Marc has two brackets entered in CBS's Bracket Game, and both of those are tied for 88th. However, he's not entered in Yahoo's Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, where the Top 20 brackets receive $100,000. He said if he does end of losing, he'll be able to sleep easier knowing he didn't miss out on some big bucks.