5.9 million people filled out March Madness brackets on ESPN.com this year, and astoundingly only 2 of them picked the Final Four correctly. Of these two, one of their identities has yet to be revealed (probably because he’s an octopus). WNYC reports that the other clairvoyant sports fan is Jon Pearlman, a 50-year-old New Brunswick man who works in IT. This was the first time he ever filled out an online bracket, and the poor judgment and lack of research that led to him to select unheralded VCU and Butler in the Final Four also won him $10,000.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re happy for Jon Pearlman. He saw his son making picks and took 10 minutes to fill out his own bracket. It’s a nice story. A nice, frustrating story to everyone who spent hours studying RPI and non-conference records.
Jon Pearlman is a USC fan, so when VCU beat his Trojans, he attached his bandwagon to the Rams. His other picks were equally scientific:
As for Connecticut, it’s his home state. Kentucky? The coach used to head up the New Jersey Nets, his hometown team. As for Butler…Pearlman just likes the coach.
In other words, he had no idea what he was doing. For perspective, the Hilton sportsbook in Vegas had Butler listed at 200-1 to win it all and VCU was thrown in with 18 other schools for a 200-1 “field bet.” Even degenerate gamblers would stay away from these teams. Not Jon Pearlman, though.
Pearlman has Kentucky beating UCONN and VCU taking down Butler before going on to win it all. Virginia Commonwealth University, national champions? A commuter school with an 11 seed? Unfortunately, it looks like Jon Pearlman’s luck is about to end.
Or is it?