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UNC student has third-best NCAA bracket in ESPN challenge

March 29, 2019

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student has the third-best March Madness bracket in the world in ESPN.com’s bracket challenge.

Logan Castrodale, a senior journalism student, has a perfect bracket going into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

She correctly predicted the outcome of 62 out of the tournament’s 64 teams. All of her predictions for the 16 second-round games were correct.

Castrodale has been filling out brackets for about five years, becoming more enthusiastic about them after she started at UNC.

“I didn’t care before coming to college,” she said.

She has UNC to win it all this year.

“I would never pick any other team to win,” she said.

Joining UNC in her Final Four picks are Tennessee, Gonzaga and Michigan State.

“I didn’t pick Duke to go to the Final Four because I hate Duke,” she said.

While picking most No. 1 and No. 2 seeds to go far in the tournament, her strategy is to pick smart upsets.

“There’s always upsets and things that people don’t expect,” she said.

Some of her upsets, though, were “literally just guesses,” she said.

The odds of filling out a perfect March Madness bracket is 1 in 1.92 quintillion. The odds of winning Wednesday’s Powerball was 1 in 292.2 million.

Castrodale has bought a lottery ticket, but she’s never won.

Castrodale spent about 20 minutes completing her bracket, she said.

“I just kind of did it and was like, ‘OK, whatever,’” she said.

She and some of her friends put $5 on the line, so whoever wins their challenge gets $60.

She did enter an ESPN.com group challenge to win $35,000.

She’s watching the games closely, especially now that she’s gotten so far with her bracket. She and her friends plan to spend most of the weekend watching the games at her house.

“Everyone’s pulling for my bracket,” she said.

She said she’s nervous going into Thursday night’s game. She predicted Oregon would upset Virginia.

Editor’s note: After Virginia beat Oregon on Thursday, Castrodale slipped to 12,000th place.

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