JASPER, Ind. (April 5, 2016) – Almost perfect.
When Villanova won the NCAA National Championship Game Monday night, Rebecca Gentry can say she saw it coming.
The Jasper teen filled out a nearly flawless NCAA bracket as part of a competition in her English literature and composition class. Gentry had only three wrong picks.
“Honestly I saw that I had very little mistakes, but I didn’t realize it was going to be such a huge big deal,” Gentry told the Dubois County Herald. “That just kind of surprised me … I’m not really a huge basketball fan, so it’s just like, ‘I did something right? That’s weird.’”
Gentry said she watches some college basketball but not enough to consider herself an expert. She also had some help from her boyfriend, who is a Kentucky basketball fan.
Gentry’s bracket is certainly something worth talking about. For example, 98 percent of fans who entered ESPN’s Tournament Challenge had Michigan State beating Middle Tennessee, but Gentry was one of the few who picked the upset, one of the tournament’s most shocking games. Less than 1 percent of brackets had Syracuse making it to the Final Four. Gentry nailed that one, too.
Her misses? She picked Texas over Northern Iowa in a first-round game; Northern Iowa won that one. She also had California beating Hawaii; Hawaii ended up pulling out the upset. And while she correctly picked the eventual winner of the tournament, she had one of the opponents wrong: Gentry picked Syracuse to beat North Carolina in the Final Four. The Tar Heels, however, lost to Villanova, her pick for the overall winner.
Gentry didn’t submit her bracket online; it exists only as a paper bracket for class. While she’ll miss out on big money and trips on the line in national contests, she says she’s content with doughnuts for her and the rest of her first-period class.