Tuesday, June 25

How one fan chose the best March Madness bracket ever constructed

  • Ryan HockensmithMar 19, 2024, 07:30 AM ET


      Ryan Hockensmith is a Penn State graduate who signed up with ESPN in 2001. He is a survivor of bacterial meningitis, which triggered him to have several amputation surgical treatments on his feet. He is a happy supporter for those with impairments and dependency problems. He covers whatever from the NFL and UFC to pizza-chucking and analysis of Tom Cruise’s running capability.


On the early morning of March 19, 2019, Gregg Nigl and his partner Casandra would fill up their 2 kids in the cars and truck and leave home in Columbus, Ohio, for the very first part of the 12-hour drive towards the snowboarding slopes of Vermont. March Madness would be the soundtrack for the whole journey.

Nigl (noticable NYE-gull) prepared half of the drive for Saturday, leaving home right as the 2nd round of the 2019 NCAA males’s basketball competition started. His vehicle’s SiriusXM radio was locked and packed with a cluster of hoops stations. He ‘d listen to the very first batch of video games that day and discover a sports bar in Pennsylvania where they might stop and have a late supper that would completely accompany tip-off for his cherished Michigan Wolverines in their second-round match.

After the video game, they ‘d drive a little bit more that night, crash at a hotel, then complete the journey the following day as he listened to the last part of the Round of 32 video games. Ideally, he ‘d be resting at the ski lodge as he saw his least-favorite group, the 11-seed Ohio State, lose that Sunday night. They would have 5 remarkable days on the slopes of Killington, Vermont. What a strategy.

As the old stating goes, we make strategies and God chuckles. In this case, unbeknownst to Nigl, his whole getaway will implode since of all those college basketball video games that would assist him get his household to Vermont.

Nigl is among those modest peaceful individuals who is fantastic however would never ever state that. He’s 45 and has actually worked as a neuropsychologist for the VA in Columbus considering that 2009, assisting veterinarians handle dementia, amnesia and other cognitive problems. He is precise, and when he states something, it instantly feels thought about and sensible. In the record of drawing up household holidays, the scale would vary from Clark Griswold at the low end to Gregg Nigl as the best-case circumstance.

On the drive, he figured he would keep loose tabs on how his brackets were constructing. Nigl constantly completed a couple of guys’s brackets, releasing the very same fundamental approach that a lot of individuals utilize– a little technique, a little eye test, a little wishful thinking.

For his 2019 brackets, he went heavy on his preferred group (Michigan) and his preferred conference (the Big Ten, other than for Ohio State). He had actually constantly liked Gonzaga and hoped the school would win a title at some point,

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