Lincoln students make their NCAA March Madness Picks


Senior Kade Anderson had three of the four Final Four teams correctly, only picking Gonzaga incorrectly.

UPDATE: Guessing both Final Four games incorrectly, Anderson’s bracket dropped from 99.6 to the 87.5 percentile. Swindell’s bracket dropped to the 94 percentile after only predicing. The current leader in the “Lincoln Cardinals” bracket group is junior Tom Laverde, whose bracket is in the 92.5 percentile.

Two Lincoln students have created NCAA March Madness brackets that are ranked higher than over 11 million other entries.

One of the highest-ranked brackets in the world was made by  senior Kade Anderson, titled “Kade’s Clearwater Revival,” which has Kentucky (36-0 season) winning it all. He has only made 14 mistakes in his bracket and only one of his final four teams is incorrect, ranking him within the top 50,000 out of 11.5 million and in the 99.6 percentile. “I’m surprised that I predicted the entire ‘Sweet 16’ round correctly,” Anderson said. “It was good that Michigan State made it as far as they did, so far. They are my rooting interest for winning the championship, regardless of my bracket.”

Senior Sam Swindell also created a bracket group, titled “Lincoln Cardinals,” on the ESPN website with 75 entries from other students. He submitted a bracket into the group that is not doing so well, as it is in the 21.6 percentile. However, his best overall bracket, “National,” was not entered in the group but would have been the second-best bracket out of the 75 entries. Like Anderson, Swindell also predicted three out of four Final Four teams correctly, along with also choosing Kentucky to win the championship. His bracket is in the 95.8 percentile and ranked within the top 500,000 in the world. “I’m not too surprised my bracket is ranked highly,” Swindell said. “They were based off national data which is generally pretty accurate.”

The two brackets seem to be neck and neck, but Swindell’s shows more hope. Both predict that Kentucky will win against Wisconsin and also the championship itself. But Swindell’s bracket has Duke (33-4 season) winning its game against Michigan State (27-11 season), which Vegas odds predict will be correct. Anderson’s bracket predicted that Gonzaga (#2 seed) would advance to the championship, but it was proven wrong when the team lost to Duke in the Elite Eight. No matter which course the game takes, Anderson will lose points. “I wish I hadn’t picked Gonzaga to go to the championship,” he said. “I feel like that’ll come back to bite me.”

Anderson’s bracket:

Swindell’s bracket: