March Madness: No guessing for Reno fourth grader with nearly perfect NCAA bracket

Grant Anderson, 9, holds up March Madness mens basketball bracket in his Reno Home on March 26,202. Grant has has gotten only one wrong.

Grant Anderson can explain why he has Baylor University to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament. 

And don’t accuse the Nick Poulakidas Elementary School fourth-grader of guessing. He can rattle of statistics after intense research has him pitting Baylor against Gonzaga on April 5. 

“Gonzaga is going to be tired. They are undefeated and then they play Baylor,” Grant reasoned.

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But before that final game, Grant, who is 9, has picked 15 of the 16 correct teams in the Sweet 16 that plays Saturday and Sunday. Before that, he was a perfect 32-for-32 in the first round.

Grant has a nearly perfect bracket despite most people being thrown off by a slew of upsets this season. 

Grant Anderson, 9, has a nearly perfect NCAA bracket.

There were no perfect brackets after Game 28, according to the NCAA, which is tracking millions of brackets through ESPN, Yahoo, CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated. None, according to the NCAA, picked 16 out of 16.

Grant Anderson, far right, with his brother Brett, 5, and sister Kylan, 6.

Grant picked his teams on a private CBS game through a link from his aunt, so he’s not being tracked by the NCAA, but his family shared their son’s bracket on the CBS app, which was set up before the first game. 

He hit 47 correct wins before picking Kansas to beat USC. (The Jayhawks lost.) 

It was just one of several brackets he did. He’s been picking brackets for about four years.

A screenshot of Grant Anderson's NCAA bracket.

But there’s no big office pool winnings coming his way. He will win bragging rights with his family, including his younger brother and sister, who went the more traditional route of guessing.

Now, Grant is getting some national attention. He will be on Good Morning American on Saturday.

The national morning show heard of Grant’s near-perfect bracket after Chris Murray of  Nevada Sports Net first reported the story.

Grant’s mother, Tish Anderson, played basketball for the Nevada Wolf Pack in 2003-2005.

Murray wrote, “There’s a chance, although unlikely, (Grant) gets all but one game correct. That’s incredible considering the odds of a perfect bracket is one in 9.2 quintillion (that’s 9,223,372,036,854,775,808).”

According to the NCAA, to understand how rare that is, consider that there are 31.6 million seconds in a year, so 9.2 quintillion seconds is a quick 292 billion years.

Grant, who plays basketball, soccer and baseball, wants to be an inventor one day.

Grant Anderson, 9, holds up March Madness mens basketball bracket in his Reno Home on March 26,202. Grant has has gotten only one wrong.

“Maybe I will design cars,” he said. 

Math is his favorite subject in school. 

He said he’ll watch some of the games but won’t be too upset if Gonzaga stays undefeated.

“I made it pretty far, ” he said. “I feel good about that.”  

Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of Northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read her journalism right here. Consider supporting her work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal