Brad Binder says it only took him about five minutes to fill out his bracket for the 2014 NCAA Tournament. He may spend a lifetime regretting not taking an extra few seconds to sign up for the $1 billion perfect bracket challenge dreamed up by Warren Buffet.
After a predictably unpredictable Round of 64 busted all of the brackets in the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket challenge at Yahoo Sports as well as those filled out in ESPN's Tournament Challenge and at CBSSports.com by Friday night, "Brad's Breathtaking Bracket" remained flawless. Unfortunately, the 23-year-old who submitted it in the regular Yahoo Sports' Tourney Pick'em pool did not enter the contest with the biggest prize.
Binder hails from Buffalo Grove, Ill., according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The Twitter account Yahoo Sports identifies as belonging to him (@Brad_Binder_) tweeted at Buffet after it looked like his "Breathtaking" bracket was the last one standing.
With his prescient picks and potentially costly omission garnering him plenty of attention on Twitter, Binder was interviewed about his bracket on "SportsCenter" on Saturday.
"My strategy isn't that extensive, I just kind of went with my gut," Binder told ESPN. "I just kind of filled them out in five minutes tops, I would say."
CLICK HERE to check out "Brad's Breathtaking Bracket"
Upset wins by No. 11 Dayton and No. 13 Mercer eliminated 99% of all brackets entered in the big money competition, according to a press release from Quicken Loans on Friday evening. The bracket taking everyone's breath away had both underdogs winning their opening games.
When asked about his rationale for picking No. 14 Mercer to upset No. 3 Duke, Binder showed off his basketball knowledge but also mentioned a personal grudge connected to high school hoops in Chicago.
"I just love the experience of the Mercer players. I just think they had five starting seniors that have been playing together for a while. They've just got that chemistry and they play together. Also, nothing against Jabari Parker, he's obviously a phenomenal player but I have a bone to pick with him and Simeon because they beat my alma mater Stevenson in last year's finals."
Even with his 32-32 start, Binder will still need to have picked 31 games correctly from the Round of 32 through the national championship to achieve perfection. His Final Four includes No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Michigan State, No. 2 Michigan and No. 7 Oregon. His bracket has Michigan State defeating Michigan in a battle of intra-state rivals for the national title. As the teams still in contention play their way toward AT&T Stadium in Texas for the Final Four, Binder is hoping Buffet will let him retroactively enter the $1 billion contest.
"Never in a million years would I think I would be in this position and on ESPN and talking to you guys," Binder said on Saturday. "But, honestly, I was about to leave for work and I was in a rush. I filled it out and that was kind of it. I didn't even really think about it. However, if I can reach out to Mr. Buffet, if he would consider grandfathering me in to be eligible and if he could make an exception, that would mean a lot to me and give everyone a perfect bracket to root for."
On the bright side, Quicken Loans does not have any of Binder's personal information.
UPDATE 3/22 9:40 p.m. ET: There will be no regrets for Brad Binder after his bracket was busted by No. 11 Dayton. The Flyers upset No. 3 Syracuse in a third-round game, 55-53. Binder had picked Syracuse to win that game and advance to the Sweet 16. He would now be out of the running for the grand prize even if he had entered the $1 billion contest.