Two hours into the 2023 tournament, the dream of a perfect bracket for William, a BetMGM customer from Arizona, was over; Maryland’s two-point over West Virginia in the first round of the South Region gave him an 0/1 record in BetMGM’s $10 Million Perfect Bracket Challenge.
Nineteen days later, William won $100,000 as winner of the bracket challenge with UConn’s 17-point win over San Diego State in the national championship.
William went 25-7 in the first round but lost only two teams from his regional semifinal predictions (Arizona and Memphis) and only one team from his regional final predictions (Arizona). The biggest upset in tournament history – Fairleigh Dickinson over Purdue – had limited effect on his bracket; he had Purdue losing to Memphis in the second round.
Two more regional final teams (Duke and Marquette) – and one national semifinal team (Marquette) – were lost in the second round, leaving William with only five of eight regional final teams after the first weekend.
That damage, however, was on par with last year’s winning bracket. Austin H. of New Jersey went 5-for-8 with his regional final picks but didn’t miss again; he correctly predicted the seven remaining games.
William went 4-for-8 with his regional final picks – he lost UCLA in the regional semifinals – and, unlike Austin, missed again with Texas’ loss to Miami (FL) in the regional final. But in limiting the carnage relative to other entrants and nailing the title game matchup, he won $100,000 as the Huskies completed the most dominant run in tournament history.
Here’s the winning bracket: