Joe Pearlman is an I.T. worker from East Brunswick, N.J. (Middlesex County pride!), who happens to be one of two people, out of the 5.9 million in ESPN’s NCAA Tournament bracket challenge, who predicted the Final Four correctly. How’d he navigate the waters of such a strange tournament? Well, it didn’t hurt that he didn’t have much clue what he was doing.
Pearlman spoke to First Take’s Jay Crawford earlier today, and admitted that on a scale of one to 10, he’d rate his college basketball knowledge a 2. And indeed, from the sound of it, he didn’t keep picking VCU because of anything in particular he liked about VCU – it was because he likes picking USC.
USC, if you’ll remember, faced VCU in a glorified play-in game before the start of the tournament proper. (ESPN’s contest only covers games for the “real,” post-play-in, 64-team tournament – selections could be made both before and after the play-in games had been completed.)
Therefore, Pearlman’s wisest decision was to stick with his USC pick, even after their early loss meant it wasn’t a USC pick anymore. And he really went all-in on it: his bracket has VCU going all the way. At this point, there’s absolutely no reason to doubt that possibility. Video below, via ESPN2.