Monopolizing March Madness: An Interview with Mr. Perfect Bracket

John LorgeSenior Writer IMarch 25, 2009

One to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.

Those are the odds of having the perfect March Madness bracket. In case your ability to count stops at a trillion, that is 9.2 quintillion.

It makes sense why contests offer millions of dollars every year to anyone who can correctly plot out the field of 64.

Now that you know the odds, how impressive is it that Hank Sherman, a 21-year-old from Richmond, Missouri, has correctly picked all of the games up until the Sweet 16 on's Facebook Contest. 

Via Facebook itself, I was able to conduct an interview with the political science major from Missouri University.

First, you should know that Hank went with his school, the Missouri Tigers.

"The Missouri pick is a little of both (belief and favoritism)," Sherman said. "I've seen MU pick apart the opposition so many times this year. Sure we've had a few embarrassing losses, but that's no different than anyone else this year."

Hank's been receiving some flack for it from imperfect contestants on Facebook, but most just say, “Dude your like my new hero...except for that whole your school beating mine thing in the final : )." 

Sherman has Mizzou defeating UConn to make it to the Final Four, where they will face Louisville, after the Cardinals beat Kansas. In the Finals, Sherman sees the Tigers taking down President Obama's choice, North Carolina, after the Tar Heels defeat Duke and Syracuse.

Yes, that's right he has Duke beating top seed Pitt.

"I'm most unsure of that pick," Sherman said. "They're both strong teams. I guess Pitt’s loss to WV in the Big East tourney left a bad taste in my mouth."

This has not been the craziest tournament of all-time. However, Sherman did pick some solid upsets.

One in particular was the Wake Forest-Cleveland St. game; one that threw off many promising brackets.

"I wasn't liking WF's momentum coming into the game," Sherman said. "They just seemed like they were finished before the tourney even started. Plus, Cleveland State was still riding high off their conference tournament win over Butler."

Sherman is big on picking teams who finished the year strong, not ones who started out hot like Illinois, Minnesota, and Wake. 

Do not assume Mr. Perfect just had a lucky week; Sherman does his homework when researching the tournament. Here's the “Show-Me-State Trifecta” you should be looking for next year.

"I like to see a high average of steals, offensive rebounds, and three-point percentage," Sherman said. "It's like the trifecta of punishment. If a team has high numbers in those three areas, you know they can dismantle opponents."

Overall, this has been possibly the coolest experience in Hank Sherman's life, but his fame has not come without a few sweaty moments.

"I was really nervous during the Mizzou-Marquette game," he said. "I thought we'd be rollin’ over them since their main player, D. James, didn't play for quite a while during the season due to injury. They were looking almost as good as they did before he was hurt. I was surprised by that. I was also worried about Wisconsin/Xavier for a minute."

Sherman's friends have also started giving him a little more respect when before he was just lucky.

"They stopped saying that (lucky) and they began to say I was Internet famous," Sherman said. "It was funny."

We all have our brackets and pools (shhh)—I know I am pulling for Oklahoma in mine—but a part of me really want to see Sherman's bracket pan out. 

I am sure there are a few statisticians who would like to see it, too.