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Autistic teen has perfect NCAA tourney bracket … your picks still suck

Mar 23, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

So how are your brackets doing? (Put down the gun. Seriously, it’s only a game). You may not be in the mood to hear this right now, but Alex Herrman, a 17-year-old from the Chicago area, has picked every game correctly so far on his CBS Bracket Challenge entry. Forty-eight winners, including Northern Iowa over Kansas, Ohio over Georgetown and Cornell over Wisconsin. And, um, Purdue over Siena, which somehow tripped me up.
Herrman, who has autism, says that he studied all season for the tournament … but unfortunately entered one of the only online pools that doesn’t have a prize. Yahoo offers $1 million for a perfect bracket; SportsBook.com offers $13 million. Shenanigans?
Video, and Alex’s bracket, following the jump.


From NBC Chicago:

CBS did not return several phone calls to confirm Alex’s entry — and the software does allow changes after the tournament begins. But the Hermann’s insisted that they filled out their brackets as a family before the tournament started, and haven’t touched the picks since.

Here’s his bracket.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

“I’m good at math,” Alex, a Glenbrook South High School student, said. “I’m kind of good at math and at stats I see on TV during the game.”

Alex entered the bracket on CBSsports.com’s bracket challenge. His 24-year-old brother Andrew, who helped him enter his picks into CBS’ bracket manager, also entered the contest — and ranks behind 500,000 other people.

“My bracket is totally shot,” hist 24-year-old brother Andrew said. “So is everyone else I know.”

ESPN estimates around 4.78 million played in their bracket challenge, but no one picked all the games correctly. The leader at ESPN’s bracket has already missed four games.

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Autistic Teen Picks First Two NCAA Rounds Perfectly [NBC Chicago]

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Jennifer - Mar 25, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    I’m a little confused about the comments that say kids with autism can’t lie. . . I’m a special education teacher and have experience working with children with autism. I have never heard that claim. And yes, I have heard my students with autism lie. Not to mention, there is a comment from someone with autism who even admits he does lie at times.
    That being said, who cares in the end if the kid has changed his picks or not? Stop focusing on something so minor and find something more important to worry about.
    Kudos to Alex! I had a student last year with autism who could tell you every player in the NBA, where they went to college and high school and what their high scores were. I currently have a student who knows more about history than most textbooks. These people are amazingly bright and deserved to be recognized!

  2. Anonymous - Mar 25, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    you just lost, rain man.

  3. WVUfan - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    Glad to see Washington playing up to you’re standards. WVU is the best team in the country. You will see when we beat Kentucky on Saturday.

  4. WVUfan - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Just to inform everyone, the kid’s bracket is no longer perfect. He picked Syracuse to beat Butler. I respect the kid’s disability and truely hope he got this far honestly. I do, however think his parents should get together with balloon boy’s parents. Just another way for a parent to exploit their child in an attempt to get famous.

  5. WVUfan - Mar 25, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    One other key flaw in the story is the reason the kid gives for picking teams. He states he has studied all year and is good with math and statistics. Math has nothing to do with picking games. How could he use math to predict injuries to Kalin Lucas, Darryl Bryant, Arinze Onuaku, et al. Even if he did create a formula to factor in injuries, why would he then pick Purdue to win. Wouldn’t the injury to Robbie Hummel apply to this theory as well?

  6. Unknown - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Well his Bracket isn’t Perfect anymore.

  7. Tyler - Mar 26, 2010 at 6:23 AM

    you cant change them on cbs after youve submited them its online retard how bout you acually get your facts strait before you start talking crap about an autistic kid

  8. bracketman - Mar 26, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    I just created a bracket on CBSsports.com. It shows I have a perfect bracket so far. The way to tell to find out when the person last printed it is by the green text. When I printed my bracket, I had all green text up to Butler, Kansas St, etc. When looking at the kids bracket, the first two rounds are green, so he printed it after he was able to change the values. I can still go in and change the values of games that happened, since I am the Bracket Manager of my Bracket pool. If he was a bracket manager, he could have changed it at any time.

  9. 2nd Balloon Boy? - Mar 26, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Clearly you and your fellow left-wing loons:
    A. Don’t know how to read
    B. Owe Dischmount an apology
    C. Don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”
    D. All of the above
    Answer: D

  10. 2nd Balloon Boy? - Mar 26, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Seriously? “Who cares if the kid changed his picks?”
    And you’re supposed to be a teacher?
    This is what’s wrong with this country.
    Go ahead and lie to the world, kid. Teacher says it’s OK.
    Parents, you want to make your family famous? Just make up a story. Doesn’t matter if it’s true. As long as you can sell it to the gullible media, it’s all good. Teacher says so.
    “Kudos to Alex!” Way to go! You get an A in Dishonesty, and an A+ in Deception. Who cares? Teacher says so.

  11. Mappy - Mar 26, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Its Friday Dischmount…cheer up :-)

  12. J - Mar 26, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    Dismount is a HATER!!! Way to go kid!!

  13. Nathan Hull - Mar 27, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    These comments are insane but sadly they seem to be a fair representation of our society. The part about being a republican, fraternity fag or greedy stock broker really shows the level of ignorance in society. People that are conservative (republicans), successful (greedy stock brokers) and educated (fraternity fag) are looked upon as the enemy or the bad guy. How can being called these things be consideed insulting. Only inferior people with no accomplishments or even desire for accomplishments could make such statements. If the person that made these comments is actually mentally challenged, I am sorry, but if you aren’t then you should really consider seeking some professional help. But I know how scary that would be to go to one of those greedy republican fraternity fags. Get a grip people.

  14. Dischmount - Mar 27, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Here it is Saturday night and the Alex will have at best 1 of the final 4. Isn’t it amazing how someone could be so brilliant–48-0–when no one could see his picks, and then so ordinary once the picks became known to the public. Hello balloon boy (but I don’t blame Alex; it is his brother and parents).

  15. Antony - Mar 28, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Why so negective, ohh yea cause your brackets are like Paul Pierce.
    Don’t be a hater, or are you losing your pool at work. Just get over your self someone was watching his brackets, because if you think about it someone had to contact Espn and all those sport reporters and I’m sure it wasn’t Alex. So have a positive look at things and be happy for a person can do something well, even if it is better than yourself. We need help, no type of fgairness, telling the kid he is lying. If you have proof of the child lying then bring it forward, if not shout your mouth,”if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.”
    Good going Alex, you are truly gifted. I have an old friend, that used to bet on Proline in Canada and he won for 90% of the MLB Season in 1992, no less than 9 games a day did he bet and knew the spreads(how he knew I have know idea and would win. If you weren’t there did it really happen, for all you negective Nancy’s I was threr so it did happen.

  16. Dischmount - Mar 28, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    The final verdict is on Alex. After going 48-0 (not), he went 5-7 this weekend; and since he has 0 teams in the final 4, he will end up going 5-10 from the time when his picks became public. That should be more than enough to show how legit. that 48-0 was.

  17. pplRinhernetly STUPID - Mar 31, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    What does anyone’s political alignment haveto do with brecketology or the question of authenticity of the bracket Also, It’s a broad and foolish generalization to state that no autistic people are capable of telling a lie. Even Mr. Autistic (who claims to be autistic himself) stated that neither he or his son lie, much. “Much” is rather operative in the statement now isn’t it. As for the rest of the story I’m going to be the middle-of-the-road person that agrees the article sounds like the bracket he posted to does allow for changes after the tournament starts which makes all the people calling names because others question that he might have changed it along the way seem kinda foolish for not reading along with the rest of us. However, I have not seen the bracket in question and cannot confirm or deny the rules of the bracket. It is typical, in my experience, that a bracket that allows changes does not usually allow changes of games in progress or completed… only games to come and it serves to allow people to get back on track after an upset. If such is not the case then the bracket seems fail to begin with.

  18. usernamegeneric - Apr 6, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    its jerks like you who screw it up for everybody else.
    being a **** is not a virtue.
    its not as if this is some vegas scumbag, its a kid.
    a kid with autism at that.

  19. usernamegeneric - Apr 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    no evidence. speculation.
    basically you have a jerk who couldnt get any picks right
    and is mad and jealous a kid is eating his lunch.
    there is no reason to believe this kid changed anything after the fact. shut up.

  20. bobthebuilder - Apr 14, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    Dischmount, Sounds like someone is jealous.

  21. Teenage Autism - Aug 18, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Autism is a serious problem related with learning disability. Many children and teenagers are suffering from learning disabilities such as reading, writing and non verbal. Autistic teens suffer various social problems in life. For dealing with autism problems clinics offer effective treatments for kids. Residential treatment centers recommend medication, non medication, counseling and therapy treatments for children.