Jasper Teen Has Best Bracket in Country


NCAA brackets are filled out at work, with friends and even in some classrooms. There’s one Tri-State teen who has the best bracket in the country. 

17-year-old Rebecca Gentry isn’t really a sports fan. She says she’d rather read or watch Netflix. But after her English literature teacher asked the class to fill out a bracket, she thought she’d go ahead and do it. She says she never expected this outcome.

Rebecca Gentry never thought this was something she would excel at.

“I like the sport, but I’ll never be the definition of a basketball fan,” Gentry said. 

But for extra credit, she thought she’d give it a go. 

“My classmates, most of them, are coming up to me and they’re like you’re a celebrity now Rebecca and I’m like, ‘Don’t say that, I’m not a celebrity,'” Gentry said. 

All Gentry had to do was fill out 63 spaces on her NCAA bracket. In the first round, she picked Middle Tennessee over Michigan State and Stephen F. Austin over West Virginia. She picked the Sweet Sixteen correctly. She got all the Elite Eight right and even the Final Four. 

She says in the two days she had to work on her bracket, every pick was merely a guess.

“Everybody’s like so how many mistakes do you got?” Gentry said. “Everybody was saying like 25 or 30. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, did I really screw up? Did I do this bracket wrong? Should there be more mistakes?'”

In the two and a half weeks of madness, she says she’s only watched one game.

“One person would be up and then they would be down and it was like a mix of emotions and ultimately they lost,” Gentry said. “My bracket was okay, but I’m just like, ‘Is that was basketball fans go through every single day?'”

As of now, Gentry says shes only got three games wrong. This puts her bracket first in her class and maybe first in the country.

“I’m just somebody that got really lucky,” she said. 

“It’s kind of neat that out of the blue she picks the best bracket in the nation,” Rebecca’s mom Megan Cater said.

While Gentry says she doesn’t plan to fill out another bracket next year, she says this year she’s glad she’s getting one thing out of it, even if it’s not the $50,000 grand prize some websites offer.

“I’m going to get free donuts from Mr. Hohl, so we’re good to go,” she said. 

Gentry is graduating from Jasper High School in December. She says she hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.

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