Are any NCAA Tournament brackets not busted?
By Steve DelVecchio
We should have seen this coming. As soon as No. 14 UAB shocked No. 3 seed Iowa State in one of the earliest games of the NCAA Tournament, it became evident that March Madness would be living up to its name yet again. Things have only gotten crazier since.
Iowa State was a favorite among both analysts and casual fans to go deep into the tournament. After the Cyclones lost in one of The Dance’s first games, 15 percent of the people who filled out brackets with Yahoo Sports lost a Final Four team. Three of Yahoo’s four experts picked the Cyclones to reach the Final Four, and two of them had Iowa State penciled into the national championship game.
And it wasn’t just the experts who took a beating. After Iowa pummeled Davidson on Friday, the last two remaining perfect brackets that were filled out on Yahoo Sports were no longer perfect. The Iowa-Davidson game was the 27th game of the tournament. ESPN users got a bit deeper, with the last perfect bracket falling when No. 2 Arizona beat No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday.
So the perfect brackets, at least through Yahoo Sports and ESPN, are finished. While those savvy selectors are likely still feeling good about their picks, millions of others have seen their brackets fill up with more red writing as each hour passes.
On Saturday, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that only 4.9 percent of ESPN brackets had correctly predicted the first three games of the day. It surely didn’t help that No. 11 UCLA and No. 14 UAB – two teams that most people had losing in the Round of 64 – were the first to tip off. Later that night, an astonishing 33 percent of Yahoo Sports users lost a Final Four team when No. 1 seed Villanova was stunned by NC State.
It didn’t get any easier on Sunday. With every Yahoo and ESPN bracket already having at least one red line through it, No. 7 Michigan State kicked off the day’s action by taking down No. 2 Virginia. The Cavaliers were picked by 32.6 percent of ESPN users to make the Final Four, 15 percent to reach the championship game and 3.4 percent to win it all. Wichita State, another No. 7 seed, later continued the trend by beating in-state rival Kansas, though a closer look at the numbers will tell you that one wasn’t all that wild of an upset. The Shockers’ greatest achievement may have been the comment that coach Gregg Marshall’s wife made during the game.
Where does that leave us? Let’s just say only .0001 percent of the 11.57 million ESPN brackets – or 14 brackets – have every Sweet 16 team correct. Those 14 people may not have brackets that are totally busted, but there’s a good chance yours has already gone up in flames. Don’t worry, you’re in good company.
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