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March Madness brackets bust after numerous first-round upsets in men’s tournament

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More than 31 million bracket entries for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament were made this year. 

But after the first round, no perfect brackets remain.

Upsets by double-digit teams headlined this year’s tournament. During the first series of games on Thursday, upsets by Oakland and Duquesne crushed the majority of brackets, leaving just 2,100 remaining by the following morning.

On Friday, those numbers were cut down even further with Northwestern’s overtime win over Florida Atlantic bringing that number down to 1,000. 

Yale’s shocking upset over Auburn and Colorado’s win over Florida contributed to the demise of even more entries, with the total remaining at 23. 

Yale fan banner

By Friday evening, only one remained, with No.12 seed James Madison topping No. 5 Wisconsin with a 72-61 win. 


According to the NCAA website, an entry named “MedalStick 84’s Picks 7” was the last one standing but had No. 9 TCU advancing to the second round. 

A loss to Utah State would end it there. 

The 31 million entries were made across major platforms, including ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, which had more than 22 million entries. 

Northwestern going crazy

According to the NCAA website, the women’s brackets are following a similar fate. Of the four million entries, fewer than 20,000 perfect brackets remain after the first day of first-round matchups. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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