NCAA tournament: Millions of brackets busted in less than five hours

Jay Hart
The Dagger
SMU's Ryan Manuel sits on the court after being upset by UCLA. (USAT)
SMU's Ryan Manuel sits on the court after being upset by UCLA. (USAT)

The 2015 NCAA tournament kicked off at 12:15 p.m. ET, with millions of perfect brackets. By 5:20, just 2,643 remained in Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick'em game.

It all started with UAB, the 14 seed in the South Region, stunning No. 3 seeded Iowa St. That wiped out 96 percent of Yahoo Sports brackets, 16 percent of which had ISU going all the way to the Final Four.

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About an hour later, 14th-seeded Georgia St. and their jumping-bean coach sent third-seeded Baylor packing with a 3-pointer R.J. Hunter will never forget. Ninety-three percent of Yahoo users had Baylor advancing to the second round, and with that just 10,637 perfect brackets remained.

Then came UCLA, an 11 seed going up against sixth-seeded SMU. The Bruins eked out a 1-point win thanks to a controversial goaltending call – on a 3-pointer! – with only 11 seconds remaining. Sixty-eight percent had SMU winning that one.

Another 8,000 bit the dust, whittling the number of perfect brackets down to 2,643. And the evening sessions hadn't even begun – as those results start filed in, the number dwindled down to 966. By the end of the night, just 65 perfect brackets remained, though not all of those have a chance to remain perfect. Why? Here's that story.

And by Friday afternoon, the number was down to just 2 (though one of those is incomplete).

How big was the upset of Iowa St., which many experts had advancing far into the tournament?

Not as big as Mercer beating Duke last year (97.6 percent of Yahoo Sports users picked wrong in that one) or Florida Gulf Coast – remember the Eagles? – over Georgetown in 2013 (98.1 percent).

But the biggest upset of late – Lehigh over Duke in 2012, when 98.8 percent of Yahoo Sports brackets had the Blue Devils advancing.

We'll update the carnage as it continues. In the meantime, enjoy your Big Gulp.

 

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