All good things must come to an end — especially when it comes to perfect brackets.
Still, it was an unbelievable record run for the bracket entitled “Dario’s Delinquents” in the Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em contest. The entry picked the first 39 games correctly to earn the longest perfect streak to start a tournament in Yahoo’s 19-year history of hosting the event.
It was also longest perfect streak of any of the major online bracket games this year.
The bracket’s lone blemish over 40 games was picking Iowa State to beat Purdue in Saturday’s final contest. Though Iowa State mounted a furious comeback in the second half, the Cyclones could not finish and Dario was credited with its first and only misstep in three full days of action.
The previous Yahoo Sports record was held by Brad Binder, an Illinois native who correctly picked the first 36 games of the 2014 NCAA tournament.
A record 36 entries survived this year’s first round without an incorrect pick, a number that was quickly whittled down to 14 when West Virginia beat Notre Dame in Saturday’s first game. Of those 14 picks, only one entry picked eighth-seeded Wisconsin to beat top-seeded Villanova in the day’s second game.
The Wisconsin pick, however, proved to be singularly prescient as the Badgers’ upset left the bracket alone at the top. With 34 games successfully picked, the entry kept correctly mowing teams down. Gonzaga (35) held off Northwestern. Eleventh-seeded Xavier (36) shocked third-seeded Florida State. Butler (37), Arizona (38) and Florida (39) followed suit.
But it wasn’t to be. As the night came to a close, Purdue drew the first red line on an otherwise pristine bracket.
The entry’s attention will now turn toward the tournament’s final 23 games and whether or not it can correctly predict the Final Four (it has Wisconsin, Kentucky, Arizona and Kansas with UW beating UK in the final). But regardless of whether it does, it seems safe to say it owns a record that will stand for some time.