What’s it like to be perfect?
Three players in Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em will be able to tell you for at least a little while longer. Of the millions who entered a bracket on the site for this year’s tournament, they’re the only ones who correctly predicted all 32 first-round games.
According to our records, this marks only the third time in 20 years that participants in Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em have recorded a perfect first round. A record 36 players reached the second round unscathed in 2017 while a single player did the same in 2014’s contest.
This year, those players will welcome “Zion’s Shoe,” “Court Stormers” and “wilsoc05’s Expert Bracket” to the perfect fold.
The first round didn’t feature any singular stunning upset, but perfect participants had to correctly pick a handful of double-digit seeds. A lot of luck was involved. To stay perfect, one had to pick one 13 seed (UC Irvine) three of the four 12 seeds (Murray State, Liberty and Oregon), one 11 seed (Ohio State) and three of the four 10 seeds (Florida, Iowa, Minnesota).
Of course, the players are just only halfway home with 31 more games needing correct predictions. Daniel Wilco of NCAA.com estimates the odds of filling out a perfect bracket as one in 9.2 quintillion.
While only three perfect brackets remain in Yahoo Sports, few have been truly busted and most pools should still feel like anyone’s game.
Fifteen of the 16 teams most often picked to reach the Sweet 16 are still alive with only K-State headed home after their loss to UC Irvine. Meanwhile, the 16 most popular picks for both the Elite Eight and Final Four still have a chance.
Perhaps Saturday and Sunday’s second round will bring some chaos, but for now our three perfect players can revel in a strikethrough-free sheet.