The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Your NCAA tournament bracket is probably busted

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Yeah, yeah, we know: Your NCAA tournament bracket is a mess. So is everyone else’s. Only 0.1 percent of the contestants in ESPN’s bracket challenge picked all 16 games correctly on Thursday.

There are far more perfect first-day brackets at ESPN this year than last, when the first day of the NCAA tournament was bugnuts crazy. Last year, only 273 out of 11.57 million entries were perfect after the first round (0.002 percent). In 2014, 18,471 out of approximately 11 million entries were perfect (0.2 percent).

Friday’s NCAA tournament schedule

Another 182,678 of this year’s ESPN entries got 15 of 16 games right (1.4 percent). Seven entries got zero games correct. Those people should win something, no?

Yahoo’s bracket challenge is showing similar results, with 94 percent of the brackets imperfect after the afternoon games and 99.999 percent imperfect when the final buzzer sounded on the night session. Yahoo’s contestants were ever so slightly more prescient than ESPN’s, however, with a 0.129 percent perfection rate compared with a 0.112 percent clip for ESPN.

The chances of all those perfect brackets remaining pristine are just about nil. There has been exactly one perfect first-round bracket in the 17 years of Yahoo’s bracket challenge, with Brad Binder going 32 for 32 in 2014. Last year, a contestant in ESPN’s bracket challenge picked all 32 first-round games correctly, the first time that happened since at least 2010.

As for the picker-in-chief, President Obama was a solid-enough 12-4 on the tournament’s first day, getting burned by Arizona, Purdue, Seton Hall and Baylor in his rather chalky Thursday picks. He stands in 3,351,955th place in ESPN’s bracket challenge. ESPN’s Mike Greenberg leads the celebrity pack at ESPN, picking 15 of 16 games correctly Thursday (his only misfire was Purdue).

More on March Madness:

Missed Thursday’s first-round games? Get up to speed here.

How to watch Friday’s NCAA tournament games on TV, online

The first day of the NCAA tournament belonged to seniors

Loading...