How Fans Have Fared So Far in the ESPN Men’s and Women’s Tournament Challenge
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Through the first two rounds of this year’s NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, the brackets in ESPN.com’s ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by State Farm and Sprint show that there are no “perfect” brackets remaining, and only four brackets picked 15 of the Sweet Sixteen teams. An analysis of the 5.4 million entries submitted also reveals:
- 727,674 (15.2%) entries predicted the remaining top-seeded teams – Kentucky, Syracuse and Duke – advancing to the Final Four;
- 112,427 (2.4%) entries predicted Ohio to defeat Georgetown in the First Round;
- 37,348 (0.8%) entries predicted Northern Iowa to defeat Kansas in the Second Round;
- 556,261 (11.6%) entries predicted Ohio State to advance to the Elite Eight;
- 5,720 (0.1%) entries predicted that Northern Iowa will advance to the Final Four;
- 476,801 (10%) entries predicted Cornell to defeat Wisconsin in the Second Round;
- 373,314 (7.8%) entries predicted West Virginia and Washington to meet in the Sweet Sixteen;
- 28,242 (0.6%) entries predicted Cornell advancing to the Elite Eight;
- 190,094 (4%) entries predicted Butler to defeat Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen;
- 1,389,832 (29.1%) entries predicted Kansas State to advance to the Final Four;
- 1,163,826 (24.4%) entries predicted Duke to defeat Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen;
- 21,591 (0.5%) entries predicted Saint Mary’s to advance to the Elite Eight;
- 697,456 (14.6%) entries predicted Baylor to advance to the Final Four
The Men’s Tournament Challenge “National Bracket” — reflecting the percentage of people picking each matchup throughout the Men’s Tournament — showed that more fans picked Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and Syracuse to reach the Final Four than any other teams. In those predicted games (Kansas vs. Syracuse, Kentucky vs. Duke):
- Kansas was picked to defeat Syracuse 76.4 percent of the time;
- Kentucky was picked to defeat Duke 73.2 percent of the time;
- Fans picked Kansas to defeat Kentucky in the national championship game 65.9 percent of the time.
The nearly 5.4 million entries to the Men’s Tournament Challenge surpassed last year’s record of 5 million entries by 8 percent. At the peak period, fans registered nearly 4,000 entries per minute (approximately 70 entries per second).
The Women’s Tournament Challenge “National Bracket” showed more fans picked Connecticut, Stanford, Tennessee and Nebraska to reach the Final Four than any other teams. After the First Round, zero “perfect” brackets remain but eight entries are tied for the lead with 31 of 32 picks. The biggest First Round bracket buster was San Diego State, where 88.4 percent of all entries had Texas to win that game.
Among the entries in Tournament Challenge this year was President Barack Obama, who current sits in the 92nd percentile with a rank of 341,262 in the Men’s Tournament. However, only five of his Elite 8 choices are remaining. Last year, the President correctly picked North Carolina to win the Tournament. His bracket ranked 903,125 overall, just above the 80th percentile in the ESPN Tournament Challenge. Of the total entries for the ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge presented by Capital One, the President’s bracket currently sits within the 44th percentile with a rank of 106,679 overall.
At the end of the Tournament, the Men’s Tournament Challenge entrant with the most points wins $10,000. The runner up wins $5,000. The Women’s Tournament Challenge winner will receive 3,000 ESPN Winner’s Circle points, which are redeemable for prizes on the ESPN Winner’s Circle Web site.