Men’s Tournament Challenge on Only 612 Brackets Out of 11.01 Million Correctly Picked the Final Four

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Men’s Tournament Challenge on Only 612 Brackets Out of 11.01 Million Correctly Picked the Final Four

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Only 4.3% of Brackets Picked North Carolina and Maryland to Advance to the Elite Eight in Women’s Tournament Challenge

ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge’s Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by Acura and Allstate revealed only 612 brackets out of more than 11.01 million correctly picked all four Final Four teams in the tournament, while 28.5% of all brackets went 0 for 4.  Additionally, only 8 brackets correctly picked every Elite Eight team.  An analysis of all brackets submitted also reveals:

  • No. 8 Kentucky upsets no. 4 Louisville, no. 2 Michigan
    • Only 7.8% of brackets had the Wildcats advancing to the Elite Eight and 3.3% to the Final Four
    • Kentucky busted 9.4% of brackets that had Louisville winning it all (the third most popular pick) and 3.7% that had Michigan
  • No. 7 Connecticut survives and advances over no. 3 Iowa State, no. 4 Michigan State
    • Just 5.9% of brackets correctly predicted Connecticut to advance to the Elite Eight and 1.3% to make it to the Final Four
    • The Huskies busted 14.6% of brackets that picked Michigan State to win it all (the second most popular pick), including President Obama’s
  • No. 2 Wisconsin moves on past no. 6 Baylor, no. 1 Arizona
    • Of the 36.3% of brackets that predicted a Wisconsin-Arizona Elite Eight game, only 32.6% of them correctly picked Wisconsin to advance to the Final Four
    • The Badgers busted 7.9% of brackets that picked Arizona to win it all (the fourth most popular pick)
  • No. 1 Florida defeats no. 4 UCLA, ends no. 11 Cinderella team Dayton’s run
    • Of the 44,397 brackets that predicted Florida vs. Dayton in the Elite Eight, 86.4% of them correctly picked the Gators to win
    • Florida is the most popular pick to win it all with 27.1% of brackets

Looking ahead to the Final Four and Championship, FiveThirtyEight’s NCAA Tournament predictions reveal:

  • Florida vs. Connecticut – The Gators are the favorite with a 70% chance of advancing to the championship game and a 38% chance of winning it all
  • Wisconsin vs. Kentucky – It will be a close match-up between the Badgers and Wildcats, with an edge to Wisconsin with a 58% chance of advancing and a 31% chance to win it all

Fans submitted more than 11.01 million brackets to’s Men’s Tournament Challenge, an all-time record high surpassing last year’s record of nearly 8.15 million brackets by 35.1 percent.  At the peak period, fans registered 11,983 brackets per minute (199 brackets per second).  Among them was President Barack Obama, who currently sits in the 73.8th percentile with a rank of 2,887,201 in the men’s tournament.  However, the president’s bracket is officially busted after Connecticut knocked off Michigan State, the team he predicted to win it all.

From Thursday-Sunday during the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight, Men’s Tournament Challenge and NCAA Men’s Basketball content on across desktop, mobile Web and the ESPN Tournament Challenge and SportsCenter apps logged an average minute audience of 82,000, up 4 percent compared to the same time period last year.  Across platforms, there were more than 2.6 million unique visitors per day to Men’s Tournament Challenge (up 21 percent) and 6.2 million unique visitors per day to the NCAA Men’s Basketball section across, mobile web, and the SportsCenter app (up 4 percent).

A full round-by-round breakdown of picks can be found under “Who Picked Whom” on, listing the percentage of participants who selected each team to win in each respective round.  At the end of the tournament, all Men’s Tournament Challenge entries that finish in the top 1% are entered in a random drawing for the $10,000 Best Buy Gift Card prize.

ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge

The Women’s Tournament Challenge presented by Capital One on showed that through the Round of 32 and Sweet Sixteen:

  • Only 4.3% of brackets correctly picked both no. 4 seeded teams North Carolina and Maryland to advance to the Elite Eight
  • Just 2.8% of brackets accurately predicted no. 12 BYU to move onto the Sweet Sixteen
  • 4.8% of brackets had DePaul advancing from the Round of 32
  • LSU was picked by 12.2% of brackets to make it to the Sweet Sixteen

President Obama’s women’s bracket correctly predicted all but one Elite Eight team, missing only Maryland.  His Final Four picks – Connecticut, Stanford, Notre Dame and Louisville – are still in play and his bracket currently sits in the 97.7th percentile.

Entries that finish in the top 1% of the Women’s Tournament Challenge are entered in a random drawing for a $5,000 Best Buy Gift Card

2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament Across ESPN Digital Platforms

FiveThirtyEight founder and editor-in-chief Nate Silver will update his interactive bracket throughout the tournament, calculating the probability of each team’s chances of winning its next game and of going on to win the tournament.  Probabilities will be updated at the conclusion of each game.  He will also write periodic blog updates throughout the tournament.  The newly expanded site will also deliver other data-driven stories tied to brackets from other contributors including Carl Bialik (senior writer, news), Roger Pielke Jr. (contributor) and others. will provide complete coverage of the men’s tournament from Selection Sunday through the Final Four. The lineup of experts and analysts includes Andrea Adelson, Eamonn Brennan, C.L. Brown, Kieran Darcy, Chantel Jennings, Andy Katz, Joe Lunardi, Myron Medcalf, Dana O’Neil, Rick Reilly, Adam Rittenberg, Mitch Sherman, Jake Trotter and Austin Ward, as well as ESPN Insiders Jeff Goodman and John Gasaway.  Collectively, they will break down the brackets and provide analysis, commentary and features.  Additionally,’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) will be available for fans to reference the latest power rankings by team to assist in their bracket picks. will also provide news, analysis and commentary throughout the women’s tournament, from Selection Monday through the Women’s Final Four in Nashville, Tenn. Columnists will provide live coverage of each round of games from coast to coast, with regular video highlights of the matchups. Other plans include contributions from ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo, the continued coverage of five top players in ESPN’s Need to Know initiative, stats, analysis and stories on other players to watch. Tourney Snapshots, which includes team- and fan-submitted social media photos and video with behind-the-scenes access to teams, players and coaches, will return for the second consecutive season.  The staff at and a handful of WNBA players will also face off in a Women’s Tournament Challenge group.

ESPN Mobile will also carry complete coverage from writers and analysts, keeping fans up to date on the latest news and highlights on mobile devices via a special section on the ESPN mobile Web.  Additionally, fans can keep track of their brackets while on the go with the free-to-download ESPN Tournament Challenge app is now available in the App Store and Google Play.  The app features full access to brackets with personalized “My Bracket” and “Live Bracket” sections displaying scores and schedules during the tournament.  Fans can also sign up for ESPN Alerts to receive real-time information on the game (scores, starts, etc.), breaking news, upsets and more.



Kristie Adler

Kristie is Director of Communications. She graduated from Penn State University and is based in New York City.
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