ESPN Sets New All-Time Tournament Challenge Record: 11.57 Million Brackets Submitted

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ESPN Sets New All-Time Tournament Challenge Record: 11.57 Million Brackets Submitted

ESPN fans’ “National Bracket” predicts No. 1 Seeds Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke, and No. 2 Seed Virginia to reach Final Four; Kentucky picked most to win national title.

Fans submitted 11.57 million brackets to’s annual Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by Acura, Allstate and Microsoft, a new all-time mark that surpasses last year’s record of 11.01 million brackets. At the peak period of entries, fans registered 7,791 brackets per minute (129 brackets per second). From Selection Sunday through Wednesday, Men’s Tournament Challenge and the NCAA Men’s Basketball section on – across desktop, mobile Web and the ESPN Tournament Challenge and ESPN apps – logged an average minute audience of 74,000, up 29 percent compared to the same time period last year. Across platforms, there were 4.5 million unique visitors per day to Men’s Tournament Challenge (up 48 percent) and 5.9 million unique visitors per day to the NCAA Men’s Basketball section.

The Men’s Tournament Challenge “National Bracket” – which reflects the percentage of fans picking each match-up throughout the men’s tournament – showed that more people picked Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke, and Virginia to reach the Final Four than any other teams.

An analysis of National Bracket picks for the Round of 64 finds:
• No. 9 Purdue vs. No. 8 Cincinnati is the closest matchup in the round (53 percent to 47 percent)
• 98.5 percent of brackets picked Kentucky over Hampton, the largest of any matchup in any round
• No. 10 Ohio State over No. 7 VCU is the most picked upset (57 percent to 43 percent)

Among other National Bracket predictions:
• No. 3 Notre Dame is picked to beat No. 2 Kansas in the Sweet 16 (63 percent to 37 percent)
• No. 2 Virginia is picked to beat No. 1 Villanova in the Elite Eight (52 percent to 48 percent)
• No. 1 Kentucky is picked to beat No. 1 Duke in the Final Game (84 percent to 16 percent)

A full round-by-round breakdown of picks can be found under “Who Picked Whom” on, which lists 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 finishing in the top 1 percent will be entered in a random drawing to win a trip for two to the 2015 Maui Invitational and a $20,000 Best Buy Gift Card prize.

The Women’s Tournament Challenge presented by Capital One will be accepting entries until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Friday, March 20. Entries that finish in the top 1 percent of the Women’s Tournament Challenge will be entered in a random drawing for a $5,000 Best Buy Gift Card.

Coverage of Both Tournaments Across ESPN Digital Platforms will provide complete coverage of the men’s tournament through the Final Four. The lineup of experts and analysts includes Andrea Adelson, Brian Bennett, Eamonn Brennan, C.L. Brown, Chantel Jennings, Andy Katz, Joe Lunardi, Myron Medcalf, Ian O’Connor, Dana O’Neil, Kevin Pelton, Mitch Sherman and Austin Ward, as well as ESPN Insiders Jay Bilas, Jeff Goodman and John Gasaway. Collectively, they will break down the brackets and provide analysis, commentary and features. will also provide news, analysis and commentary throughout the women’s tournament, including the Women’s Final Four in Tampa, FL., on ESPN. 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 ESPN’s 3 to See and Need to Know initiatives, 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 third consecutive season.

Additionally, fans can keep track of their brackets while on the go with the new ESPN Tournament Challenge app on iOS or Android. The updated app features an all-new Bracketcast, which dynamically tracks the impact of specific games on a bracket, as well as the personalized “My Bracket” and “Live Bracket” sections that display scores and schedules during the tournament.


Media Contacts:
Kevin Ota, ESPN 860.766.9581 or [email protected]
Kristie Chong Adler, ESPN 646.547.5637 or [email protected]

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