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March Madness Brackets Are Crushed By Kentucky’s Loss To Unheralded Oakland

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March Madness Brackets Are Crushed By Kentucky's Loss To Unheralded Oakland

(CTN News) – In addition to ending a string of winning brackets, Kentucky’s 80-76 loss to Oakland on Thursday night had a much deeper impact. When it comes to the big picture, it has all but destroyed many.

In the Tournament Challenge, 95% of brackets had the third-seeded Wildcats beating the 14th-seeded Golden Grizzlies. Additionally, 74.21% of those polled expected Kentucky to reach the Sweet 16 and 28.84% to reach the Final Four, with 6.5% expecting Kentucky to win the national championship.

By the end of the first day of the NCAA Tournament, only 1,825 brackets were left on ESPN after Kentucky was eliminated.

Only 0.005% of brackets were correct, according to March Madness Live, the NCAA’s official website. With 0.09% of viewers watching the last game of the day, CBS had a 0.09% audience share.

Consequently, Mississippi State and BYU suffered substantial losses as well. Each school advanced past the first round of the NCAA tournament based on over 9 million ESPN brackets. In the game between Mississippi State and Michigan State, Mississippi State lost 69-51, while BYU lost 71-67.

This year’s brackets totaled 22.6 million, up 15% from last year.

There were 32.3% brackets on CBS that had UConn as the champion, by far the most popular choice. Taking second place was Purdue with 12.3%, followed by Houston with 11.9% and North Carolina with 8.9%.

Four No. 1 seeds are likely to make it to the Final Four, with a 3.8% chance of doing so, based on the brackets. In the West Region, Arizona is next closest at 2% in place of No. 2 seed North Carolina.

At 14%, New Mexico, champion of the Mountain West tournament, was the most popular double-digit pick to advance to the Sweet 16. Additionally, UConn led the ESPN Tournament Challenge with 24.7%, followed by Houston with 13.6%, and Purdue with 10.1%.

According to Sheldon Jacobson, who runs the BracketOdds website, most people fill out their brackets incorrectly. A first round game is chosen, followed by a championship game.

Build your bracket by picking the best team in each region,” Jacobson said. When you do that, you’re actually eliminating some of the risk of making mistakes in other areas of the bracket. “Our research paper showed that this is very counterintuitive.”


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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