Quest for the Perfect Bracket

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Last Updated 9:38 AM, September 02, 2022

Here's when all perfect brackets busted in the 2022 NCAA men's and women's tournaments

It's over! How every last perfect bracket busted in the 2022 NCAA men's tournament
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When every men's and women's NCAA bracket busted in 2022

The quest for a perfect March Madness bracket in 2022 ended before the Sweet 16 in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. Somewhere, Gregg Nigl is smiling. More on him soon.

Here’s what happened in 2022’s quest for perfection in March Madness:

We've followed the quest for a perfect bracket by tracking 25+ million of them in the major men's and women's online games, including the Bracket Challenge on, ESPN and CBS since 2016 using public leaderboards and direct reporting. Prior to 2016, we've relied on those games' reports as well as online archives to get the best information available.

The longest an NCAA men’s March Madness bracket ever stayed verifiably perfect came in 2019 when Gregg Nigl’s “center road” bracket was perfect through the first 49 games of the tournament. The broke the previous record of 39 games, set in 2017. Nigl’s bracket busted in game 50, when No. 3 Purdue beat No. 2 Tennessee 99-94 in overtime of the second game in the Sweet 16.

The odds of picking a perfect bracket are about 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (that’s if you randomly pick each game). Apply a little bracket strategy, like not picking every 16 over a 1, and the odds improve to roughly 1 in 120.2 billion.

10:04 pm, March 20, 2022

Last perfect women's bracket busts as Texas beats Utah

Busted! How it fell apart for perfect brackets in the 2022 NCAA women's basketball tournament

The watch for a perfect women's bracket lasted longer than the men's, but the end has still arrived.

ESPN bracket "Nathan B!!!" started with 35 correct picks in a row, but No. 2 Texas' win against No. 7 Utah ended hopes of a perfect bracket. We have been tracking more than one million brackets in the major online games (Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN and CBS).

There were three brackets remaining after the first round, but No. 10 Creighton stunned No. 2 Iowa and left "Nathan B!!!" all alone. In the first round, upsets by double-digit seeds No. 10 South Dakota, No. 10 Creighton, No. 11 Princeton, No. 11 Villanova, No. 12 Belmont and No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast helped to take out almost all brackets.

The run of 35 was ahead of the men's bracket chase, which ended on Game No. 28 — when No. 11 Iowa State upset No. 6 LSU.

7:06 pm, March 20, 2022

1 perfect women's bracket remains after No. 10 Creighton advances to Sweet 16

Creighton vs. IowaNo. 10 Creighton knocks off No. 2 Iowa

And then there was one. No. 10 Creighton's 64-62 defeat of No. 2 Iowa busts two brackets leaving only one to survive. ESPN user “GO VOLS! GBO!" is the last standing perfect women's bracket. 

Here’s what they picked for the rest of Sunday’s games:

3:48 pm, March 20, 2022

With only 3 perfect women's brackets left, here's who those players picked in Sunday's first four games

Iowa celebratesTwo of the remaining brackets picked No. 2 Iowa to advance past Sunday

Over 1 million women's brackets are down to just three. Two survived from ESPN and one from CBS. As we track the quest for the perfect bracket here's what each challenger picked for Sunday through the first four games:

1. "GO VOLS! GBO!" on ESPN

2. "a new hope (I have the..." on ESPN 

3. "Schon Won" on CBS

4:00 am, March 20, 2022

There are only 3 perfect women's brackets after the first round

No. 11 Villanova upset No. 6 BYU on Saturday

Our perfect bracket watch for the women's tournament will go into the second round. Through 32 games and the first round, there are only three flawless brackets. You can check out all future picks by clicking on each bracket:

That means, out of the more than one million brackets we've been tracking in the major online games (Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN and CBS), only three are 32 for 32.

There are eight games set for Sunday, beginning with No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 10 Creighton. We'll have either two or one final bracket after that, as two picked Iowa and one went with Creighton. The three do have the same picks in the next two games, going with No. 4 Maryland against No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast and No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 8 Miami.

The drop from more than one million to the last three comes after wins from double-digit seeds No. 10 South Dakota, No. 10 Creighton, No. 11 Princeton, No. 11 Villanova, No. 12 Belmont and No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast.

We'll continue perfection watch on Sunday with eight games in the second round:

12:10 am, March 20, 2022

Just 6 perfect women's brackets left after LSU survives, Belmont upsets Oregon

No. 12 Belmont upset No. 5 Oregon on Saturday

Following two thrillers with higher seeds No. 3 LSU and No. 5 Oregon on severe upset alerts — No. 12 Belmont took down the Ducks — only six brackets are still perfect among the major online women's bracket games. We're following more than 1 million brackets on the Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN and CBS.

No. 14 seeds are now 0-112 all-time against No. 3 seeds, though Jackson State rallied from down 17 down in the third quarter to take a 74-64 lead. However, LSU then stormed back to escape 83-77 thanks to Khayla Pointer's 26 points and a clutch 3-pointer late.

Later, Belmont upset Oregon as the Bruins advanced to the second round as a No. 12 seed for the second year in a row. Belmont's Tuti Jones posted 22 points, six rebounds and four steals in the win.

9:56 pm, March 19, 2022

Only 24 perfect women's brackets remain as Princeton shocks Kentucky

No. 11 Princeton upset No. 6 Kentucky on Saturday

No. 11 Princeton's 69-62 upset of No. 6 Kentucky took a big bite out of the perfect brackets, leaving only 24 alive among the major online bracket games: Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN and CBS. We have been tracking more than 1 million brackets across these games.

The Tigers' win dropped the total down to 24 from 81. It also eliminated the final WBCG bracket.

Here's the running counter, through 26 games:

  • ESPN: 15
  • CBS: 9
  • WBCG: 0

We'll see how much longer our remaining flawless brackets can go.

6:02 pm, March 19, 2022

11 perfect brackets are left in the Women's Bracket Challenge game

Kansas State celebratesNo. 9 Kansas St. advances past No. 8 Washington St.

There are 11 remaining perfect brackets in the Bracket Challenge game through mid-afternoon Saturday.

The Kansas St. and Villanova victories knocked the total down from 22 to the current 11.

Here's how the two games busted brackets:

2:34 pm, March 19, 2022

28 perfect women's brackets remain before Saturday's early games


One day into the women's round of 64 and hundreds of thousands of brackets are busted. Only 28 are flawless in our Bracket Challenge Game after No. 3 Iowa State finished off No. 14 UT Arlington.

Here's how the early games could shake up the remaining perfect brackets:

  • If (8) Washington State beats (9) Kansas St. — 6 brackets 
  • If (9) Kansas St. wins — 22 brackets 
  • If (6) BYU defeats (11) Villanova — 15 brackets
  • If (11) Villanova wins — 13 brackets 
  • If Villanova and Washington St. win — 2 brackets 

Click or tap here to check out how your BCG bracket is doing


2:12 am, March 19, 2022

No more perfect men's brackets remain after Iowa State's upset win

No. 11 Iowa State beat No. 6 LSU Friday.No. 11 Iowa State beat No. 6 LSU Friday.

There will be no perfect men's bracket this year.

With No. 11 Iowa State's 59-54 upset win over No. 6 LSU, the final perfect bracket of the 2022 basketball tournament — created by ESPN user "Bekins24" — was busted.

It took 28 games to eliminate the last perfect bracket. Entering Friday, there were 192 perfect brackets across the major games, Men's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, CBS and Yahoo. 

Here's how many perfect brackets remained after each game:

  • No. 7 Ohio State 54, No. 10 Loyola 41 — 91 perfect brackets
  • No. 2 Auburn 80, No. 15 Jacksonville State 61 — 81
  • No. 3 Texas Tech 97, No. 14 Montana State 62 — 63
  • No. 3 Purdue 78, No. 14 Yale 56 — 47
  • No. 2 Villanova 80, No. 15 Delaware 60 — 42
  • No. 10 Miami 68, No. 7 USC 68 — 18
  • No. 11 Notre Dame 78, No. 6 Alabama 64 — 4
  • No. 6 Texas 81, No. 11 Virginia Tech 73 — 2
  • No. 2 Duke 78, No. 15 Cal State Fullerton 61 — 2
  • No. 4 Illinois 54, No. 13 Chattanooga 53 — 1
  • No. 1 Arizona 87, No. 16 Wright State 70 — 1
  • No. 11 Iowa State 59, No. 6 LSU 54 — Zero

This marks the second year in a row the chase for perfection ended on the second day of the first round. But in 2019, Gregg Nigl correctly picked the first 49 games.

3:58 am, March 19, 2022

State of perfect women's brackets after Friday's games

No. 3 Iowa State beat No. 14 UT Arlington Friday.No. 3 Iowa State beat No. 14 UT Arlington Friday.

No. 3 Iowa State rallied to beat No. 14 UT Arlington 78-71 in the final Friday game of the 2022 NCAA women's basketball tournament, saving a good majority of a dwindling field of perfect brackets. UT Arlington was trying to become the first 14 seed to win a game in the women's tournament.

However, four lower seeds — No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, No. 10 South Dakota, No. 10 Creighton and No. 9 Gonzaga — did advance to the second round.

We've been tracking more than one million games from the major online games: Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN and CBS.

After the first 16 games, less than 1 percent of Women's Bracket Challenge Game brackets remain perfect. Here's the percent of perfect WBCG brackets that remained after each of the biggest bracket-busting Friday games:

We'll continue to track the remaining perfect brackets throughout the 2022 NCAA tournament.

How far can the remaining perfect brackets go?

Click of tap here to see how your women's bracket is doing.

1:01 am, March 19, 2022

Only one perfect men's bracket remains

No. 4 Illinois beat No. 13 Chattanooga Friday.

At the opening tip of the first round, there were more than 20 million men’s brackets in the major online games — the Men’s Bracket Challenge Game, CBS, ESPN and Yahoo.

Now, 26 games into the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, just one perfect bracket remains after No. 4 Illinois rallied to beat No. 13 Chattanooga 54-53. Click or tap here to check out the final perfect bracket on ESPN.

There were only 192 brackets across the four major games after Thursday's 16 games thanks to a flurry of upsets and overtime games. Here are the biggest bracket busters which brought us down to one, beginning with the 15-over-2 stunner of Saint Peter's beating Kentucky:

  • No. 15 Saint Peter’s 85, No. 2 Kentucky 79 (OT) — Fewer than 1,000 perfect brackets remained after this one. A 15-over-2 upset had happened just nine other times in NCAA tournament history. Saint Peter’s made it 10. The Peacocks were picked to win the first round in less brackets (3.04 percent) than Kentucky was picked to win the national championships in the Men's Bracket Challenge Game (6.01 percent).
  • No. 7 Ohio State 54, No. 10 Loyola 41 — There were 192 perfect brackets entering Friday. After the first game, only 91 remained.
  • No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 6 Alabama 64 — Notre Dame, less than two days after its double-overtime win over Rutgers in the First Four, beat Alabama and brought the number of perfect brackets from 18 down to four.
  • No. 4 Illinois 54, No. 13 Chattanooga 53 — Illinois' win knocked out the second-to-last perfect bracket.

ESPN user "Bekins24" has the only remaining perfect bracket. Here's who they have through the remainder of Friday's games, along with their Final Four, championship and national champion picks:

Last year, perfect brackets remained into 28 games. In 2019, Gregg Nigl correctly picked the first 49 games.

10:48 pm, March 18, 2022

Here's who the final 2 men's perfect brackets have advancing

No. 6 Texas beat No. 11 Virginia Tech Friday.No. 6 Texas beat No. 11 Virginia Tech Friday.

And then there were two.

Of the more than 20 million combined men's brackets submitted in the the major online games of the Men's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, CBS and Yahoo, only two remain perfect following No. 6 Texas' 81-73 win over No. 11 Virginia Tech.

There are still eight games remaining in Friday's action. Here's who the two remaining perfect brackets, which have agreed through the first 24 games, have winning each game:

  • (4) Illinois vs. (13) Chattanooga — Illinois (one), Chattanooga (one)
  • (2) Duke vs. (15) Cal State Fullerton — Duke (both)
  • (6) LSU vs. (13) Iowa State — LSU (one), Iowa State (one)
  • (1) Arizona vs. (16) Wright State — Arizona (both)
  • (5) Houston vs. (12) UAB — Houston (both)
  • (7) Michigan State vs. (10) Davidson — Michigan State (one), Davidson (one)
  • (3) Wisconsin vs. (14) Colgate — Wisconsin (both)
  • (8) Seton Hall vs. (9) TCU — TCU (both)
10:29 pm, March 18, 2022

Just 4 men's perfect brackets remain following Notre Dame's upset win

No. 11 Notre Dame beat No. 6 Alabama Friday.No. 11 Notre Dame beat No. 6 Alabama Friday.

No. 11 Notre Dame followed up its First Four double overtime victory with a 78-64 victory over No. 6 Alabama in Friday's first round action, bringing the number of men's perfect brackets down to four, all of which are on ESPN.

The last perfect bracket on Yahoo was busted with Notre Dame's victory, the final two perfect brackets in the Men's Bracket Challenge Game were eliminated with No. 11 Miami's win and the final CBS perfect bracket was eliminated following No. 2 Villanova's win.

There are still nine games to go in Friday's first round action.

10:18 pm, March 18, 2022

Top seeds dominate to keep many women’s brackets still alive

Baylor beat Hawaii No. 2 Baylor blows out No. 15 Hawaii

No. 2 seeds Iowa and Baylor both blew out their No. 15 opponents by 40 points. That slightly dropped the Women’s Bracket Challenge perfection percentage to 0.36%. 

The Hawkeyes and Bears are both heavily chosen to make it deep in the tournament. 

Sweet Sixteen — Baylor 94.79%, Iowa 95.40%
Elite 8 — Baylor 87.44%, Iowa 86.93%