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Sam Richmond | | March 19, 2016

Bracket data shows many picked the right upsets

  MTSU pulled off the most stunning upset of the first round with its win over Michigan State.

The first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament was marked by upsets. A whopping 10 double-digit seeds shocked their higher-seeded counterparts on Thursday and Friday, and every underdog seed except for the 16 seed registered a win.

Incredibly enough, fans saw most of these supposed stunners coming, based on data from the Capital One Bracket Challenge Game, the official bracket game of the NCAA.

In nearly every case, the underdog picked most at each seed was the team that advanced.

The 11 seed Gonzaga is a perfect example. That "underdog" by seed was actually picked in 52.48 percent of the brackets, and the Zags rewarded the population's faith with a win over 7-seeded Seton Hall. Northern Iowa (33.76%) and Wichita State (27.78%) were the second and third most popular 11 seeds to win. The 11 seed Michigan, picked by a seed-low 22.3 percent, lost to Notre Dame.

But the correct predictions don’t stop there. Yale was the most chosen 12 seed to advance, Hawaii was the most chosen 13 seed and SFA was the most chosen 14 seed. All three advanced.
Still, it wouldn’t be March Madness if there wasn’t something truly stunning that happened, and Middle Tennessee’s win over Michigan State certainly qualifies. Just 2.13 percent of Bracket Challenge users picked the Blue Raiders to win, making them the least picked 15 seed. The most-picked 15 seed was Weber State over Xavier; 4.89 percent of brackets had that upset selected.

Making Middle Tennessee’s result even more shocking, the Spartans were the second most popular pick to win the national championship, with more than 20 percent of users rolling with Tom Izzo’s squad.   

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