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Brian Mull | | March 18, 2017

March Madness: 19 brackets just miss perfection in first round

UNI vs. UT: P. Jesperson replays

Despite a crazy Friday in the NCAA tournament, 19 people still picked 31 of 32 games correctly through the end of the first round.

That’s 19 people out of the many, many millions who filled out brackets at's Capital One March Madness Bracket Challenge and games at ESPN, Yahoo and Bleacher Report. Nobody at these game or the CBS bracket game made it through the first round perfect.


And it’s rather impressive considering the rash of upsets Friday - including in the East Region where No. 14 Stephen F. Austin handled No. 3 West Virginia and in the West where Paul Jesperson made NCAA tournament history by banking in a halfcourt runner to stun Shaka Smart and No. 6 Texas. Entering the second round there are 10 double-digit seeds still alive.

DatDudeCP, or Cole Parzych, flirted with perfection through the afternoon wave. He had picked the first 25 games of the NCAA tournament correct at the Capital One Bracket Challenge. Parzych was perfect through the Wisconsin win over Pittsburgh.

Parzych's riskiest pick that panned out -- and the one that helped separate himself from the field -- was his prediction that Middle Tennessee State University would take down Michigan State. More than 20 percent of brackets had Michigan State winning it all.

The Michigan State game was the one error on many of the 19 brackets that went 31 for 32.

Parzych picked Middle Tennessee State University, mostly because he didn't "want" Michigan State to face his favorite team in his own bracket.

"I'm a Syracuse fan, and I picked them to move on to the Sweet 16 and thought the only way they could do that was if Michigan State lost in the first round," he said.

Parzych ended the first round with 30 of 32 correct, missing the SFA and Northern Iowa upsets.

Although online data can be spotty, there are very few recorded instances of perfect brackets through the first 32 games. The longest verified opening streak we could find was 36 games.

College basketball rankings: Even unranked teams find success in the NCAA tournament

Since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 — its modern format — only four of 35 national champions were unranked to start the season. That’s about one in every nine years.

Only .025 percent predicted the 2021 Final Four teams in the Bracket Challenge Game

UCLA's upset of No. 1 Michigan in the Elite Eight turned what could have been a record-high number of perfect picks into a tiny number that went 4-for-4.

A huge majority of NCAA brackets have a No. 1 seed winning the 2021 championship

Here is how many brackets predicted each seed to win the national championship, from Gonzaga and the No. 1 seeds through Drexel and the rest of the No. 16 seeds.
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