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Daniel Wilco | | March 19, 2018

Last perfect bracket busts after biggest upset in NCAA tournament history

These are the best dunks of the opening rounds

UMBC (The University of Maryland Baltimore County) scored the biggest upset in the history of the NCAA tournament, beating top overall seed Virginia 74-54 Friday night, and becoming the first 16 seed to win a game in 136 tries.

So, yeah… there are no more perfect brackets.

Before the Retrievers’ win — through 28 games of the 2018 NCAA tournament — there were 25 perfect brackets left across all major bracket games. All had the Cavaliers winning.

We were tracking tens of millions of brackets at five major bracket games, including the Capital One March Madness Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Yahoo, and CBS.

Only 2.18 percent of all BCG brackets picked the Retrievers to pull off the upset. For reference, 13.73 percent of brackets picked Virginia to win the championship.

After the first game of the tournament — 7-seed Rhode Island's overtime win vs. 10-seed Oklahoma — only 45.5% of brackets were still perfect in's game. But two significant upsets took the largest tolls on brackets Thursday. The first was the afternoon thriller where Donte Ingram's last-second 3-pointer propelled 11-seed Loyola Chicago over 6-seed Miami in the first upset of the tournament.

Later, No. 14 seed Buffalo downed No. 3 Arizona — a team picked to win the championship by 4.1 percent of all Bracket Challenge Game brackets — by 21 points. 

First week drama from March Madness

When 13-seed Marshall beat 4-seed Wichita State, the total number of perfect brackets dropped from a few thousand to a couple hundred.

Florida State upsets Xavier, 75-70

Last year, one bracket stayed perfect for a record 39 games before busting in the final matchup on the first Saturday night.

This year — the final 25 brackets all bowed out at just 28 games (a 16-v-1 upset will do that to you).

Here's what the progression from millions of perfect brackets to zero looked like in the Bracket Challenge Game:

And here's a closer look at the dropoff once we got under 100 perfect brackets:

NCAA Digital's Dan Jepperson and Mike Szahaj contributed to the reporting of this article.

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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