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Daniel Wilco | | March 26, 2018

54 NCAA brackets correctly predicted the Final Four

Dunking our way to the Final Four

Of the millions of NCAA brackets entered into the Capital One Bracket Challenge Game, only 54 managed to pick the Final Four correctly, choosing Loyola Chicago, Michigan, Villanova and Kansas to make it to San Antonio.

By beating Kansas State, 78-62, Loyola Chicago became just the fourth 11 seed to make it to the Final Four.

None of the previous three made it to the championship game:

Year Team Final Four Opponent Score Result
1986 (11) LSU (2) Louisville 88-77 Loss
2006 (11) George Mason (3) Florida 73-58 Loss
2011 (11) VCU (8) Butler 70-62 Loss

The trip to San Antonio marks the Ramblers’ second-ever Final Four appearance. The first came in 1963, when Loyola Chicago stunned two-time defending champ Cincinnati in overtime. The 2018 Final Four is the 16th appearance for Kansas, the sixth for Michigan, and the fifth for Villanova.

Team Final Four apperances Championships
Kansas 15 (1940, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1971, 1974, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2012, 2018) 3 (1952, 1988, 2008)
Michigan 6 (1964, 1965, 1976, 1989, 2013, 2018) 1 (1989)
Villanova 5 (1939, 1985, 2009, 2016, 2018) 2 (1985, 2016)
Loyola Chicago 2 (1963, 2018) 1 (1963)

Loyola Chicago's Cinderella run has left many a broken bracket in its wake, and even the ones that survived didn't come out in one piece.

One of the two brackets tied for first place in BCG, "stirskull" only picked five of the Elite Eight correctly, but had a perfect Final Four. That bracket has Kansas beating Michigan in the championship game.

The bracket also goes to show how perfection in the early rounds isn’t nearly as important as some think. Stirskull missed five of 32 games in the first round, and six of 16 in the second. But if the Jayhawks take down the Wolverines for Kansas' fourth-ever title, Stirskull definitely won't remember that first weekend's impact.

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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