Quest for the Perfect Bracket

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Last Updated 10:26 AM, March 20, 2023

Last perfect women's NCAA bracket busts after Ole Miss stuns Stanford

2:56 am, March 20, 2023

Last perfect women's brackets bust as Ole Miss stuns No. 1 Stanford

Ole Miss upsets Stanford on Sunday, March 19

Dreams of a perfect bracket will have to be on hold until 2024.

No. 8 Ole Miss' shocking 54-49 upset of No. 1 Stanford busted the last two perfect women's brackets, “Justin R. 76” on ESPN and “Keith's Amazing Bracket” on Yahoo, ending the hopes for perfection on the 40th game of the tournament. The run was longer than last season, as women's brackets busted on the 36th game. We were tracking well more than 2 million brackets in the major online games (Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, CBS and Yahoo) this year.

The Ole Miss win also means Stanford is the first No. 1 seed to be out of the tournament. It's the first time the Cardinal fail to reach the Sweet 16 since 2007.

There were seven perfect brackets at the start of Sunday, and it seemed like the last two were set to make it to Monday, but Ole Miss had other plans.

Here's how the brackets dropped from seven to zero on Sunday:

  • No. 1 South Carolina def. No. 8 South Florida: 6 brackets left
  • No. 3 Notre Dame def. No. 11 Mississippi State: 4 brackets left
  • No. 1 Virginia Tech def. No. 9 South Dakota State: 3 brackets left
  • No. 2 Maryland def. No. 7 Arizona: 2 brackets left
  • No. 8 Ole Miss def. No. 1 Stanford: 0 brackets left
11:54 pm, March 19, 2023

2 final women's brackets stay perfect through 37 games

Maryland women's basketball advances

And then there were two. From well over 2 million from major online game entries, just two women’s brackets stay perfect after No. 2 Maryland blew past No. 7 Arizona.
Justin R.” (ESPN) and “Keith's Amazing Bracket” (Yahoo) have correctly chosen the first 37 games. 

We took a look at their brackets and compared the picks. Through the rest of Sunday's matchups, both have Utah, LSU and Stanford. In fact, they don't have a different pick until Monday night's UCLA-Oklahoma game:

  • No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 5 Oklahoma | March 20 | 10 p.m. ET
    • “Justin R.” — UCLA
    • “Keith's Amazing Bracket” — Oklahoma
11:00 pm, March 19, 2023

3 women’s perfect brackets stay alive after Virginia Tech win

Virginia Tech women's basketball

We’re officially past last year’s marker. Through 36 games, three brackets stay perfect. 

No. 1 Virginia Tech ousted No. 9 South Dakota State, knocking off one ESPN bracket. 

All brackets are on the line in the No. 2 Utah vs. No. 10 Princeton game which is currently in play. If the Tigers beat the Utes, it will knock out the last living brackets. 

Here are the final brackets: 

Through 36 games, here's how the final brackets look:

  • TOTAL: 3
  • ESPN: 2
  • Yahoo: 1
10:07 pm, March 19, 2023

Notre Dame's win drops perfect bracket counter to 4

Notre Dame defeats Mississippi State

No. 3 Notre Dame's close 53-48 win against No. 11 Mississippi State eliminated two more brackets, leaving just four left among the major online games.

Through 35 games, here's how the final brackets look:

7:05 pm, March 19, 2023

6 perfect women’s brackets remain after first second round game

South Carolina women's basketball

Like last year, perfect brackets have lasted through the first round. Last night finished with 7 brackets still alive — six ESPN entries and one from Yahoo. 

One bracket had No. 8 South Florida upsetting No. 1 South Carolina, and while it looked dicey in the first half, the Gamecocks came out on top 76-45

Up next, No. 2 Iowa faces No. 10 Georgia. If the Hawkeyes lose that would do it — every bracket would bust on the 34th game. The previous year's counter lasted through game No. 35. 

Here's a look at the current total: 

  • TOTAL: 6
  • WBCG: 0
  • ESPN: 5
  • CBS: 0
  • Yahoo: 1
5:05 am, March 19, 2023

Only 7 women's brackets are perfect after the first round

No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast upset No. 5 Washington State

The watch for a perfect bracket will continue into the second round.

After 32 games, there are seven perfect women's brackets — and we started by tracking more than 2 million in the major online games of the Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, CBS and Yahoo. Last year, there were just three perfect brackets after the first round.

We started Saturday with less than 1 percent still perfect after 16 games. The numbers fell quickly from there, but seven have made it through the first round.

Here's how the numbers look:

With No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast's upset of No. 5 Washington State and No. 12 Toledo taking out No. 5 Iowa State, we fell to a countable number. Here's how we lost brackets from there:

  • No. 12 Toledo def. No. 5 Iowa State: 77 perfect brackets
  • No. 6 North Carolina def. No. 11 St. John's: 62 brackets
  • No. 4 Villanova def. No. 13 Cleveland State: 50 brackets
  • No. 7 Baylor def. No. 10 Alabama: 30 brackets
  • No. 6 Colorado def. No. 11 Middle Tennessee: 13 brackets
  • No. 5 Louisville def. No. 12 Drake: 9 brackets
  • No. 5 Oklahoma def. No. 12 Portland: 7 brackets
  • After No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Texas, No. 4 UCLA wins: Still 7 brackets

We'll see how long these last seven can hang in there on Sunday, starting with No. 1 South Carolina playing No. 8 South Florida at 1 p.m. ET on the first day of the second round.

3:25 am, March 19, 2023

There are only 7 perfect women's brackets

Duke routs Iona in women's basketball

No. 5 Oklahoma's 22-point win against No. 12 Portland eliminated two brackets and dropped down the perfect bracket counter to seven.

There was no change after No. 3 Duke routed No. 14 Iona, meaning there are still seven perfect brackets after 30 games — leaving us with just two more games to go in the first round.

  • TOTAL: 7
  • WBCG: 0
  • ESPN: 6
  • CBS: 0
  • Yahoo: 1
2:06 am, March 19, 2023

And then there were 9 perfect women's brackets

Louisville beats Drake

We've fallen to singles for perfect brackets, as No. 5 Louisville's close 83-81 win against No. 12 Drake eliminated two ESPN brackets and two CBS brackets.

Here's the updated tracker through 28 games, with four more to go in the first round.

  • TOTAL: 9
  • WBCG: 0
  • ESPN: 7
  • CBS: 1
  • Yahoo: 1
12:29 am, March 19, 2023

We're down to 13 perfect women's brackets

Colorado beat Middle Tennessee on Saturday, March 18

Colorado was the higher seed in the 11-6 game against Middle Tennessee, but the Buffaloes' win took out more than half of the remaining perfect brackets.

Through the Colorado win and 27 games, there are 13 perfect women's brackets remaining. We started with well more than 2 million brackets in the major online games (Women's Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, CBS, Yahoo).

Here's a quick list of how they break down among the games:

  • TOTAL: 13
  • WBCG: 0
  • ESPN: 9
  • CBS: 3
  • Yahoo: 1
11:39 pm, March 18, 2023

Just 30 perfect women's brackets to go after Baylor comeback

Alabama women's basketball

No. 7 Baylor overcame an 18-point deficit against No. 10 Alabama; now, just 30 perfect brackets remain. That win chopped 20 entries off the total from all online bracket games. 

Zero perfect brackets are left in the Women's Bracket Challenge Game and just 1 from Yahoo. No. 6 Colorado vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee is live with Buffaloes ahead. If Middle Tennessee pulls off an upset no games would remain in the Yahoo or CBS challenge games. 

Here's a look at the current counter through 26 games: 

  • TOTAL: 30
  • WBCG: 0
  • ESPN: 26
  • CBS: 3
  • Yahoo: 1
11:04 pm, March 18, 2023

Only 50 perfect women's brackets are left after Villanova, UNC win

Villanova women's basketball

Down we go. Now, just 50 perfect women's brackets remain through 25 games after No. 4 Villanova blew past No. 13 Cleveland State

Before that, No. 6 North Carolina outlasted No. 11 St. John's 61-59. If St. John's pulled off the upset no more WBCG brackets would have remained. Instead, the Tar Heels survived and the total of all online bracket games dropped to 62. It most notably brought ESPN's total from 63 to 49.

Seven games are left in the round of 64 to potentially bust the rest of the brackets. 

Here's a breakdown of the current total: 

  • TOTAL: 50
  • WBCG: 2
  • ESPN: 39
  • CBS: 6
  • Yahoo: 3
9:50 pm, March 18, 2023

Just 77 total perfect women’s brackets remain 

Toledo upset Iowa State on Saturday, March 18

We're in the endgame now. 

For the first time, we're able to calculate just how many brackets are left from over 2 million total entries. Some online bracket games — including WBCG — are at single digits. 

No. 12 Toledo’s 80-73 win over fifth-seeded Iowa State busted several brackets. It dropped ESPN’s brackets from 545 to 63. Toledo is the second No. 12 seed to upset a No. 5 seed after No. 12 FGCU took down No. 5 Washington State earlier on Saturday. 

We’re through game No. 23; last season it took 36 games in the second round to bust every bracket. The men’s tracker ended in the 25th game of the first round. 

Here’s the current counter: 

  • Total: 77
  • WBCG: 2
  • ESPN: 63
  • CBS: 8
  • Yahoo: 4
8:51 pm, March 18, 2023

Women's perfect brackets continue to dwindle after upset win


FGCU women's basketball

No. 12 FGCU and No. 9 Miami (FL.) advanced past higher seeds to bring the number of brackets down further.

We started the day with 63 Women’s Bracket Challenge Game brackets, 2,036 from ESPN, and more than 50 from CBS and Yahoo. 

Here’s where we stand now:

WBCG: 32 
ESPN: 545
CBS: 50+
Yahoo: 42

5:05 pm, March 18, 2023

Day 2️⃣ of tracking women's perfect brackets — here's where we stand

Mississippi State women's basketball

Less than 1 percent of women's brackets remain perfect after just one day, out of more than 2 million in the major online games. Last year, some brackets stayed intact through the first round before getting knocked out in the second. 

Every men's busted Friday on game No. 25 after No. 16 FDU shocked No. 1 Purdue, only the second time in men's history a 16 beat a 1. 

Here's what's left of women's brackets: 

  • WBCG: 0.08 percent
  • ESPN: 2,036 perfect out of a starting number of 2,079,212
  • Yahoo: .099 percent, with at least 50 still perfect
  • CBS: Public leaderboard shows at least 50 brackets are still perfect out of what started with a pool of well more than 500,000 entries
4:13 am, March 18, 2023

Most women's brackets bust after first day

Mississippi State upset Creighton

There was only one upset on the first day of the 2023 women's NCAA tournament as No. 11 Mississippi State knocked off No. 6 Creighton, though two No. 10 seeds Georgia and Princeton also won. After starting the day with more than two million brackets in the major online games, less than 1 percent of all brackets are left through 16 games, looking at the at publicly available data. Check out what we know of the total bracket or percentage number from the major bracket games below.

  • Women's Bracket Challenge Game: 0.08 percent
  • ESPN: 2,036 perfect out of a starting number of 2,079,212
  • Yahoo: .099 percent, with at least 50 still perfect
  • CBS: Public leaderboard shows at least 50 brackets are still perfect out of what started with a pool of well more than 500,000 entries

The perfect bracket count dropped below 50 percent when No. 7 Arizona took down No. 10 West Virginia, with only 45.75 percent of brackets remaining in the Women's Bracket Challenge Game entries. Then, No. 10 Georgia's victory over No. 7 Florida State delivered a whopping blow to perfect brackets, leaving just 8.11 percent remaining.

By the time Mississippi State landed the upset, just 1.37 percent of brackets remained alive.

We'll see how long the remaining perfect brackets can last on a busy Saturday slate of 16 games.