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Tournament Challenge: No surprise as Kansas cruises into Elite Eight

No. 1 Kansas 79, No. 5 Maryland 63

The Kansas Jayhawks are through to the Elite Eight, an outcome predicted by 80.40 percent of brackets. The Jayhawks were picked at the second-highest rate to reach this round, as the early exiting Michigan State Spartans (80.94 percent) were picked on more brackets to qualify for the Elite Eight. Looking ahead, Kansas is the most popular Final Four pick (66.91 percent) and the most popular title pick (24.97 percent).

President Obama is among the group happy about this game’s result, as Kansas is his title pick. Overall, 51.5 percent of brackets predicted the Kansas-Maryland matchup would occur. Of those, 86.6 percent had Kansas winning.

Looking ahead to the South region final, 39.6 percent of brackets predicted it would be Kansas-Villanova; of those, 80.3 percent picked the Jayhawks to win the matchup, with 19.7 percent choosing the Wildcats.

No. 1 Oregon 82, No. 4 Duke 68

The Oregon Ducks have reached the West region final, defeating the Duke Blue Devils. In total, 49.69 percent of bracket entries had Oregon reaching the Elite Eight, the sixth-most popular pick (but lowest of the four No. 1 seeds). Looking ahead, 22.53 percent have the Ducks reaching the Final Four, with 3.44 believing Oregon will win the title.

President Obama was among the 53.9 percent of brackets to correctly pick that this matchup would occur, but he chose Duke. He has no teams left in the West region.

Looking ahead to the West region final, 32.8 percent of brackets predicted it would be Oregon-Oklahoma; of those, 39.3 percent picked the Ducks to win the matchup, with 60.7 percent choosing the Sooners.

Overall, 16 percent of Tournament Challenge brackets got the first four Elite Eight teams correct.

Previewing Friday’s games

  • No. 1 seeds Virginia (68.28 percent) and UNC (61.41 percent) are popular picks to reach the Elite Eight.

  • The teams playing those favorites, Iowa State and Indiana, were picked to make the Elite Eight by 11.75 percent and 7.82 percent of brackets, respectively.

  • Just 1.3 percent of brackets predicted the Syracuse versus Gonzaga matchup taking place. Of those, 53 percent picked the Orange while 47 percent preferred the Bulldogs.

President Obama's bracket

Obama went 2-for-4 on Thursday, and the most wins he can get tomorrow night is two (if UNC and UVA win). He currently sits in the 58th percentile.

Tournament Challenge celebrity group

Following Thursday night’s games, the top entrants among celebrity brackets are:

  1. Chef Michael Symon (610 points, 98.6 percentile)

  2. ESPN analyst Amin Elhassan (600 points, 97.6 percentile)

  3. Celtics guard Evan Turner (590 points, 96.1 percentile)