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Saturday, March 22, 2014
Tournament Challenge: Friday update

By James Quintong


After the round of 64, none of the 11 million-plus brackets in ESPN's Tournament Challenge got all 32 games right. However, 35 brackets went 31-1.

The worst score was three games correct, shared by two brackets. (Last year, the best record after the first round was 30-2, shared by five brackets.)

Among the one-loss brackets, 25 missed Mercer beating Duke and two missed Saint Louis beating NC State, the only teams missed by more than one of those brackets. The other teams also missed in the one-loss brackets: San Diego State, Michigan State, Baylor, Texas, Gonzaga, Memphis, Tennessee and Stephen F. Austin.

(Note: Apparently, there is one bracket on Yahoo! that went 32-for-32. However, it was not entered in the billion-dollar contest.)

Friday's upsets (winners who were picked in less than 50 percent of brackets):

14-seed Mercer over 3-seed Duke
-- 3.3 percent of brackets had Mercer knocking off Duke, the least picked of the 14-seeds. Also, 2,982 brackets have Mercer winning it all.

-- 20.9 percent of brackets had Duke in the Final Four, with 5.3 percent of them winning the national title. And for a little historical perspective, 1.2 percent of brackets had Lehigh knocking off Duke in 2012 when the Blue Devils were a 2-seed.

11-seed Tennessee over 6-seed UMass
-- 43.3 percent of brackets had the Volunteers winning, and the spread between UMass and Tennessee (56.7 percent versus 43.3 percent) was the smallest among the round of 64 games.

-- 1.7 percent of brackets picked both Mercer and Tennessee to meet in the Round of 32.

10-seed Stanford over 7-seed New Mexico
-- 38 percent of brackets picked the upset.

8-seed Gonzaga over 9-seed Oklahoma State
-- Only 35.3 percent of brackets picked Gonzaga over Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs were picked by fewer brackets than either Stanford or Tennessee.

12-seed Stephen F. Austin over 5-seed VCU
-- 20.9 percent of brackets picked Stephen F. Austin, the least picked of the 12-seeds.

-- The timing of this result knocked out the final remaining perfect brackets in the game.

-- 12-seeds went 3-1 in this year's tournament; 4.2 percent of brackets correctly had Stephen F. Austin, North Dakota State and Harvard winning their Round of 64 games.

Other upset notes
-- 0.3 percent of brackets picked all four of the double-digit seeds (Stanford, Tennessee, Stephen F. Austin and Mercer) that won Friday.

-- 0.1 percent of brackets picked all five of the "upsets" listed above (Gonzaga, Stanford, Tennessee, Stephen F. Austin and Mercer).

President Obama's bracket

After going 14-2 on Thursday, the president went 11-5 Friday to finish the round of 64 with a record of 25-7. He sits in the 91.8 percentile. He lost an Elite Eight team in Duke but heads into the next round with 14 of his Sweet 16 teams (missing just Duke and Ohio State) and his entire Final Four intact.

Chalk: A bracket of all favorites went 24-8 in the round of 64 and would be in the 78.4 percentile.