No perfect brackets remaining in men’s March Madness, with less than 1% remaining in the women’s tournament

It’s taken just 31 games of the men’s March Madness tournament, but there are no perfect brackets remaining.

Fans can often spend hours deliberating on the outcomes of the matchups, but after a few shock results across the opening two days of action, all that hard work has been undone.

Only 0.00038% of brackets in the men’s tournament were active after the first day’s play – approximately 2,100 from the more than 31 million entries, per the NCAA – but following No. 13 Yale’s upset win over No. 4 Auburn on Friday, that number was reduced significantly.

And No. 8 Utah State’s victory over No. 9 TCU seed busted the final perfect bracket, meaning that for yet another year, the feat will remain elusive.

It is a similar case in the women’s tournament, with the majority of the perfect brackets already busted.

Although the majority of the higher seeds were victorious, the NCAA says it is estimated that fewer than 20,000 of the four million entries remain intact.

No. 8 North Carolina’s victory over No. 9 Michigan State eliminated half of the brackets, while No. 11 Middle Tennessee’s win over No. 6 Louisville Cardinals reduced the number of perfect brackets to less than 4%.

By the end of Friday’s action, the number of perfect brackets was less than 1%.

Achieving a perfect bracket is one of the few things in sports left to achieve, with fans needing huge amounts of luck and skill to pick all 63 games correctly.

Due to the number of upsets and “Cinderella” stories March Madness tends to throw up, it has proven an impossible feat so far: the odds of getting every result correct are an extraordinary one to nine quintillion.

As explained to CNN Sport in 2023 by Tim Chartier – distinguished visiting professor at the US National Museum of Mathematics and Joseph R. Morton professor of mathematics and computer science at Davidson College – nine quintillion is a nine followed by 18 zeroes.

Historic comeback

The highlight of the opening day of the women’s March Madness came in the form of No. 7 seed Iowa State’s dramatic comeback victory against the No. 10 Maryland Terrapins.

The Cyclones overcame a 20-point deficit to seal a 93-86 win in the first round of the tournament, completing the second-largest comeback in NCAA women’s championship history, just a point behind the largest.

Iowa State relied on the dominant performance from their center Audi Crooks who put in an all-time great display to help mount the comeback.

She finished with 40 points on 18-of-20 shooting, as well as adding 12 rebounds and two blocks to her stat line. She also broke five Iowa State records in doing so.

Audi Crooks (right) celebrates with forward Nyamer Diew after scoring against Maryland during the second half. - Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP
Audi Crooks (right) celebrates with forward Nyamer Diew after scoring against Maryland during the second half. - Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP

Crooks became just the second player in women’s or men’s NCAA championships history to score 40-plus points with at least 90 percent shooting, with NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton the first to reach that mark in 1973.

Crooks’ 40 points is the most by any player in her first career NCAA tournament game dating back to 2000.

Afterwards, an emotional Crooks paid tribute to her late father for helping to inspire her.

“Before every game, I just try to take a moment, and I pray, and I am kind of seeking guidance from my father,” she told reporters. “He passed away when I was 16 in 2021. I try to take a second and ground myself and tap into my spiritual side and just know that everything is going to be okay and he’s got the best seat in the house.”

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