Less than two days into the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, hope of anyone filling out a perfect bracket is almost lost. After a few big upsets, the number of people who have correctly predicted every winner during March Madness is quickly dwindling.
In January, Warren Buffet announced his partnership with Quicken Loans to give $1 billion to any fan who successfully filled out a perfect bracket. With the odds of any person going a 63-for-63 with all their picks being 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, the billionaire was never in much trouble of having to give away a portion of his fortune.
Thirty-two games are scheduled for the first two days of the challenge. After 20 games completed, only 57 people have a perfect bracket on ESPN.com. At Yahoo! Sports, just 28 people have predicted every game correctly.
Friday’s first game ruined the chances of most people who were looking to head into the weekend without a loss. No.14 Mercer defeated heavily favored No.3 Duke. Over 98 percent of people who filled out brackets with Yahoo! chose Duke to win. Of the 11 million brackets that were submitted to ESPN.com, only 3.3 percent had the underdog coming out on top.
Heading into Friday’s action, 18,741 brackets at ESPN.com were perfect. That number fell to 2,185 after the first game’s conclusion. According to John Diver, director of product development for ESPN Fantasy, a perfect bracket has never been submitted to the company’s website. Before 2014, ESPN had received almost 30 million entries over 16 years.
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While Duke’s loss ruined thousands of perfect brackets, millions of brackets took a hit on Thursday afternoon. No.12 Harvard and No.11 Dayton pulled off the biggest upsets of the day, eliminating 91.2 percent of the field of ESPN participants. Dayton beat Ohio State in the first contest in the field of 64. Harvard topped Cincinnati just two hours later.