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And then there were none: Perfect March Madness brackets all gone

Will we ever see a perfect March Madness bracket?

WASHINGTON — It’s official, there are no more perfect brackets in the 2022 men’s NCAA basketball tournament. There had been more than 20 million entries in the four major online games tracked by the NCAA this year.  

It took just 28 contests in March Madness for perfection to be eliminated in 2022 – the same amount of games as last year. 

The last perfect bracket, belonging to ESPN user “Bekins24,” was busted by No. 11 Iowa State’s 59-54 win over No. 6 LSU on Friday evening. For what it’s worth, their bracket had Gonzaga, UCLA, Houston and Providence in the Final Four, with Houston beating Gonzaga for the national championship. 

The March Madness bracket busting started early this year. After the first game of the first round, No. 11 Michigan’s upset of No. 6 Colorado State, less than 50% of brackets remained perfect, according to NCAA’s tracking. 

LINK: Here was the last perfect bracket of March Madness 2022

A number of other upsets during that first day of action wiped out all but a few dozen perfect brackets and Friday's early afternoon games knocked out all but a handful of the rest.

When Friday night's slate of games kicked off, there were just two perfect brackets remaining.  

And while those two had agreed on their first 24 picks, they had different winners for No. 4 Illinois vs. No. 13 Chattanooga. So with Illinois barely surviving Chattanooga's upset bid, “Bekins24” was the last perfect bracket. 

Credit: AP
The basketball court at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh is prepared on Thursday, March 17, 2022, for holding first and second round NCAA college men's basketball tournament games. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The NCAA tracking is based on millions of brackets posted online to the NCAA Bracket Challenge Game, ESPN, Yahoo and CBS. That does not include offline office pools or any other platforms running their own bracket challenge games.

It's believed that the closest anyone has gotten to a perfect bracket occurred just three years ago.

During the 2019 tournament, an Ohio man correctly guessed all the games going into the Sweet 16, according to NCAA.com. But his streak of 49 correct picks was ended when Purdue beat Tennessee 99-94 in overtime of the second game in the Sweet 16.

What are the odds of a perfect bracket? 

According to NCAA.com, if you were to simply guess or flip a coin for each matchup, the odds of a perfect NCAA bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. 

However, NCAA.com also notes that the odds are more like 1 in 120.2 billion, if the person making the bracket takes into account info about which teams are better and tournament history. 

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