March Madness

Jacob Tillman

Staff Writer

The 2014-2015 NCAA Tournament is now over, with Duke beating Wisconsin to claim the trophy. As with every March Madness, there were millions of brackets made, and many upsets to break them.

ESPN totaled over 11.57 million brackets made and after the second game (UAB’s win over Iowa State) only 5% of the 11.57 million (about 578,500) remained perfect.

After the third game (Georgia State’s win over Baylor) 99.3% of all brackets submitted into ESPN were busted. The remaining 0.7% contained only 87,000 perfect brackets.

By the end of the first day there was just 273 perfect brackets out of the 11.57 million Tournament Challenge brackets.

Last year there were 18,471 perfect brackets out of about 11 million after the first day.

These stats show how hard it is to actually get the bracket perfect, as no one has ever done before. The realistic goal is to finish on top with the most unblemished bracket.

This year it was a sixth grade boy, named Sam Holtz, who finished on top. Though brackets require a bit of knowledge, they mainly rely on pure luck of everything falling into place.

Holtz advice was “just pick the team that you like and pick whoever you want”.

This shows that really anyone can win it, just as long as they are lucky enough.

Holtz’s victory was bittersweet though, as he was too young to collect the $30,000 grand prize of a $20,000 Best Buy gift card and an all-inclusive trip to Hawaii because age restrictions state that entrants must be 18 years old to qualify.

Other notable bracket busters were:

1) No. 8 N.C. States’ 71-68 win over No. 1 Villanova with 90% of brackets choosing Villanova beating the Wolfpack in the Round of 32.

2) No. 7 Michigan State’s 60-54 win over No. 2 Virginia in the Round of 32.

3) No. 11 Dayton beating No. 6 Providence 66-53 in the Round of 64 with only 28% picking Dayton to win the game.

4) No. 11 UCLA beating No. 6 SMU 60-59 in the Round of 64.

In the end though, it was two No. 1 seeds who made it two the championship, showing that though this was a year filled with early upsets, it wasn’t the one with the most.

This was shown by the second chance brackets, which started at the Sweet Sixteen, having plenty of perfect brackets, meaning that after the Round of 32 the tournament became very predictable.

Looking back at March Madness there is plenty to appreciate. The NCAA produced another entertaining and intense tournament, albeit the occasional bad call by the refs.