Sports

NCAA upsets crush perfect bracket hopes

DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer
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Mercer forward Jakob Gollon (20) and guard Langston Hall (21) celebrate after defeating Duke 78-71 in an NCAA college basketball second-round game against Duke, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Mercer forward Jakob Gollon (20) and guard Langston Hall (21) celebrate after defeating Duke 78-71 in an NCAA college basketball second-round game against Duke, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

And then there were three.

A second day of upsets left only three people with a chance to win the $1 billion prize Warren Buffet is offering for a perfect NCAA tournament bracket.

Most of the brackets were eliminated on the tournament’s first full day. The number of unblemished brackets in the Quicken Loans contest on the Yahoo Sports website kept dwindling after third-seed Duke, sixth-seed UMass and seventh-seed New Mexico lost Friday.

Only 16 people remained perfect after 10th-seeded Stanford topped New Mexico. Then Tennessee routed UMass, leaving only six people with a chance of beating the 9.2 quintillion-to-1 odds.

Gonzaga’s victory over Oklahoma State cut that down to three.

Quicken Loans, which is sponsoring and insuring the Buffet contest, said on its Twitter feed that it wouldn’t reveal the number of entrants to the challenge. The pool was supposed to be capped at 15 million entries. It probably wouldn’t have mattered if they had let more people join.

At CBSSports.com, only 0.03 percent of entrants were still perfect after Mercer upset Duke. They didn’t last much longer as Tennessee’s rout of UMass wiped out all the remaining unblemished entries. It took 21 games to end everyone’s hope of perfection this year. Last season it took 23 games and 24 in 2012.

A year ago, not a single person of the 11 million who entered on ESPN’s website was perfect after a first day filled with upsets. Just four got 15 out of 16 right.

This year people lasted a little longer. After the first 20 games, 66 perfect brackets remained out of the 11 million entered. On the other end of the spectrum nobody was winless, but four people had just one game correct.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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