The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

March 22, 2014

NCAA upsets crush perfect bracket hopes

— The billion-dollar dream is over.

A second day of upsets ended any chance of someone having a perfect NCAA tournament bracket in Warren Buffett's $1 billion challenge. It was a favorite that provided the first blemish on the final three people's brackets in the Quicken Loans contest on the Yahoo Sports website.

All three had ninth-seeded George Washington beating Memphis. The Tigers won 71-66.

"If Warren Buffett wants to donate the (billion) to our university, we will take it and use it in good company," Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. "We'll find a way."

It only took 25 games for everyone to be eliminated. Then again most of brackets were knocked out on the tournament's first full day. The number of unblemished brackets 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 the final three.

Even though no one won the $1 billion, the top 20 scores will still each get $100,000.

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. The final remaining unblemished entries were also ruined by the Memphis win.

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 28 games, all 11 million entries had at least one mistake.

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