Halfway through Friday’s series of matches, only 1 perfect bracket remains

There were 23 perfect NCAA men’s tournament brackets left—including one made by a 3-year-old—when Friday’s series of games began.

Only four games in the day, that number was reduced to four. By late afternoon, after Pittsburgh and Creighton won their opening round matchups, only one was left.

No. 7 Michigan State’s victory over No. 10 USC saw 13 of those perfect brackets knocked out to start the day. The Spartans led most of the way, pushing through late to take the 10-point victory and advance to the second round.

Then No. 3 Xavier barely got a win over No. 14 Kennesaw State in the second game of the day. The Musketeers came back from a 13-point gap in the second half to pick up a 72-67 win. One person had picked Kennesaw State to win, reducing the number of perfect brackets to just nine.

Kennesaw State, despite leading by 13 points in the second half, fell to Xavier in their first round NCAA tournament play on Friday.

Kennesaw State, despite leading by 13 points in the second half, fell to Xavier in their first round NCAA tournament play on Friday. (AP/Chris Carlson)

While UC Santa Barbara made it a point and even had a one-point lead going into halftime, No. 3 Baylor took the lead in the second half to take the 74-56 win in game three on Friday. That knocked out two more perfect brackets, bringing the number to seven.

Unfortunately, that match also knocked out the 3-year-old’s group. He had selected the Gauchos to advance to the second round.

The remaining seven brackets were split in the fourth game on Friday, further reducing the number. No. 5 Saint Mary’s defeated No. 12 VCU 63-51 after a fierce fight in Albany, New York. That eliminated three more perfect brackets.

Those four brackets were then split between the Iowa State-Pittsburgh game. The Cyclones played one of the worst offensive games in NCAA Tournament history, falling to No. 11 Pittsburgh 59–41 after shooting just 23% from the field.

The two remaining brackets were cut in half again after No. 6 Creighton’s 72–63 victory over No. 11 NC State. That left only one perfect bracket. The user chose his first 23 games correctly, surpassing last year’s figure.

In the final series, No. 5 Duke wins the tournament against No. 3 Gonzaga. The biggest surprise of the day left is that No. 12 Drake has to beat No. 5 Miami on Friday afternoon.

On the women’s side, nearly three-quarters of the brackets were eliminated after just two games. No. No. 8 South Florida defeated No. 9 Marquette in overtime in the first game of the day. Then No. 7 Arizona beat No. 10 West Virginia 75-62. That eliminated a whopping 71.7% of braces.

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