More than 90% of March Madness brackets already busted after 3 games

In 2022 and 2021, it took just 28 games for there to be no more perfect brackets.
March Madness sign
March Madness sign(Tyler Shaw)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 3:31 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON — Well, that didn’t take long.

Just three games in to the first-round of the men’s college basketball tournament, only 6.66% of March Madness brackets remain perfect, according to the NCAA’s website.

No. 8 Maryland’s win against No. 9 WVU wiped out about half the initial field, but it was No. 13 Furman’s upset victory over No. 4 Virginia that caused absolute chaos among millions of brackets, according to NCAA tracking across “all of the major online games.” The dropped the number of perfect brackets to only 10.67% after two games, then No. 7 Missouri beating No. 10 Utah State knocked out 4% more.

For the past two years, it took just 28 contests in March Madness for perfection to be eliminated.

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 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.

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.

According to, 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, 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.