If you’re feeling glum about your NCAA bracket picks this morning, you’ve got company. Among 8.15 million brackets submitted to the ESPN.com Men’s Tournament Challenge, just 47 got all Final Four teams right.
And fewer than 40,000 even had three out of four. The reason: Only 16,000 picked Wichita State, a No. 9 seed in the West, to advance to the Final Four.
By contrast, 3.6 million picked Wichita State’s victim, Ohio State, to make the Final Four. That number was topped only by Indiana (3.8 million) which didn’t make it, and Louisville (4.3 million), which did.
Despite the lack of enthusiasm in some quarters of Connecticut with the UConn Huskies on the sidelines, the 8.15 million brackets at ESPN.com is a new record, surpassing last year — which was also a record — by 26 percent.
What about the Cinderella team of the year, Florida Gulf Coast University, which advanced two rounds to the Sweet 16? Surprisingly, about 80,000, or 1 percent, had them going that far on their brackets — presumably alumni and friends of the upstart college. And in another shocker, 12,181 brackets correctly had Wichita State playing LaSalle in the Sweet 16.
Looking ahead to the games in Atlanta Saturday and Monday, Louisville was picked in a staggering 22 percent, or 1.8 million brackets, to win it all. Michigan, a No. 4 seed in its region, was picked by 1.1 million to make it to the Final Four and 204,000 to win it all. Syracuse, also a No. 4 seed, was picked by just 660,000 to even make it to the Final Four — an insult to Coach Jim Boeheim — and by 122,000 to win the championship.
President Barack Obama picked Indiana over Louisville in the final. The First Fan, who tends to pick favorites, was one of 1.4 million who had the Hoosiers taking the trophy. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Obama picked Louisville for the title.)
And how many picked Wichita State to win the championship? ESPN.com’s chart shows 0 percent — but the actual number, not rounded, was 2,776 brackets.