- Just 42,828 brackets correctly picked all 16 games on first day of tournament
- ESPN set new all-time records for signups, including 1.75 million on Wednesday
- “People’s Bracket” Final Four picks: No. 1 seeds Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Gonzaga
- Special shows and content exclusively on ESPN+ throughout tournament
This year’s ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge game collected more than 17.2 million completed brackets and set new one- and two-day records for signups leading up to yesterday’s first game. By the end of the first day of the tournament, only 42,828 (0.25 percent) of all brackets remained perfect after just 16 games.
Record-Setting Week for ESPN Tournament Challenge
At the end of ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Marathon Tuesday evening, ESPN had collected 9.3 million bracket entries, 1.1 million more than last year. On Monday and Tuesday during the Marathon, ESPN signed up more than 3 million new fans to play ESPN Tournament Challenge, a new all-time best for any two-day period. Wednesday’s 1.75 million signups set the best all-time mark for a single day, and Monday and Wednesday this week are now the top two days all-time for Tournament Challenge signups.
Meanwhile, throughout the Tournament Challenge Marathon and through the start of the first game yesterday, ESPN’s Tournament Challenge App was the No. 1 overall free app on Apple’s App Store, ahead of Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and others.
People’s Bracket Results
The Men’s Tournament Challenge “People’s Bracket” – which reflects the percentage of fans picking each match-up throughout the tournament – shows that 42.3 percent of all brackets correctly predicted yesterday’s upset by No. 12 Murray St. over No. 5 Marquette in the West Region, while just 33.6 percent of brackets had No. 10 Minnesota defeating No. 7 Louisville in the East. Florida was the most-picked 10-seed in the first round, with 48.3 percent of brackets correctly choosing the Gators to upset No. 7 Nevada in the West Region. Also in the West, Syracuse, which lost to No. 9 Baylor, was by far the most-picked 8-seed (64.3 percent) in the first round.
Heading into Day Two of the Round of 64, highlights of the People’s Bracket include:
- 97.5 percent of brackets chose Duke over North Dakota State in the East Region, making the Blue Devils the biggest favorite of the first round.
- No. 9 UCF over No. 8 VCU in the East is the most picked upset (55.1 percent vs. 44.9 percent).
- The closest matchup is No. 8 Utah State vs. No. 9 Washington in the Midwest Region (51.1 percent vs. 48.9 percent).
Overall, the People’s Bracket shows more fans picked No. 1 seeds Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Gonzaga to reach the Final Four than any other teams. Duke and North Carolina are picked to reach the national championship game, and Duke is the most popular pick to win the title.
Top 10 Tournament Challenge Groups
The top 10 most popular Tournament Challenge groups are ESPN’s SportsCenter, which fans joined with more than 900,000 brackets, followed by ESPN Streak and ESPN’s First Take with more than 200,000 each. Pardon the Interruption, Golic & Wingo, Tournament Challenge ESPN, Stephen A. Smith’s Group, Fans of Duke, and Quavo’s Group all have more than 100,000 brackets each, while The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz has more than 75,000. Each of these groups are public and unlocked, allowing fans to join at any time during the tournament.
About ESPN Tournament Challenge
The 22nd edition of ESPN’s Tournament Challenge game allows fans to compete with friends, family and others by predicting the winner of each tournament game from the Round of 64 through the Championship Game. As with all ESPN Fantasy games, Tournament Challenge is free to play, and fans can submit up to 25 brackets and join up to 10 groups each for the men’s and women’s tournaments at ESPN.com/bracket or the ESPN Tournament Challenge App for iOS and Android.
During the tournament, the ESPN Tournament Challenge App’s bracket cards allow fans to easily navigate between multiple brackets and sort them by total points, maximum points or alphabetically. The TC App also gives fans advanced live scoring and bracket results through Bracketcast, expert analysis and matchup previews, and opt-in push notifications for up-to-the-second scores, news and video updates.
Tournament Coverage on ESPN.com, ESPN App and ESPN+ – In addition to all the data, information and tools available in the ESPN Tournament Challenge game, ESPN.com and the ESPN App provide comprehensive coverage of the men’s and women’s tournaments including scores, news, analysis and feature stories. In addition, ESPN+ subscribers have access to exclusive in-depth analysis and insights from college basketball writers on ESPN.com and the ESPN App, as well as special shows and content on ESPN+ throughout the three weeks of the men’s tournament.
ESPN Tournament Challenge Prizes – At the end of the tournament, all Men’s Tournament Challenge entries finishing in the top 1 percent based on overall points will be entered in a random drawing to win a trip for two to the 2019 Maui Jim Maui Invitational and $10,000 in Amazon.com Gift Cards. Entries for the Men’s Tournament Challenge game were accepted until just prior to the tip-off of yesterday’s first game. In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries finishing in the top 1 percent will be entered in a random drawing for $5,000 in Amazon Gift Cards. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game today.
Additionally, 100 fans who join one of the top three Tournament Challenge groups, based on the highest group average at the end of the Men’s Tournament Challenge, will be randomly selected to receive a 12-month subscription to ESPN+. Fans can also test their skills using the ESPN Streak game to pick all the NCAA tournament games and more, while competing for $35,000 in guaranteed prizes each month. Plus, the fan who achieves the longest streak today can win $5,000.
ESPN+ is the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It reached 2 million subscribers in less than a year and offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.
Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL games, exclusive UFC, Top Rank and Professional Fighting League events, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more), thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and other sports), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.
ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App (on mobile and connected devices) and ESPN.com. They are the industry-leading all-in-one digital sports platform, delivering a rich, personalized experience to tens of millions of fans every month.
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