MORE THAN FIVE MILLION ENTRIES FOR MEN’S TOURNAMENT CHALLENGE BRACKET GAME ON ESPN.COM
Fans Agree with President Obama, “National Bracket” Picks North Carolina as Champs; Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, North Carolina in Final Four
Fans submitted more than five million entries to ESPN.com’s 14th annual Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by State Farm and Sprint, surpassing last year’s record of 3.65 million entries by 37 percent. At the peak period, fans registered nearly 3,900 entries per minute (nearly 65 entries per second).
The Women’s Tournament Challenge presented by Pontiac will be accepting entries until tip-off of the first game on Saturday, March 21.
The Men’s Tournament Challenge “National Bracket” – reflecting the percentage of people picking each match-up throughout the Men’s Tournament – showed that more fans picked Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, North Carolina to reach the Final Four than any other teams. In those predicted games (Louisville vs. Memphis, Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina):
- Louisville was picked to defeat Memphis 62.9 percent of the time;
- North Carolina was picked to defeat Pittsburgh 58.3 percent of the time;
- Fans picked North Carolina to defeat Louisville in the national championship game 60.0 percent of the time.
The growth in the Tournament Challenge entries has been spurred by multiple factors, including the newly redesigned ESPN.com front page (which allowed users to submit their brackets directly from the main engagement area of the site) and buzz surrounding the bracket submitted by President Barack Obama. Fans could also submit (and can follow) their ESPN Tournament Challenge entries via mobile devices.
Bracket groups featuring fans playing with ESPN personalities also helped drive entries, with groups for Mike and Mike in the Morning (90,713 entries), Around The Horn (49,362), Pardon The Interruption (41,687), The Herd with Colin Cowherd (29,210), ESPN First Take (27,030), Bill Simmons’ B.S. Report (19,598) and several other ESPN programs.
In addition to President Obama’s bracket, Miami Heat star (and former Marquette star) Dwyane Wade and Hollywood heavyweight Samuel L. Jackson squared off in the first-ever SportsCenter Bracket Challenge (the SportsCenter Bracket Challenge group has 14,055 entries from others as well).
An analysis of early round picks by the five million entries finds:
- 1.8% of entries picked Stephen F Austin to defeat Syracuse;
- 38.6% of entries picked Western Kentucky to defeat Illinois;
- 98.5% of entries picked Connecticut to defeat Chattanooga;
- 41.8% of entries picked BYU to defeat Texas A&M;
- 0.42% of entries picked Morehead St. to defeat top-seeded Louisville;
- 50.6% of entries picked Tennessee to defeat Oklahoma St.;
- 47.8% of entries picked USC to defeat Boston College;
- 28.1% of entries picked Virginia Commonwealth to defeat UCLA;
- 98.5% of entries picked North Carolina to defeat Radford;
- 55.1% of entries picked Utah to defeat Arizona;
- 91.2% of entries picked Xavier to defeat Portland State;
- 20.1% of entries picked Wisconsin to defeat Florida St.
At the end of the Tournament the Men’s Tournament Challenge entrant with the most points wins $10,000. Runner up is a random drawing $5,000 Best Buy gift card. The Women’s Tournament Challenge winner will receive a $3,000 Best Buy gift card and a $1100 Best Buy random drawing. Entries for the Men’s Tournament Challenge game were accepted until just prior to the tip-off of the Tournament’s first game today. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Saturday, March 21st.
Additionally, for the first time, this year’s downloadable bracket on ESPN.com is a special Adobe(r) Acrobat(r) 9 interactive PDF file* – the Ultimate Tourney Guide*. It is an interactive document that can be saved to your computer and delivers live updates, news, information and more straight to your desktop. The downloadable Ultimate Tourney Guide includes:
- Tournament Challenge Bracket;
- Tournament news
- Team Preview Videos
- A chance to sign up and win an LCD TV being given away by Adobe.
Adobe Acrobat 9 enables the creation of electronic documents including interactive PDFs that allow users to actively engage with information in the documents. Adobe Acrobat 9 supports the inclusion of dynamic content directly into PDF files, including Adobe Flash(r) videos, news feeds, polls, and other live updating content.
*The Ultimate Tourney Guide will feature your personal bracket picks once input to Tournament Challenge.