No Melo changes bracket minds

Just in the few hours since Fab Melo was declared ineligible for the NCAA tournament, Syracuse's popularity in Tournament Challenge has taken a tumble and likely will continue to fall.

Stats as of 7:40 p.m. ET (3.3 million brackets)

Percentage picking Syracuse

... to win it all: 8.82 percent (was 10.57 percent at 3 p.m.); still third-most popular pick behind Kentucky and North Carolina. Michigan State (7.34 percent) and Missouri (7.22 percent) are not far behind.

... to reach the championship game: 18.62 percent (was 22.16 percent at 3 p.m.); also third-most popular pick, but Kansas (17.45 percent) is close behind.

... to reach the Final Four: 35.27 percent (was 41.23 percent at 3 p.m.); now the fifth-most popular pick to reach the Final Four with No. 2 seed Missouri (40.36 percent) and fellow No. 1 seed Michigan State (35.41 percent) ahead of Syracuse.

Also of note, 11.85 percent of brackets have Syracuse failing to advance to the Sweet 16, the only No. 1 seed at more than 10 percent. And only 62.57 percent of brackets have Syracuse in the Elite Eight, the fewest of all the No. 1 seeds and even behind No. 2 seeds Missouri and Kansas.

Barack Obama has revealed a Final Four of Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri and North Carolina.

  • Kentucky (67.32 percent), North Carolina (54.55 percent) and Missouri (40.36 percent) are the top three most popular picks to reach the Final Four. Ohio State is seventh overall (26.51 percent).

  • A total of 5 percent of Tournament Challenge entries have the same Final Four as the president.

A couple of other notable Tournament Challenge trends so far:

  • Only two lower seeds are predicted to win in the round of 64: No. 9 seed UConn (69.03 percent) over No. 8 seed Iowa State; No. 11 seed NC State (50.92 percent) over No. 6 seed San Diego State.

  • The 7-10 matchup between Gonzaga (50.36 percent) and West Virginia (49.64 percent) is the closest battle.

  • The most popular No. 12 seed to pull off a round of 64 upset is VCU (facing Wichita State) at 37.41 percent.