ESPN’s Tournament Challenge is up and running. As you ponder your predictions, here are a few things for you to consider:
Notes about last year’s game:
• 8.14 million total brackets entered.
• 21.9 percent of brackets correctly picked Louisville to win it all. The Cardinals were the most popular pick.
• Just 47 total brackets correctly picked all four Final Four teams: Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse, Wichita State (just 0.24 percent of brackets had No. 9 seed Wichita State in the Final Four).
• The best score after the Round of 64 was 30 of 32 correct (just 5 brackets).
• No one picked the entire Sweet 16 correctly, and just 4 had 15 of 16 teams right.
Now, here are some early returns from this year's brackets (as of 9:30 p.m. ET):
• 851,000 brackets have been entered so far
• Florida is the most popular pick to win it all at 29.4 percent of brackets.
• The next most popular picks to win it all:
No. 4 Michigan State (10.6 percent)
No. 4 Louisville (8.1 percent )
No. 1 Wichita State (7 percent)
No. 1 Arizona (6.8 percent)
No. 3 Duke (6.3 percent)
No. 2 Kansas (5.5 percent)
No. 1 Virginia (4.3 percent)
No. 2 Michigan (4.2 percent)
No. 3 Syracuse (3.8 percent)
Other interesting notes:
• No. 9 seeds Pittsburgh (73 percent ) and Oklahoma State (68.7 percent ) are resounding favorites in their Round of 64 matchups. Those are the only "upsets" picked in the majority of the brackets so far.
• No. 1 seeds Arizona and Wichita State are not as overwhelming favorites to reach the Sweet 16 as you might think. The Wildcats make the Sweet 16 in 76.1 percent of brackets; the Shockers are at 64.3 percent, compared to fellow top seeds Florida (94 percent) and Virginia (90.6 percent).
• On a related note with Wichita State, 30.5 percent of brackets have 8-seed Kentucky reaching the Sweet 16.
• As for the popular 12-over-5 upsets, here's how many brackets are picking the 12 seeds to win in the Round of 64:
NC State/Xavier winner: 33.3 percent
Harvard: 28.7 percent
Stephen F. Austin: 20.6 percent
North Dakota State: 18.5 percent
• Percentage of brackets picking each of the No. 1 seeds to reach the Final Four:
Florida: 62.4 percent
Arizona: 45.6 percent
Virginia: 26.2 percent (Michigan State tops in region at 40.4 percent)
Wichita State: 20.2 percent (Louisville tops in region at 34.1 percent, Duke second best at 22.9 percent)