March Madness: 154 perfect women’s brackets remain on ESPN’s site after Ohio State’s loss

Seventh-seeded Duke rallied from 16 points down to defeat the Buckeyes 75-63, causing 1,283 perfect brackets to drop to 154.

LAS VEGAS — Perfect brackets on the ESPN Tournament Challenge site fell hard after second-seeded Ohio State’s exit Sunday in the second round action of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Seventh-seeded Duke rallied from 16 points down to defeat the Buckeyes 75-63, causing 1,283 perfect brackets to drop to 154.

Just .05% were perfect on CBS’ site by Saturday night, but there was no update by early Sunday afternoon. CBS does not release totals.

Sheldon Jacobson, who runs the Bracketodds website, said going with chalk in the women’s bracket was more effective than on that men’s side.

That is the way the first round played out over the first two days. Higher seeds were 31-1, with No. 6 Louisville’s 71-69 loss to No. 11 Middle Tennessee on Friday the one exception. The Cardinals’ loss was responsible for 1.58 million brackets taking their first defeat — the highest of the first round.

“At the end of the day, you know a lot of the No. 1s are going to be in the Final Four,” Jacobson said. “Occasionally, you’ll get a two or a three, but it just doesn’t happen very often. The men’s game is far more unpredictable. We can get high-scoring brackets in the women’s game, but so can everybody else.”

South Carolina is the favorite among brackets submitted to the CBS site, but many also believe in Caitlin Clark and Iowa. The Gamecocks were chosen on 41.5% of CBS ballots to win the NCAA Tournament, followed by Iowa at 29.6%.

Then there is a serious drop-off, with USC next at 4.2%. Last year’s champion, LSU, is on 3.2% of ballots.

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