Tragedy, Thy Name Is A Busted Bracket

Each year, countless brackets are upended by upsets in the men's NCAA basketball tournament. We hear laments from those whose brackets were busted within hours of the first full day of play.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Upsets ruled the day yesterday in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and today is following suit. For those stuck with the top-seeded teams as they filled out a tournament bracket, those upsets can be upsetting. Here is NPR's Nathan Rott.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: It took just 59 minutes and 55 seconds...

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sanford, oh.

ROTT: ...and a go-ahead bucket from Dayton guard Vee Sanford broadcast here on CBS.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, no.

ROTT: For more than 80 percent of America, including one Tom Knox in Columbus, Ohio, to watch the brackets go up in flames. How did it feel to have your hopes and dreams ruined 60 minutes into a two-and-a-half-week tournament?

TOM KNOX: It did not feel good.

ROTT: For Knox, the sting was especially sharp.

KNOX: I had Ohio State winning the championship.

ROTT: He followed his heart instead of his head, not that it would have made much of a difference. 11th-ranked Dayton's upset of sixth-seeded Ohio State in the first game of the NCAA tournament was just the first. Harvard beat Cincinnati. North Dakota State stampeded the Sooners, and earlier today, 14th-seeded Mercer, from Macon, Georgia, topped third-seeded Duke - yes, Duke, one of the top NCAA teams of all time. Bracketologists cringed. More than 11 million brackets were filled out on ESPN.com. After Duke's loss, only 2,185 remained perfect or about .02 percent. And we're not even through the first round of the tournament. Nathan Rott, NPR News.

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