Only 1 perfect bracket remains halfway through Friday’s fixture list

There were 23 perfect men’s NCAA tournament games remaining — including one made by a 3-year-old — when Friday’s slate began.

Just four games into the day, the number was reduced to four. By late afternoon, after Pittsburgh and Creighton won the opening round, only one remained.

No. 7 Michigan State’s win over No. 10 USC struck out 13 of the perfect brackets to start the day. The Spartans led most of the way and made a late push to take the 10-point win and move into the second round.

Then No. 3 Xavier narrowly edged out No. 14 Kennesaw State in the second game of the day. The Musketeers rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to win 72-67. One person had picked Kennesaw State to win, bringing the number of perfect brackets down to just nine.

Kennesaw State, despite leading by 13 points in the second half, fell to Xavier in their first-round NCAA Tournament game on Friday.

Kennesaw State, despite leading by 13 points in the second half, fell to Xavier in their first-round NCAA Tournament game on Friday. (AP/Chris Carlson)

While UC Santa Barbara gave it a run, even holding a one-point lead at halftime, No. 3 Baylor pulled ahead in the second half and took the 74-56 win in Game 3 on Friday. That knocked out two more perfect brackets, bringing the tally down to seven.

Unfortunately, that match also eliminated the 3-year-old’s bracket. He had picked the Gauchos to advance to the second round.

The remaining seven brackets were split on the fourth game on Friday, further reducing the number. No. 5 Saint Mary’s beat No. 12 VCU 63-51 after a close game in Albany, New York. That eliminated three more perfect brackets.

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The four brackets were then split at the Iowa State-Pittsburgh game. The Cyclones played one of the worst offensive games in NCAA Tournament history, falling to No. 11 Pittsburgh 59-41 after shooting just 23% from the field.

The two remaining brackets were cut in half again after No. 6 Creighton’s 72-63 win over No. 11 NC State. This meant that only one perfect bracket was left. The user picked his first 23 matches correctly, surpassing last year’s mark.

The final bracket features No. 5 Duke winning the tournament over No. 3 Gonzaga. Today’s biggest upset left in the bracket comes with No. 12 Drake having to beat No. 5 Miami on Friday afternoon.

On the women’s side, nearly three-quarters of brackets were eliminated after just two matches. No. 8 South Florida beat No. 9 Marquette in overtime in the first game of the day. Then No. 7 Arizona beat No. 10 West Virginia 75-62. It eliminated a whopping 71.7% of the brackets.

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