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NCAA upsets crush bracket hopes

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Cincinnati’s Justin Jackson (5) tries to stop a shot by Harvard’s Steve Moundou-Missi in the first half during a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Cincinnati’s Justin Jackson (5) tries to stop a shot by Harvard’s Steve Moundou-Missi in the first half during a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Ohio State’s Shannon Scott (3) helps up Aaron Craft (4) after a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. Dayton won 60-59. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Cincinnati’s Troy Caupain, left, and Jermaine Sanders, right, speak with Justin Jackson after their 61-57 loss to Harvard in the second-round of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Dayton’s Vee Sanford (43) hits the game-winning shot against Ohio State 3.8 seconds remaining in the second half in a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Robert Kirkham) TV OUT; MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; BATAVIA DAILY NEWS OUT; DUNKIRK OBSERVER OUT; JAMESTOWN POST-JOURNAL OUT; LOCKPORT UNION-SUN JOURNAL OUT; NIAGARA GAZETTE OUT; OLEAN TIMES-HERALD OUT; SALAMANCA PRESS OUT; TONAWANDA NEWS OUT

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — So you were confident in your bracket, hoping to win the office pool, maybe get lucky and take down that $1 billion prize Warren Buffett is offering for a perfect run of picks.

One game in and … done.

Way to go, Dayton.

And thanks for piling on, Harvard.

The first full day of the NCAA tournament got off to what has become its usual scream-at-the-TV start, opening with two first-afternoon upsets that sent a wave of crumpled brackets — about 95 percent of them missed at least one of the first eight games — flying from Buffalo to San Diego.

Dayton, the No. 11 seed in the South Regional, got it started in the first game Thursday, knocking off sixth-seeded Ohio State 60-59 in Buffalo, N.Y.

A few hours later, No. 12 East seed Harvard had its David-vs-Goliath thing working for the second straight year, taking down seventh-seeded Cincinnati 61-57 in Spokane, Wash.

Thanks for playing everyone. Those two upsets, both of which ended before most people got home from work, eliminated almost everyone shooting for perfection.

With Dayton’s win, about 83 percent of the brackets in Yahoo’s Tourney Pick ‘Em game were one and done, perfection flushed in 40 minutes. Harvard’s win — along with the small group who didn’t pick Wisconsin or Pittsburgh — only figured to add to the number of disappointed would-be billionaires once the official numbers were released.

At CBSSports.com, Dayton took out 81 percent of the poolers in the bracket challenge. By the time Harvard won, just 5 percent of the brackets were still perfect.

It was a 9.2 quintillion pipe dream to begin with, and Buffett has to like his chances even more now.

Of the 11 million brackets in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, over 80 percent had Ohio State advancing to the next round. That’s about 8.8 million brackets with a blemish after one game.

And 2.2 percent had Ohio State going all the way to the Final Four: Oops!

After the first afternoon of games, just 5.7 percent of ESPN brackets had a chance at perfection.

This, of course, is nothing new.

We are in the era of upsets, where seedings and status have little bearing on the bracket.

A year ago, not a single person of the 11 million who entered on ESPN’s website was perfect after a first day filled with upsets. Just four got 15 out of 16 right.

By now, we’ve learned that Cinderella’s carriage doesn’t turn into a pumpkin once the NCAA tournament starts. It becomes a Formula One car racing through the bracket — and is doing it again this year.

Associated Press

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