March Madness: Fairleigh Dickinson's wild upset over Purdue busts the final perfect bracket

There were 23 perfect NCAA men's tournament brackets left — including one made by a 3-year-old — when Friday’s slate of games started.

Just four games into the day, that number was cut down to four. By late afternoon, after Pittsburgh and Creighton won their opening round matchups, only one was left.

It was then one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history that officially busted the final bracket on Friday night.

No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson pulled off a wild 63-58 upset over No. 1 Purdue on Friday, which officially ruined the last Yahoo Sports perfect bracket after 24 games. It marked just the second time in history that a No. 16 seed has beaten a No. 1 seed, following Virginia's 20-point loss to UMBC in 2018. The Knights only made the tournament on a technicality, too.

Purdue was the fourth-most popular pick to win the national championship.

No. 7 Michigan State’s win over No. 10 USC knocked 13 of the 23 perfect brackets out to start the day. The Spartans led most of the way and pushed ahead late to take the 10-point win and get into the second round.

Then No. 3 Xavier just barely edged out a win over No. 14 Kennesaw State in the second game of the day. The Musketeers rallied back from a 13-point hole in the second half to take a 72-67 win. One person had picked Kennesaw State to win, which brought 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, and even held a one-point lead at halftime, No. 3 Baylor pulled ahead in the second half to take the 74-56 win in the third game on Friday. That knocked out two more perfect brackets, bringing the number down to seven.

Unfortunately, that game knocked the 3-year-old's bracket out, too. He had picked the Gauchos to advance into the second round.

The remaining seven brackets were split on the fourth game on Friday, which cut the number down even further. No. 5 Saint Mary's beat No. 12 VCU 63-51 after a tight battle in Albany, New York. That eliminated three more perfect brackets.

Those four brackets were then split on the Iowa State-Pittsburgh game. The Cyclones put up one of the worst offensive games in NCAA tournament history, and fell 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. That left just one perfect bracket standing. The user picked their first 23 games correctly, which surpassed last year's mark of 22.

The final bracket had No. 5 Duke winning the tournament over No. 3 Gonzaga, but so Purdue didn't do too much damage.

On the women’s side, nearly three-fourths of brackets were eliminated after just two games. 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. That eliminated a whopping 71.7% of brackets.

Mississippi State pulled off the first big upset of the women's tournament on Friday afternoon. The Bulldogs, after making it through the play-in, beat No. 6 Creighton 81-66 to advance to the second round. That left just 1.1% of brackets perfect. Only 8.1% of brackets were 10-1 through that point, too.

By the end of the night, thanks largely to No. 10 Princeton's comeback win over No. 7 NC State, only 0.099% of women's brackets were still perfect.