They call it March Madness for a reason.
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders – a 15 seed (!) – busted brackets everywhere on Friday afternoon, knocking off the second-seeded Michigan State Spartans 90-81 in an upset for the ages, and unquestionably the most shocking result in a tournament already filled with them.
According to ESPN, nearly 98 percent of brackets in their Tournament Challenge had the Spartans advancing to the second round of the tourney, 92 percent had them going to the Sweet 16, 81 percent had them in the Elite Eight and 22.3 percent of all players picked them to win the national championship – only the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, at 25 percent, were a more popular pick.
The Spartans also came into the tournament as heavy betting favorites to win it all, according to the Las Vegas Superbook:
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) March 18, 2016
Want even more carnage? Middle Tennessee’s win – coupled with a spate of other upsets over the tournament’s first two days – means that, of the 13 million brackets filled out on ESPN.com, only 6 remain perfect. The results aren’t much better in brackets over at CBS Sports. Meanwhile, MTSU’s win means there are zero perfect brackets still in play at Yahoo.
No wonder some are calling it the biggest upset in tournament history.
This is just the 8th time in 126 tries that a 15 seed has upset a 2 in the NCAA tournament – though, strangely, it’s happened four times over the past five years, including twice during the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Anyway, sorry Sparty – may we suggest a little Taylor Swift for your troubles?