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TNIAAM NCAA Tournament Challenge Update: Duke sets brackets aflame

Through two rounds, no one’s really safe.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-South Carolina vs Duke Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last Monday, we said we could still have a TNIAAM bracket pool without the Syracuse Orange. A total of 69 (nice.) of us agreed with that sentiment.

But could the brackets themselves continue without Duke?

After the first round, everyone was doing pretty well given the lack of upsets. But round two was sweet revenge for March Madness. Of the 16 games in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the lesser seed one in four of them. And that list could’ve included nine more upsets, too.

The most issues arose from Villanova and Duke’s respective losses -- the Wildcats and Blue Devils respectively owning the top two seeds in the East region. ESPN broke down the carnage from its own competition. A total of 12 percent of their brackets had Duke winning it all, with 39 percent putting them in the Final Four.

Our own top bracket so far remains sort of intact despite that loss. Commenter bl8r86 is currently in first place with 50 points (and 39 correct picks) in the Jokes & Garbage Brack-tacular, losing his first Final Four team with the Blue Devils’ defeat.

Behind him is Ben Lupia (if you’re a commenter, raise your hand), with 49 points and 38 correct picks. Ben has his entire Final Four remaining, which gives him a slight edge over bl8r86.

After those two is a bit of a crowd. We have a three-way tie for third between Eric Terchila, JohnDoe315 and my wife Kendra (yes, it’s actually her), who all have 48 points apiece. Eric lost Notre Dame (a finalist in his bracket) on Saturday, and JohnDoe315 is without Villanova and Louisville at this point. Kendra’s in the worst shape going forward, having picked Duke to win it all (#disloyalidiot).

The rest of the top 10 rounds is just behind those names as well. Fareastcuse, Tim, Nathan Dodge and Eric K all have 47 points. NOLACuse and Melissa round out the top 10 with 46 each.

Lurking in the shadows around the rest of the leaderboard are a bunch of folks with Final Fours in stable condition and a bunch of points left on the board. One of those individuals (yours truly) hopes that the Sweet 16 goes better for them than the last round did. Just missing out on the Rhode Island and Wichita State upsets hurts.

We’ll have another update once the Final Four is set. Some brackets have taken their lumps, but it truly is anyone’s game right now, save a select few.