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TNIAAM Bracket Challenge Update: Carnage is the Theme

Virginia was just the start of the upheaval.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Virginia vs UMBC Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It was an eventful opening weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. And while we’ve been focused largely on the havoc our Syracuse Orange have caused so far, so much more of this year’s bracket has also burned to the ground:

  • Virginia historically fell to 16-seed UMBC on Friday night
  • Florida State upset an overrated 1-seed Xavier on Sunday
  • 13-seed Buffalo upset Arizona in round one
  • Nevada came back from 22 points down to beat 2-seed Cincinnati
  • Loyola-Chicago beat Tennessee on a last-second shot
  • Texas A&M smothered UNC

The results have done a number on most brackets in the TNIAAM challenge. Just six brackets have over 1,000 points remaining on the board (out of 1,280), and only 30 brackets have topped 400 points so far.

Through two rounds, the top entries include (ESPN usernames listed here):

1. Magelly1: 460 points (Champ: Virginia)

T-2. NSFasoldt: 450 points (Champ: West Virginia)

T-2. The New Orange Order: 450 points (Champ: North Carolina)

4. Djpearso: 440 points (Champ: Villanova)

T-5. 24joejoe: 430 points (Champ: Syracuse)

T-5. OrangeInAustin: 430 points (Champ: Syracuse)

T-5. espn42873533: 430 points (Champ: Virginia)

T-5: BradSlavin: 430 points (Champ: Virginia)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round- Michigan State Spartans vs Syracuse Orange Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

First off, props to the two VERY #loyalidiots for picking Syracuse to win it all. Their faith has been rewarded with top-five brackets so far.

This top five (eight) is going to change plenty by the end of the Sweet 16, even, since half of them picked teams that are no longer in the running. Of these eight, Djpearso has the most points left on the board, with 880.

But the winner could still easily come from outside of this group, too. All six brackets with 1,000 points left out there are further down the list, but can jump up with some key wins. The highest upside belongs to Starman Eclipse, who’s tied for 31st with just 390 points thus far. However, they have 1,120 points left out there and picked Duke to win it all. That bracket could be busted by Friday night, though, if Syracuse pulls off the upset.

Link is above to see the full standings. While I’m hoping I don’t repeat last year’s last-place finish (I’m tied for 20th so far), I’d much rather my Blue Devils pick be wrong and have Syracuse keep this run going.