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22.6 million brackets submitted: ESPN Tournament Challenge sets new record

A record 22.6 million brackets were submitted for the ESPN Tournament Challenge, with UConn the most popular pick to win. This news is particularly relevant given this is the first March Madness tournament since the formation of ESPN Bet.

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The ESPN Tournament Challenge has once again garnered significant participation, with a record-breaking 22.6 million brackets submitted ahead of this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. 

This figure marks an increase of 13% from last year's record of 17.3 million brackets. 

Prior to the tournament's commencement, the redesigned ESPN Tournament Challenge experienced significant activity, registering 27,555 brackets per minute at its peak.

Notably, UConn emerged as the most popular pick to win the men's final, with 24.7% of brackets selecting the Huskies to repeat as champions, followed by Houston at 13.7%.

A feature of the ESPN Tournament Challenge is the inclusion of the Perfect Bracket Tracker, enabling fans to monitor the number of perfect brackets remaining in real time. This aspect aims to add an element of engagement for participants, tracking games that could impact perfect bracket predictions.

While the Men's Tournament Challenge has reached its submission deadline, the ESPN Women's Tournament Challenge will continue to accept brackets until just before the tip-off of tomorrow's first game in the Round of 64.

This year's March Madness coincides with the first year of ESPN Bet's operations, a mobile and web platform for legal sports betting operated by Penn Entertainment. ESPN Bet offers various betting options across different sports and leagues.

In related news, ESPN Bet launched in North Carolina, coinciding with the state's legalisation of sports betting.

In March 2022, the ESPN Tournament Challenge registered 17.3 million brackets submitted for March Madness.

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