Here's How Much A $100 Bet On 15-Seed Princeton Paid Out And How It Crushed Joe Biden's Bracket

Zinger Key Points
  • After the first 16 games, there are only 658 perfect brackets remaining, out of over 20 million on ESPN.
  • Princeton is one of the biggest betting upsets of all time.

The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicked off this week with 16 games played on Thursday, March 16. The games featured several upsets including one that is among the biggest of all time.

Here’s a look at how much bets on the upset paid and how it impacted the president’s bracket.

What Happened: On Thursday, the 15-seed Princeton Tigers defeated the 2-seed Arizona Wildcats in one of the biggest upsets since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

This marked only the 11th time that a 15 seed has won in the round of 64 teams. Formally a huge upset, this was also the second straight year that a 15-seed beat a 2-seed and the seventh since 2012.

Entering the game, Arizona was a 15.5-point favorite to defeat Princeton. A bet on Princeton to win the game had odds of +920 according to Action Network. Arizona was a favorite listed with odds of around -1100 to -1800, meaning a bettor would have to bet $1,100 to $1,800 to profit $100 if the Wildcats won.

That means that a $100 bet on Princeton paid out $1,020.

The Bracket Impact: The loss by Arizona had a huge impact on bracket pools across the country with Arizona a strong favorite to advance deep into the tournament.

More than 20 million brackets were submitted in the Tournament Challenge hosted by ESPN, a unit of Walt Disney Co DIS. After the first 16 games, there are only 658 perfect brackets remaining. The odds of having a perfect bracket, something that has never happened, are 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

The 2023 tournament may see no brackets perfect after the first two days of the tournaments with several opening round upsets.

Arizona was selected to win the first-round game in 93.4% of the brackets on ESPN. The team was also picked to reach the Final 4 in 11.1% of brackets, the sixth most of any team. Arizona was also a popular pick to reach the championship game, selected in 4.9% of brackets, seventh most of all teams.

Related Link: March Madness Perfect Bracket Odds: Hold My Beer, Mega Millions and Powerball 

Two of the most followed brackets during the tournament will likely be those of President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama.

Biden’s bracket took a big hit Thursday with his champion Arizona eliminated from the competition. Biden also lost another Elite 8 team with Virginia losing their opening round game.

Biden got 10 of the first-round games right and six wrong.


Obama’s bracket is doing better through the first 16 games with 11 wins and 5 losses. Obama also has more expected points possible, picking Arizona to lose to Baylor in the Sweet 16 and Virginia to lose to San Diego State in the Round of 32.

Obama’s overall national champion pick, the Duke Blue Devils, had a decisive 74-51 opening round victory over Oral Roberts.

Around 35% of U.S. adults said they plan on watching the NCAA Men’s Tournament, up 6% from last year’s survey.

The interest in watching the games could be good news for Paramount Global PARAPARAA and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc WBD which share television coverage.

Victory and Defeat:  The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament could see $15.5 billion in wagers across sports betting platforms, among friends and through bracket competitions.

A report from the American Gaming Association said 68 million Americans are expected to wager on the games this year.

Princeton’s win over Arizona was the ninth largest upset (by betting spread) in the NCAA Tournament according to Action Network from data traced back to 1978.

The biggest upset of all time happened in 2012 when 15-seeded Norfolk State defeated 2-seed Missouri as a 21-point underdog. Many fans of March Madness will also remember the first time a 1-seed lost in the opening round when UMBC defeated 20-point favorite Virginia in 2018.

Last year’s Cinderella team, the 15-seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks, had the fifth biggest upset of all time, defeating Kentucky as a 17.5-point underdog.

Sports reporter Darren Rovell said Arizona was the sixth most bet team to win the NCAA Men’s National Tournament at DraftKings Inc DKNG, making up around 5% of bets on the championship game.

Friday’s schedule features 16 more games and could see more upsets and also knock out the rest of the remaining perfect brackets.

Read Next: 6 Biggest Upsets In NCAA March Madness History

Photo: cunaplus via Shutterstock



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Posted In: Sports BettingSportsTop StoriesGeneralBarack ObamabasketballDarren RovellJoe BidenMarch MadnessNCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
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