Yahoo Sports Fouls Out Before March Madness Tips Off

Billion-Dollar Bracket Contest's Early Deadline Turns Cinderella Story

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Like Ohio State's men's basketball team, Yahoo came up short on Thursday.

On one of the year's biggest sports days -- the start of the NCAA men's basketball tournament -- Yahoo Sports went down. Yahoo acknowledged the problem on Twitter a half hour before March Madness tipped off.

A Yahoo representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For a sports site, this kind of glitch is as poorly timed as Chris Webber's mistaken time-out that cost his school the title in 1993 . Since most people are stuck following the opening day's games from their office computers, the day is typically a traffic win for sites like Yahoo Sports. While Yahoo Sports was sidelined, those people may have turned elsewhere, meaning Yahoo may not reap as much ad revenue as expected today.

It could have been a lot worse. Many people spend the dying minutes before tip-off finalizing their picks of who will win each of the tournament's 63 games. These people usually compete with friends and co-workers for bragging rights or small prizes.

Yahoo happened to be hosting a bracket challenge sponsored by Quicken Loans that boasted a $1 billion grand prize. Fortunately, the entry window closed at 1 a.m. ET on Thursday, hours before complaints popped up on Twitter. Not that people didn't take to Twitter anyway to complain about Yahoo busting their brackets.

At 2:10 p.m. ET, Yahoo tweeted that Yahoo Sports was back up -- just in time to track Ohio State's failed buzzer-beater.

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