Bracket Buster

What is a bracket buster?

A team that upsets a highly ranked team

A bracket buster is a team that upsets a highly-ranked opponent in a tournament, ruining fans' bracket predictions. Fans may use this term in various sports, but you will most often hear and see it during March Madness.

Bracket busters are surprise tournament teams (commonly called a cinderella) that have upset one or more highly-ranked opponents, leaving fans' busted brackets in their wake. For example, a bracket buster in March Madness is often a mid-major school that beats a school from higher-powered conferences, such as the Big Ten, SEC, or ACC, busting fans' predictions.

People may also refer to the result of a game as a bracket buster. For example, your friend might ask, "Did you see that SDST and UNC game? It was a bracket buster!"


That 2006 George Mason team was a bracket buster, for sure
Definitely, they were an 11th seed that made it to the Final Four!

When your bracket is busted

Related Slang


Updated March 17, 2023

Bracket buster definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Bracket buster" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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