Wad up the NCAA Tournament office-pool bracket and shoot it in the trash. Two long-shot teams are in the Final Four, and President Barack Obama, an astute observer of college basketball, went 0-for-4.
The beauty of the tournament is always its unpredictability, but this year has been unusually odd.
All the beasts -- Ohio State, Kansas, Duke and the list goes on -- were knocked off. For only the third time since 1979, no No. 1 seeds reached the Final Four.
The madness of March is taking on new meaning. Butler, Virginia Commonwealth, Connecticut and Kentucky converge to form a highly unlikely foursome.
"I like it this way," said Jimmy Vaccaro, director of operations for Lucky's sports books. "You're going to have one of the long shots playing for the title, and that's good. There's some intrigue."
What has been a wild two weeks of wagering at Las Vegas sports books will come down to a third weekend even Hollywood would not dare script.
After the 68-team field was set, ESPN accepted 5.9 million entries in its bracket contest. Only two forecasted this Final Four.
Southwest Region No. 11 seed VCU (28-11) faces Southeast Region No. 8 seed Butler (27-9) in one improbable national semifinal Saturday in Houston. The Bulldogs opened as 2½-point favorites.
Each team was a big underdog to get this far. Before the tournament, Butler was at about 200-1 odds to win the championship, and the odds on VCU were as high as 350-1.
"To think you're going to have either Butler or VCU in the championship game is very appealing for a lot of people," Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay said.
The other semifinal pits West Region No. 3 seed Connecticut (30-9) against East Region No. 4 Kentucky (29-8). The Wildcats are 2-point favorites.
Kentucky advanced with a 76-69 victory over North Carolina on Sunday. The game went to the wire, as the Wildcats led by one point in the final minute.
The standing-room-only crowds that filled the sports books the first week had dwindled by Sunday afternoon. But plenty of diehards remained in the South Point book as Kentucky-North Carolina came down to a thrilling finish. Truong "Kevin" Nguyen stood up to cash his winning ticket on the Wildcats minus-1.
"You cannot win easily. You have to sweat to get your money," said Nguyen, a six-year resident of Las Vegas.
He discussed the result with Maurice Bertini, 68, a recent transplant from Alaska. Bertini clutched his parlay ticket on Kentucky and over the total of 146½, and shook his head in disbelief that the score narrowly stayed under the total.
"That's why the parlay is a sucker bet," Nguyen said.
Bertini, a sports betting rookie, said wagering is a "sensational way to watch the game."
Kentucky is now about an 8-5 favorite to win the national championship. But Bertini is rooting for one of the underdogs.
"The team I really like is Butler, the little guys playing the monsters," he said.
Unlike the other three teams that each won four games, VCU had to win five times to reach the Final Four. The Rams were underdogs in all five games, and upset Kansas 71-61 on Sunday.
"VCU was in the play-in game on a Tuesday night, and now they're in the Final Four? It's unbelievable," said Mike Colbert, M Resort sports book director for Cantor Gaming.
Colbert's bracket initially had Kentucky penciled in as the winner. Now he might be leaning a different direction.
"I actually think Butler is very capable of winning it all," Colbert said.
"Some people are saying they're not even going to watch the games. Other people say it's amazing those two teams are in the Final Four. I'm a college basketball fan, so I really like the matchups. I think it's good for the game."
Contact reporter Matt Youmans at email@example.com or 702-387-2907.