As the dust settles on the opening weekend of Agio’s M@rch Cybersecurity P@s$word Pl@yoffs, the strength of the NULLS power conference (which leverages numbers, both lower- and upper-case letters, and symbols) is emerging as the conference to beat, though the opening rounds of the playoffs were not without their upsets. Each conference is a different type of password, varying in style, length and complexity, creating nail biters all around.

Let’s dig into how we ended up with the Agio Secure 16 and examine which passwords stood strong in the face of a barrage of cyber-criminal hits. (Note: scores below represent how long it took a cybercriminal to hack the password. Cheat sheet: both character length and style make it harder to get hacked.)

Out of the East:

The overall top seeded NULLS – Team 18, mixed style with length (18 characters) to run NO – Team 9 (i.e., numbers only with 9 characters) out of the gym in the opening minutes. (Score: NULLS – Team 18: 438 trillion yrs; Β NO – Team 9: 0)

The pairing of seeds 8 and 9 presented more drama as NO – Team 15 put up a fight NULLS – Team 8 down to the last 7 minutes in regulation, when a late run by NULLS – Team 8 put the game out of reach. (Score: NULLS – Team 8: 39 minutes; NO – Team 15: 32 minutes)

The matchup between the 7th and 10th seed took us to triple overtime, with NULLS – Team 10 pulling off the upset of UCLC – Team 11 with a half-court shot at the buzzer. (Score: NULLS – Team 10: 5 months, 1 day; UCLC – Team 11: 5 months)

6th seed LL – Team 17 and 11th seed UCLC – Team 14 offered the most compelling match up in the first round with the 6th seed LL – Team 17 proving that length in the paint can out outlast style of play in some instances. (Score: LL – Team 17: 69,000 yrs; UCLC – Team 14: 64,000 yrs)

The Round of 32 saw the top-seeded teams make it through easily to the Secure 16, with the NULLS conference sweeping the region. NULLS – Team 13; NULLS – Team 15; NULLS – Team 18; NULL – Team 17 advance!

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Out of the South:

Day 1 in the South Region started with an upset; this one saw 10th seed NULL – Team 9 send NO – Team 16 home by shooting five-for-five from outside down the stretch to pull off a win and advance to the Round of 32. (Score: NULL – Team 9: 7 hours; NO – Team 16: 5 hours)

That said, NULL – Team 9 ran into a dead end in the second round, falling without much of a fight to NULLS – Team 16. (Score: NULLS – Team 16: 92 billion yrs; NULL – Team 9: 7 hours)

Seeds 8 and 9 in the region went blow for blow in the waning minutes of the second half, when LL – Team 11 (9thseed) went on a 5-0 run to notch the win over UCLC – Team 9 (8th seed) in the final minute to pull off the upset. (Score: LL – Team 11: 2 hours; UCLC – Team 9: 1 hour)

NULL – Team 13 (4th seed) vs NULLS – Team 11 ( 5th seed) proved to be the most surprising outcome of the Round of 32 in the South, with NULL – Team 13 running NULLS Team 11 off the court from the opening tip. (Score: NULL – Team 13: Β 12,000 yrs; NULLS – Team 11: 34 years)

Here are the four teams coming out of the South: UCLC – Team 16; UCLC – Team 18; NULL – Team 13; NULLS – Team 16 advance!

Out of the West:

9th seeded NO – Team 18 gave us the first upset of the opening round. As one of the longest teams in the conference, they were able to outlast 8th seeded NULL- Team 10 in overtime by getting the ball inside in the extra period. (Score: NO – Team 18: 3 weeks; NULL- Team 10: 3 weeks, 1 day).

The second upset of the opening round also came out of the West Region, with 10th seeded NULLS – Team 12 employing motion offense and accurate shooting plus staving on a late from LL – Team 16 to survive and advance. (Score: NULLS – Team 12: 3,000 yrs, 6 months; LL – Team 16: 3,000 yrs).

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In the Round of 32, UCLC – Team 17 routed NULLS – Team 12, by dominating the paint and the boards, proving the length can disrupt style and the best offense starts with a good defense. (Score: UCLC – Team 17: 9 billion yrs; NULLS – Team 12: 3,000 yrs, 6 months)

Top seeds advanced in the remaining Round of 64 with ease, though three non-NULLS Conference teams made it through to the second week of action, two coming out of the NULL conference: NULL – Team 15; NULL – Team 18; UCLC – Team 17; and NULLS – Team 14 advance!

Out of the Midwest:

From the Midwest Region came our wildest results, with two teams from Conference LL still standing after the first round. LL – Team 13 handled LL – Team 10 (Score: LL – Team 13: 2 months; LL – Team 10: 4 minutes), and LL – Team 18 cruising to victory over NO – Team 13 by a margin of by a margin of nearly 2 million years. (Score LL – Team 18: 2 million yrs; NO – Team 13: 19 seconds)

LL – Team 18 continues to roll in the Round of 32, easily besting LL – Team 13, to be the lone team from Conference LL to make it into the second week of play. (Score: LL – Team 18: 2 million yrs; LL – Team 13: 2 months)

Conference UCLC punched their second ticket to the Secure 16, with the blowout win by UCLC – Team 15 over NULL – Team 12. (Score: UCLC – Team 15: 3 million yrs; NULL – Team 12: 200 years)

From the Midwest, NULLS – Team 17; LL – Team 18; UCLC – Team 15; and NULL – Team 16 advance!

Which teams do you have surviving in the second week of play? Check back in a week for results and color commentary. To learn more about how to build a conference-winning password that stands up to cyber criminals, view our infographic.