Getting Your Bracket Right is Figuratively Impossible
We are in late March and halfway through the madness. Everybody is boasting about their brackets when they stack theirs up against their fellow peers. A fact… you don’t know jack, and no one actually “knows” what they are doing when filling these things out.
It’s Impossible In Spite Of What Analysts Say
Since 1985, when the tournament had expanded to 64 total teams, college basketball junkies have filled out brackets confident that “this year will be the year I guess all 63 matchups correctly,” and for 30 years now, that feat has yet to be achieved. College basketball “analysts” like Jay Bilas, Jay Williams, and Dick Vitale are on ESPN in the days leading up to the NCAA tournament telling us their picks and why.
Although extremely knowledgable and well versed in this, their area of expertise, we must remember this is their job and they are paid merely to provide us with their thoughts. After all, they have never been 100% on a bracket either.
Do The Math
There ia a 1 in 9,233,372,036,854,775,808 chance of predicting the outcome of every matchup correctly. That is indeed 9.2 quintillion. In comparison, there is a 1 in 175,223,510 chance of winning the Powerball lottery.
DePaul University math professor, Paul Bergen, has a strategy to increase those infinitesimal chances. Ever since the tourney has included 64 teams, never has a #16 seed taken down a #1 seed so one could omit the chance of this possibility ever occurring. This simple omission increases your chances by a factor of 16 up to 1 in 576,460,752,303,423,488 which is still much lower than the chance of winning the Powerball.
The next time someone says they understand the “art of bracketology”, and explains their reasoning as to why they’ve “got it this year”, just look at them dead in the face and constantly repeat “9.2 quintillion, 9.2 quintillion, 9.2 QUINTILLION”. That should get the message across. Hindsight: A majority of your peers in your pool have Kentucky winning it all as does Vegas. I hope you didn’t pick Kentucky.