How to construct the perfect bracket

It’s March everybody, and that means one thing. No, not St. X or Trinity’s prom, not St. Patrick’s Day, and not spring break. It might be National Frozen Food month, National Peanut Month, and National Women’s History Month, but that’s not the part of March I’m excited about. For any college basketball fan, March is the best month of the year. That’s right, March Madness is here, and it’s going to get crazy.

The University of Kentucky claimed the top overall seed in the tournament, no surprise to anyone. The team is currently 34-0, the only undefeated team remaining. They have a 41% chance of taking the title and having the perfect 40-0 season. Other top seeds include the University of Wisconsin- 10%, Villanova- 11%, and Duke-6%. The University of Louisville comes in with a #4 seed in the East bracket as well, and has a predicted 1% chance of winning the tournament. Many people set out to create a perfect bracket, but the odds of this happening are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.  That’s 9.2 quintillion. No, those aren’t just random numbers all strung together. Somebody really took the time to decipher the exact odds of creating a perfect prediction of the outcome in the highly unpredictable game of basketball. This is why some people, like Warren Buffet, have contests promising $1 billion to any person who can construct a perfect bracket. The odds really aren’t ever in your favor. You have a better chance at getting struck by lightning, being in the NBA, or winning the lottery.

There are some things to think about when filling out your bracket that could better your odds. A #16 seed has never beaten a #1 seed, so you’re better off not picking that upset in the first round. A #9 seed more often than not beats a #8 seed in the first round but you will really have to look individually at those matchups to pick a winner. Also, only one time in history have all #1 seeds made it to the final four. Most experts agree UK is the team to beat and would pick them to cut down the nets in Indianapolis. Some pick teams like WVU, Notre Dame, and Kansas to upset the Wildcats. No one can know for certain who will win these games, but at least now you’re a little more educated going into it.

 

Article by A. Sullivan 

Image Credit: “Kentucky at Arkansas basketball, 2013 001” by Brandonrush – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kentucky_at_Arkansas_basketball,_2013_001.jpg#/media/File:Kentucky_at_Arkansas_basketball,_2013_001.jpg

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