Another year, another failed attempt at creating a perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket by millions. For years sports fans around the nation partake in the annual challenge of picking every single game correctly in the NCAA Tournament. The tournament consists of sixty-four teams, sixty-three games, six rounds, and one champion.
Beginning in 1977 at a Staten Island bar, eighty eight people created separate brackets and all put ten dollars into a winner-take-all pot. This form of gambling has evolved into over 60 million brackets being filled out each year, and exponential amounts of money at risk.
Last year, long time billionaire, Warren Buffet, offered a one billion dollar reward to anybody who filled out a perfect bracket using Yahoo! Sports. Nobody came remotely close to winning the challenge, as the odds are one in 9.2 quintillion. If you take away the chances of a number sixteen seed running the table and winning it all, the odds shrink to one in 128 billion*. A 16 seed has never made it past the first round, giving confidence to fans creating their brackets. Still, you’re more likely to win the Mega Million Jackpot than you are to create a perfect bracket.
The popularity surrounding the tournament grows every year, with more and more fans partaking in the fun. Many people who don’t even watch basketball still enjoy creating a bracket purely for enjoyment. What is a good strategy for choosing teams you might ask? There is none. Flipping a coin, picking a favorite mascot, or even relying on an infant to pick each match-up have all become common ideas.
The odds are anything but in your favor, but that shouldn’t stop any fan from enjoying the dream of creating the first ever perfect bracket.
One thing is for certain, though, you can always count on an upset.