Odds Are… The Perfect Bracket

Jared Fisch ('18), Eastside Staff


It’s that wonderful time of year again… March Madness. As everyone scrambles to submit their brackets, will yours be the one?

Nobody has ever predicted a perfect NCAA March Madness bracket. It doesn’t seem that hard, but truly, it is nearly impossible. With 63 basketball games to be played amongst 64 teams, the outcome shocks us all every year.

Upsets are the biggest “bracket buster” and crush the dreams of hopeful basketball fans when they happen. Although a sixteenth seed has never beaten a first seed, other upsets and “Cinderella stories” have occurred. Out of 120 games since 1985, the fifteenth seed has beaten the second seed only seven times, but that’s enough to keep people away from one of the greatest feats: a perfect bracket.

Stephen F. Austin, a twelfth seed, will be playing the fifth-seeded West Virginia squad in the first round. This is one major “upset alert” that sports analysts and “bracketologists” are going crazy about. Millions are deciding whether to go with the underdog or to go with the favorite. This is just one of many puzzling games that drive people nuts.

The perfect bracket is so difficult that last year Warren Buffet offered one billion dollars to whomever could achieve this goal. Millions methodically picked their teams in hopes of cashing in, but of course, nobody came out a billionaire except for Buffet. You could say Buffet is insane to make this offer with nothing to gain, but you are totally wrong because the odds were in his favor.

In 2013, Yahoo and CBS compiled all of their submitted brackets and found a mind-blowing statistic… nobody picked over 50 games correctly. This is far from the perfect bracket all of us sports fans yearn for.

The percentages aren’t very pleasing for anyone hoping to be the first to achieve this perfect bracket. There is a 99.99 percent chance that everyone will get at least one game wrong, which only confirms Buffet’s mindset before offering up a billion dollars. Now obviously this was just a publicity stunt for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), which steamrolled its way across the nation on the front pages of newspapers.

This year, the University of Kentucky Wildcats are the heavy favorite to win the tournament and most of us will hook ourselves on to the Wildcat bandwagon in hopes of winning it all. Many brackets will be busted if Kentucky is upset. Just one game has to go wrong for a bracket to be busted and with the unpredictability of this tournament… who knows?

Your odds are… one in over nine quintillion (9,000,000,000,000,000,000). Good Luck!