We probably don’t have to tell you, but in case you weren’t aware: March Madness is in full swing beginning with its annual bracket-filling tradition.
Wednesday is crunch day as college basketball fans have a final day to finish filling out their brackets. But have you ever thought about the odds of achieving a perfect bracket? According to NPR, University of Minnesota math professor Mike Weimerskirch tabulated them to be 147 quintillion to one (147,000,000,000,000,000,000:1), based a 68-team tournament.
First round games began Tuesday and continue Wednesday, but these teams generally are not included in the more typical 64-team bracket.
A press release from RJ Bell of Pregame.com stated that 100 million people around the world are expected to put $12 billion on the line beginning with Thursday’s games, which is “more action combined than the Super Bowl!”
The odds that even one of those 100 million brackets would be perfect by tourney’s end is 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 — or 9.2 quintillion based on the most widely used 64-team bracket.
“That’s ONE MILLION times bigger than 9 TRILLION!” Bell’s release added helpfully.
Or, put another way: “If all the people on Earth filled out one bracket per second, it would take over 43 years to fill out every possible bracket.”
And another: “If all possible brackets were stacked on top of each other (on standard paper), the pile would reach from the moon and back over 1.1 million times.”
Math professor Jeff Bergen with DePaul University explained perfect bracket odds in this video posted last year:
President Barack Obama has filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN for the fifth straight year, picking Florida, Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State to reach the Final Four.
Indiana and Louisville are each No. 1 seeds. Ohio State is a No. 2 seed and Florida is a No. 3 seed
In 2012, President Obama’s men’s bracket ranked 2,347,421 out of 6.45 million entries, placing him in the 63.6th percentile.
Watch this report from CBS Minnesota with tips for brackets from previous winners of a company pools:
- Who’s in Your Bracket for Liberal Madness 2013?
- Obligatory: Obama Fills Out His March Madness Bracket
- A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: America’s Bracket
- ‘You Got Game?’: Obama’s Site Hosts Bracket Challenge
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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