Saturday, March 23, 2013

Round of 64 observations: My bracket is busted. Thankfully I don’t bet. Three Florida Schools advance to round of 32 and Cinderella has a monster dunk!

Best game so far? Florida Gulf Coast University defeats Georgetown. An number 15th seed, but as the tired cliche goes "that's why they play the game" – and why you have such a­­­ poor chance of filling out a perfect March Madness bracket.  I looked up “odds of winning NCAA Bracket” (the pools, not the games, obviously there is a 100 percent of a team actually winning the bracket smarty).  Here is what I found: “Odds of Picking a Perfect NCAA Bracket are One in Nine Quintillion.”

The article quotes Jeff Bergen, a math professor at DePaul University, who determined that we have a one in 9 quintillion chance of filling out a perfect bracket.  Really? Well show us your work professor. Professor Bergen details in the article that there are 64 teams in total, but only 63 are entered into the formula because one team will not lose any games.

Perfection is required in 63 straight games. Not so hard, right? After all, the Miami Heat is currently on a 25 game win streak.

This means you can determine the chances of getting a correct bracket by multiplying 2x2 63 times, which yields the number 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.

Professor Bergen details a formula for those who had knowledge of basketball, and determined that their chances of winning are one out of 128,000,000,000. So, OK, as the article states, someone who has this undefined “better knowledge” has a “better chance” but it is clear that neither should be playing their retirement money on a bracket in Vegas.  The article reveals that a person who knows basketball has less than a .25 percent chance of creating a correct bracket.

You also have a much better chance of getting struck by lightning inside your home in a thunderstorm if you are taking a shower.

Nice payoff if you can win it.  Your chance of winning the Florida Powerball lottery?  1 in 175,223,510

I think I will stick to watching the games and rooting for great play (and a University of Miami Final Four)

Click the headline to read Ben Chodos' column in CNN Sports online: "FloridaGulf Coast Stuns Georgetown in Shocking Upset" to read more coverage on the dramatic update as well as view embedded video of Chase Fieler's thunderous dunk. You have to love the announcer's comment ”Welcome to your Kodak moment!”

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