Shooting for Bracketology Perfection: May the NCAA Basketball Odds be Ever in Your Favor

Megan Rochester

Friday, February 27, 2015 6:33 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 6:33 PM UTC

The NCAA Basketball Bracket Contest deadline is right around the corner on March 19th! Take a look at some of the college basketball odds and trends behind the tradition to help you organize your NCAA basketball picks that could land you big bucks on the tournament starting in just a few short weeks. 

As March of Madness approaches next month, I found myself wondering what kind of person it takes to make the perfect bracket. I mean, the numbers show us that:

The chances of picking the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament are one in 13,460,000

The chances of picking the perfect bracket of the NCAA tournament are 1 in 9.2 quintillion (1 quintillion is 1000000000000 millions or 1000000000 billions or  1000000 trillions or 1000 Quadrillions… in case you’re bad at the math.)

You’re actually more likely to flip a coin on “Heads” 30 times (1 and 1.1 billion)  than make a perfect bracket. You’re also more likely to get hit by lightning three times in one year (1 and 343 quadrillion), make 8 half-court shots in a row (1 in 39 trillion), or be crushed by a vending machine (1 in 112 million) than to make a perfect bracket. But hey, here’s the silverlining - you are also more likely to become a billionaire in the US (1 in 785,166) than fill up a perfect bracket.

How should you go about picking a perfect bracket? It’s the question that no one really has the answer to, but we all know there are specific ways to go about selecting your NCAA basketball picks. I’m pretty sure all of us know one of these stereotypes of bracket-pickers:


Mr. Stats
These are your nerds-on-the-numbers, if you will. They base their handicapping on some fancy-shmancy equation like number of wins - number of losses + number of rebounds x  average height of the team =  some kind of probability for which team will place where in the brackets.

This bracketer will see some success with his knowledge, as there are trends that are consistent for every tournament year, but the problem with equations is you can’t rule-in the upsets - which always ALWAYS always happen in the NCAA tourney.


Ms. Womanology
Okay ladies you’re going to hate me for a second, but you know you have to agree. This is a category for people who know absolutely jack-squat about the NCAA basketball tournament. They make their picks by which mascot they would rather cuddle during a screening of The Notebook or based on the color schemes that would look best on them during the month of April.

There's absolutely no logic or reasoning in this category, and, believe it or not, this particular category has some success behind it. Two years ago, a lady won a bracket contest by selecting which team’s mascot would win in a fight against the other team’s mascot.  


Mr. Die-Heart Fan
Unfortunately, this may be an even bigger sucker than Ms. Womanology because at least women follow their stupidity and not their hearts (for once). These are the ones who pick their high school teammate’s team regardless of their record or the one who ranks their Alma Mater in that number 1 spot because why? Go Tigers, that’s why.


Mr. I Only Pick Favorites
These are your bracket makers who probably don’t even watch many games, but they follow Sportscenter and skim through articles and twitter posts to keep up with the best teams. These could also be the bracketology newbs. They probably haven’t ever made a bracket or they would know that, for example, a 13th seed has upset a 4th seed in the tournament at least once in all but one (2007) of the last 15 March Madness seasons.


Mr. Gut Feeling
Now, this guy is really special. He’s the guy that has gone through life on his instincts, and it’s probably been working pretty well for him. He’s the one with the four-leaf clover hung around his neck. You know what they say, trust your gut. He’s the one laying down a bracket you would never imagine in your wildest dreams coming true, but he just “has a really good feeling about it.” This is the Cinderella Story of the tournament brackets.

After reviewing all the NCAA Basketball odds and stereotypes, I still decided to take on the challenge and sign up for the $200,000 dollar contest with Sportsbook Review to shoot for a perfect bracket because hey, you just never know if you’re that 1 in 9.2 quintillion, am I right?

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