March Madness Odds: Predicting the Perfect Bracket Chances Are One in 9.2 Quintillion


Confident about your NCAA Tournament bracket? You might want to think again. The odds of predicting a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion (or more precisely: 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808). Best of luck with that. 

If you happen to be one of 33 students in a course called "Bracketology" at the University of Cincinnati, you can learn that the chances of filling out a perfect bracket may even be less than the astronomical 9.2 quintillion. Professor Michael Magazine teaches the pass/fail class as the 10-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats head out for the tournament. 

Tom DeRosa is a former algebra teacher who provides lesson plans for high schools across the country. He provided these stats to consider when filling out a bracket

Blue has been the school color of 24 of the 40 teams to make the Final Four during the last 10 years, and the hue worn by the last nine national champions. Of those 40 Final Four team mascots, 12 have been people (Spartan, Mountaineer, etc.), seven have been canines and five have been birds (mostly the mythical Jayhawk). There have been Warriors at the Final Four and a Gator or two. But the most ferocious — for those who like to pair the mascots off in cage matches — has been, by far, the Blue Devil. Las Vegas, which exists because of its ability to get math right, has No. 1 seed Louisville as a 9-2 favorite to win it all, followed by second-seeded Duke and Miami at 8-1. (Warning: Odds can be influenced by betting patterns, and Duke has one of the largest followings in the nation.)

So, there you have it. The odds are against you, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to fill out a perfect bracket.

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