1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808

The title of this post is the odds of successfully picking the NCAA Basketball tournament successfully (without the play-in games). 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 which is equal to 2^63 or more than 9 quintillion which are the odds of picking perfect tourney brackets. This tournament (or the Women's, or the NIT) puts everybody on equal footing, no sports experience necessary. Next year, when the tournament rolls around, I am going to start my own free bracket group to test a hypothesis, that it does not matter how much of a sports fan a person is, anybody can win.

Unlike the NBA playoff season which is made up of best of seven matchups, the NCAA tournament is a one and done bracket layout. The tournament starts out with 64 teams and over the course of about two and a half weeks, works its way down to one, which is the national champion. The brackets are a four division, low vs. high system where #1 plays #16, #2 plays #15, etc. "Win or go home" is the slogan which means that the possibility of upset is there. No #16 has ever beat a #1, but the possibillity is there for it to happen. This year, the Final Four consists of a #8 (Butler) and a #11 (VCU) along with a #3 (UConn) and #4 (Kentucky). Too many factors play in to this tournament to keep it far from predictable which is why the sports fan, the math geek and the person with no interest in sports all have an equal shot winning.

This year, thanks to VCU and Butler, many brackets have gone south early. I may have to run my little experiment a few years in a row, which means it will take a long time to complete and still another year to start. Oh well, I hope you enjoyed my little insight to the NCAA Tournament.

EDIT--Wanna feel lucky? You are 52,491,556,598 times more likely to hit the Mega Millions jackpot than pick perfect brackets in the NCAA Tournament.