The Perfect March Madness Bracket

If you’ve ever filled out a March Madness bracket for the NCAA tournament, you probably realize that you aren’t super likely to pick all of the games perfectly. See how bad your chances are here.


Read the article linked above. Answer the following questions in a couple of sentences each.

  1. How do we arrive at the odds of 1-in -9.2 quintillion? Explain the mathematics that gives that large of an answer.
  2. One mathematician actually estimates that your odds are between 1-in-10 billion and 1-in-40 billion. Explain why he feels that you have these slightly better odds than the original 1-in-9.2 quintillion.
  3. Using the national accuracy of 66.7% when picking first-round games, and assuming we could continue that success rate over the course of the entire tournament, what are the odds of picking a perfect bracket?
  4. Over the past 8 years of bracket challenges, winners have averaged picking 49.8% of games correctly. Using that percentage and the techniques you saw used in the first three questions, what are the odds of a winner predicting a perfect bracket?

Thanks to Hugo W. for suggesting this badge!

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