You’re Going to Need More Than Luck – Bracket Yourself for March Madness

March Madness

Just one more day for basketball fans to get their brackets filled out for March Madness. The tournament begins tomorrow!  Physicists, math professors, the UPS guy and the girl at Starbucks all seem to have their own way to predict the winners and losers in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But is there really a method to March Madness? Even die hard basketball fans using point spreads and matchups don’t find it easy to pick, in fact no human or computer has been able to master a perfect bracket.  The best anyone has done, was guessing “52 out of the 64 games,” according to Keith Lipscomb at ESPN.

More than 3 million people filled out brackets on last year and one might assume all were people knowledgeable about college basketball or they at least knew a little. But even with experience it’s still a difficult task. So what about the people that know nothing? What are the odds of randomly predicting the outcome of every game?  “If the predictions of game winners were based on coin flips, the odds of a perfectly correct bracket are one in over 9 quintillion — that’s the number 9 followed by 18 zeroes” — said Jeff Bergen, a mathematician at DePaul University in Chicago.

Astronomical odds of getting a perfect bracket aside, March Madness is about having fun.  Here are 5 tips that might help you finish ahead of  your co-workers/friends/family this year or maybe even in front of Obama. Good Luck!

Five Things To Remember about Bracketology:

  1. Don’t Overthink aka Listen to your Gut – stick with your first thought, analysis is paralysis
  2. Seeds Are There For a Reason – read the seed
  3. Where the Game is Played Matters – think travel time and home court advantage
  4.  History Isn’t Important – it doesn’t matter who won in the past
  5. It Really Doesn’t Matter – you can’t control the NCAA so get your bracket done, watch the games and just have fun!

March Madness