While picking out NCAA brackets is fun, it slowly starts becoming less fun when people realize how wrong they were.
But a math professor at DePaul University, Jeff Bergen, determined that most of us have a one in 9 quintillion chance of filling out a perfect bracket, so we don’t need to feel alone when our brackets turn out to be entirely wrong.
Bergen said, “If you’re just guessing [while filling out your bracket], you basically have no chance.”
He explained that there are 64 teams in total, but only 63 are entered into the formula because one team will not lose any games.
Each game has two outcomes, so someone must correctly predict the outcome of all 63 games.
This means you can determine the chances of getting a correct bracket by multiplying 2x2 63 times, which yields the number 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.
But this lengthy number only applies to a person who doesn’t really know much about NCAA basketball and is just randomly making guesses. The chances are a little better for someone who knows something about basketball, but not by much.
Bergen made a formula for those who had knowledge of basketball, and determined that their chances of winning are one out of 128,000,000,000.
So a person who knows basketball has much less than a .01 percent chance of creating a correct bracket.
“When your bracket goes down the tubes, don’t worry so does everyone else’s!” he said.
Though it seems impossible, some engineers and scientists are still trying to come up with a correct prediction.
Georgia Tech’s Logistic Regression/Markov Chain engineers developed a system to select the NCAA champ. In the past five years, they have correctly chosen the winner.
They predict that this year’s final four will be Florida, Louisville, Indiana and Gonzaga, with Florida and Gonzaga competing for the title.
Florida was picked as the winner.
Even President Barack Obama made a bracket this year.
“I think this is Indiana’s year,” he said.