Why you may never pick the perfect March Madness bracket - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Why you may never pick the perfect March Madness bracket

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

More than 70 million brackets will be submitted before the NCAA men's basketball tournament begins Thursday.

Mathnasium mathematician Micheal Haxton helped us break down the chances for getting a perfect bracket -- it's nearly impossible. 

The math itself is not too challenging. For example, if you're given the Final Four teams you have a 50 percent chance of getting first semi-final, 50 percent of the other and 50 percent chance of getting the final. You simply multiply all the odds together and figure you have a 1-in-8 chance at perfection.

However as you increase the amount of teams, the odds increase exponentially.

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By the Sweet Sixteen, the third round of the tournament, the odds increase to 1-in-32,768, which means you're much more likely to be struck by lightning (1-in-12,000)

If you look at the entire tournament, the odds of predicting all 63 games correctly is 1-in-9.2 quintillion (That's 9,200,000,000,000,000,000).

To put this in perspective, you have a better chance at winning the Powerball jackpot...buying another ticket and winning it again than you do of correctly picking the March Madness bracket.

However the 9.2 quintillion takes into account all possible scenarios, including all four 16 seeds in the Final Four. While the tournament may seem unpredictable there is some method to the madness.

For example, a No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed and a team with No. 9 or higher has never won the tournament.

With these assumptions, the number of possible outcomes can be greatly reduced. Instead of the 1-in-9.2 quintillion odds they're now 1-in-128 billion.

Even with basketball knowledge and potentially 70 million unique brackets submitted there is still only a 0.054 percent chance of one person achieving perfection.

Still, there's no harm in trying

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