Hawk Eye

March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

Blank 2010 March Madness bracket

Jason Dean via Flickr, cc

Blank 2010 March Madness bracket

Matthew Szymanowski, Deputy Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Thursday marked the beginning of the March Madness games. Over 18 million brackets were submitted this year, each one hoping to be perfect. The odds of it happening are basically impossible.

Following the first set of 16 games, only 0.26 brackets remain perfect. There is another set of 16 games Friday and 16 more on Saturday and Sunday. By then, there is a very good chance no brackets will be perfect.

Why is it so hard? I question that myself, too, but the math states it. There are 64 teams divided up into a win-or-go home bracket. In a field of four, there are eight possibilities of how it can go. Turn that field of four into 64, and then have it go all the way to the championship.

The easiest way of finding out the exact number is by math. Take 2^63 and you will get the answer. The exact answer is 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or 9.2 quintillion rounded. The mathematical odds are 1-in-9.2 quintillion.

If that doesn’t seem hard enough, lets put it to the test. A study found that there are an estimated 3 trillion trees on earth. If you hide a specific acorn in any tree, and you have one guess as to the tree, the mathematical odds of you finding the specific acorn are 300 million times greater than filling out a perfect bracket.

Sure, you can pick the No. 1 seeds, and that increases your odds easily. But, as we saw last year when UMBC beat Virginia, picking the No. 1 seed doesn’t always work out.

Yes, it is mathematically possible for a perfect bracket. But will it ever happen? Probably not, but you never know.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Matthew Szymanowski, Deputy Sports Editor

On the local baseball field, or at almost every MLB stadium is where you can find Matt Szymanowski.

In his first year at BPHS, Matt is a sophomore,...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Navigate Left
  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Sports

    Golden Knights look to eliminate Sharks in Game 5 in San Jose Thursday night

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Multimedia

    Video: Masters reaction

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Sports

    Tiger Woods wins Masters, first since 2008

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Hawks Sports

    Hawks look to close first half of section play with wins

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Sports

    Pens to face Islanders for must-need win in elimination game Tuesday

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Athlete of the Week

    Athlete of the Week: Reagan Milliken

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Hawks Sports

    Slideshow: JV baseball vs. Peters (4/8)

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Sports

    Pens play Islanders Wednesday in Round 1

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Hawks Sports

    Hawks too much for Spartans

  • March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket

    Hawks Sports

    Slideshow: Boys varsity tennis vs. West Allegheny (4/3)

Navigate Right
The student news of Bethel Park High School.
March Madness: The almost impossible odds of a perfect bracket