March Madness begins tonight at 6:30 ET with the “First Four” games. The games will be broadcast on truTv and are being played tonight and tomorrow in the Dayton (Ohio) Arena. A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament.
Thirty-one (31) teams earn automatic bids as their respective conference champions. The remaining thirty-seven (37) tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee, a special committee appointed by the NCAA. The committee also determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket. Once the First Four games are played, the four winning teams assume their places in the bracket of 64 teams.
More 100 million Americans are expected to take part in the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament brackets, putting an estimated $3 Billion dollars in online and office bracket pools. If you have $10 and a Pay Pal account the Wolf can hook you up with the ICE Breakers group. Of course this is a game of skill not gambling and every cent is returned to the contestants.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through this site before 9 a.m. ET on Thursday for the hook up. Best bracket wins the pot, worst entry gets $10 back (because they REALLY suck and have no “skills”).
Some businesses and web sites have bracket contests with the grand prize requiring a perfect tourney bracket. So what are the odds of a perfect NCAA bracket?
In 2010 an Autistic kid gained national attention for picking a perfect bracket for the first two rounds of the tournament. Amazing, but still far from perfection.
2012 Perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket – True Odds
There are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible brackets. That’s the number nine follow by eighteen zeros. That’s over 9.2 quintillion.
Other ways of explaining just how big the odds are against a perfect NCAA bracket:
If everyone on the planet each randomly filled out a bracket, the odds would be over ONE BILLION to 1 against any person having a perfect bracket.
If one bracket per second was filled out, it would take 292 TRILLION years to fill out all possible brackets (that’s 20 times longer than the universe has existed).
If all the people on earth filled out one bracket per second, it would take over 43 years to fill out every possible bracket.
If all possible brackets were stacked on top of each other (on standard paper), the pile would reach from the moon and back over 1.1 million times.
All possible brackets (on standard paper) would weigh 90,000 times more than every man, women, and child on earth combined.
Even if a person had a 90% chance of winning each game he picked, his odds would still be 763 to 1 against picking a perfect bracket.
68 vs. 64 teams:
The calculations above were done for a 64 team bracket – The men’s tournament is now 68 teams, so multiple the figures above by 16 if you have to pick the winners in the “First Four” games. The original numbers are still good for the Women’s bracket. BTW, if you gamble on women’s basketball, seek help!