It’s a Bracket, Not Rocket Science

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It’s officially March, which means that 64 college basketball teams are facing off in a knockout tournament, otherwise known as NCAA March Madness. From colleges you might have never heard of, to players who are expected to be a part of the next wave of talent in the NBA, the tournament is really unlike any other.

In junction with this, it is almost religious to many people across our country to fill out a tournament bracket, predicting all 63 outcomes of each game. From the Round of 64 all the way to the National Championship game, it is nearly impossible. How impossible? Try 9.2 quintillion to 1. Yeah, that’s insane.

But I’m here to tell everyone to just go for it. The country has been doing so for years now and nobody has been able to crack all 63 outcomes. To what seems to many as an urban legend, the longest tournament bracket without a loss lasted for 39 games. That’s only into the second round of the tournament. And as crazy as it sounds, the odds to complete the entire 32 first round games are only 17,000 to 1.

Filling it out isn’t hard even to those who don’t give a damn about college basketball, even sports in general. Some turn to mascots of the schools involved (Anteaters, Wolverines, and Blue Devils), others look to the team colors, or the good ol’ fashion autofill button that makes the selections at random.

For the six years, I have filled out a tournament bracket and while they have all driven me insane, they make me more invested in the games. The Thursday and Friday of the tournament are probably the best two days as a sports fan in this country. It’s the magic of the tournament, especially when we got four games going on at once.