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Letter: March Madness: Choosing bracket with WSU winning it all

Published March 25, 2014 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

March Madness is the best sporting event in the world. No Super Bowl or World Cup can compare to the Madness of March.

The Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament ignites the coup de gras of fantasy sports: the bracket. In the bracket, you predict the winner of all 63 games to try to achieve the coveted "perfect bracket." The stakes are a little higher now, with $1 billion on the line. Investor Warren Buffet is offering the money to anyone who can achieve the perfect bracket.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it is.

The odds of picking a perfect bracket are 1 in 9 quintillion, according to mathematician Jeff Bergen of DePaul University. However, this number represents all the combinations you could possibly have. The teams with the higher rankings are more likely to win and if you have some knowledge of college basketball, the odds are lowered to a more reasonable number: 1 in 128 billion.

My brackets have some very puzzling upsets. For example, in one bracket, I had Weber State University winning it all, and what were the odds of that ("Final: Arizona defeats Weber State 68-59 at NCAAs," Tribune, March 21)?

Jack Boomer





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