The odds of guessing every game on an NCAA tournament bracket flawlessly are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1, according to CBS Sports. I can guarantee your eyes just glazed over that number which means less to you than the math homework you’re about to do tonight. To make it more meaningful, that gargantuan number is close to 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Let me put that into perspective for you. You have better odds of:
Becoming the next pope: 20,000,000 to 1
Contracting a human version of mad cow disease: 40,000,000 to 1
Getting killed by a vending machine: 112,000,000 to 1
A meteor landing on your house: 182,138,880,000,000 to 1
Well congratulations to Warren Buffett on being the biggest troll the world has ever seen. Thanks for waving an unachievable billion dollar prize in my face for guessing a perfect bracket. I do have to admit that on Wednesday, March 19, on the eve of the tournament, I thought my odds of guessing a perfect bracket would be better than being killed by a vending machine. I didn’t even know that was possible.
Short version: My bracket sucked. It, and a little bit of my pride, got flushed down the toilet in less than 24 hours.
It got worse. I was wrong about three of the next five games that day. At that point, my bracket fell to the bottom eight percent of all entered brackets. The highest it was ever going to get was the 20 percentile.
But don’t worry, that wasn’t my only submitted bracket. I flipped a coin for each game of my other… the damn thing finished in the bottom 27 percent. A coin knows more about college basketball than I do.
I genuinely thought my bracket was perfect. Everybody else in the United States probably did as well, but I was positive about mine. It had the perfect formula: a few upsets, one or two Cinderella stories, and a lot of well thought-out games. Nothing could have gone wrong.
Most of the time when you think nothing can go wrong, something goes wrong. As it turns out, I had one out of the eight correctteams in the “Elite Eight.” Shout out to Duke, Wichita State, Creighton, Oklahoma and Syracuse for all getting a ticket into firstname.lastname@example.org’s Elite Eight, yet still losing in the first or second round. It wouldn’t have been possible to be in the bottom 20 percent without you guys. And for that, I thank you.
When it really comes down to it, my Final Four was just as bad as everybody else’s. In all seriousness, if you had both Kentucky and Connecticut in your National Championship, here’s what you need to do:
1. Go down to Hobby Lobby and buy a frame made of rich mahogany.
2. Write “I’m a genius” on your bracket.
3. Put said bracket in said frame.
4. Hang that sucker up somewhere for the world to see, because that’s an accomplishment.
When the tears and broken remotes are forgotten, it was a memorable March Madness. At least I can hold my head high on predicting Tennessee to get to the Sweet 16 and Stanford pulling off the upset against Cincinnati. Everybody has a little bit of dumb luck every now and then.
To my Final Four: I don’t even know what to say. You guys really wet the bed on this one. Getting one out of four is a 25%. That’ll get me an F on most tests.
And to the bottom 19 percent below my bracket: you’ll get em’ next year. Probably not, though. The odds aren’t exactly on your side.