Upsets Break All the Brackets in This Year’s NCAA Tournament
If part of your economic stimulus plan for the remainder of 2021 and beyond included winning a million dollars with NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament picks then you might want to start implementing plan B. Because after a wild opening three days of the tournament there are no more perfect brackets left.
I think we all felt that picking teams for this year's NCAA Tournament would be quite difficult, none of us figured it would be this strange or difficult to pick winners. Many of the teams in the tournament have had limited schedules because of COVID-19. Some schools didn't even qualify to compete in their own conference tournaments because of health concerns.
Without the larger sample size and the opportunity to gauge who is coming into the tournament hot and who isn't, many bracketologists found themselves on the outside looking in as early a Friday's first-round matchups.
In fact, by the end of Friday's first-round games, only 121 perfect brackets were remaining. I still find it hard to believe that 121 people had Oral Roberts taking down Ohio State but they did. But those perfect brackets also had to negotiate upsets like North Texas taking down Purdue and Oregon State knocking off Tennesse.
Of the 121 perfect brackets that were still in play at the beginning of Saturday, only three were still in play when Maryland took on UConn on Saturday night. Maryland was the 10th seed, UConn was the seventh seed. Maryland won and that put an end to all of the possibilities of perfection with this year's tournament.
So how difficult is it to predict a perfect bracket?
NCAA.com said that if you picked every game with a coin toss the odds of predicting 49 straight wins in a row, which is what you'd have to do to have perfect bracket breaks out to are 1 in 562,949,953,421,312. Now if you toss in the actual games and not just toss a coin mathematicians have calculated the odds of hitting that perfect bracket at 1 in 9.2 quintillions.
Amazingly, just under 40% of the brackets that have been played online still have a chance of picking the winner. The owners of those brackets have Gonzaga winning it all. That's not a bad bet, they are the overall number one seed for the tournament but based on what we have seen this weekend, there is a pretty good chance that Cinderella will make an appearance at this "Big Dance". And, she might just stay around long past midnight too.
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