March is here and that means that the Madness of the NCAA Tournament is right around the corner. Conference tournaments in the smaller conference like the West Coast Conference will start this week with the major conference tournaments starting the week after. I don’t know if it was the insight of a multi-billionaire on the part of Warren Buffet in choosing this year as the year to offer $1 billion for a perfect March Madness Bracket but it will be impossible to create a perfect bracket this year. Not that it is really a possible feat any year. In fact, the odds of prognosticating a perfect bracket are estimated to be 1 in 9.2 quintillion. To be honest, I didn’t know that quintillion was a real number before I heard about this challenge and its accompany odds of success. But this year appears to be an even harder year to make your bracket perfect. In my mind the odds of predicting a perfect bracket this year are close to 1 in 10.2 quintillion.
There is no clear cut favorite this year. That is not a new development. There wasn’t a clear cut favorite last year either. But this year there isn’t a top team that I completely trust enough to say that regardless of region, seeding, and match-ups that they will for sure be in the Final Four or win it all. Florida is good, but not great. Arizona isn’t the same team after the loss of Brandon Ashley. I don’t trust Duke or Syracuse. The Big Ten has teams in Michigan, Michigan St., Wisconsin, and Ohio St. that can go to the Final Four, but they could all lose in the Round of 32 or earlier too. Wichita St. is 30-0 and a great “story” but when their 30 wins consists of a win over St. Louis and case of Hostess Cupcakes I am hard pressed to elevate them above Florida, Arizona, Syracuse, Duke and the top of the Big Ten.
Even if you do predict the correct champion or Final Four there is a lot of prognosticating to do before the field is trimmed down to four. Think of all those 8 vs. 9 match ups that are oh so difficult to get right, picking the right 12 seed to upset a 5 seed, the potential 4 vs. 5 match ups in the second round…the list of potential land mines goes on and on. Warren Buffet is a smart man. He didn’t earn all that money through false celebrity or luck. He knows his $1 billion is safe.
But lets be honest. Thousands across the country don’t fall in love with March Madness every March and fill out a bracket or brackets (more on the evils of filling out multiple brackets in a subsequent post) because they believe that they are going to pick a perfect bracket. It wouldn’t’ be called March Madness if everyone’s bracket resembled a nice clean Monet. It’s called March Madness because when it is all said and done everyone’s bracket resembles a Picasso.
So don’t let the insurmountable odds discourage you this March. On March 16th print out your bracket, prognosticate your college basketball heart out and enjoy the ride. And if by chance some lucky individual beats those insurmountable odds and produces a perfect bracket, don’t expect it to be any so-called “expert”, don’t’ expect to be a wannabe expert like me that watches way too many hours of college basketball, don’t expect it to be some 40 year-old dude living in his mother’s basement that filled out 65 different brackets, no, if it happens it will be some house wife that never watches basketball but made her picks on the color combinations of the uniforms. IF, IF it happens, that is how it will happen. How is that for a prediction about predictions? Let the predictions and prognostications and the madness begin.
Posted by Hatch