The chances of you hitting all the right spots when it comes to picking the best NCAA Tournament bracket are awfully close to none. But that still doesn’t stop people from trying out their luck every year. The most exciting thing is that every year, all the brackets in this tournament turn up futile. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been a basketball fan all your life or a casual follower who just randomly talks their pick.
You could also have put in a tremendous amount of work into making sure you’ve got all your research right. The painful truth is, you probably have never even gotten close to cracking the code. Making a perfect selection is very difficult, and it’s no wonder that nobody has ever done so. Much like betting in any sport, trying out your luck at a perfect March Madness will likely make the tournament even more fun for you.
At least that’s what it does for a large section of basketball fans. The tough chances of getting all 63 score predictions right are perhaps why it is impossible. As crazy as it might sound, the likelihood that someone ever will continue to diminish by the day. For starters, the odds that you might just be lucky and correctly figure out the individual scores of all the games stand in at a whopping 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.
In simpler terms, that would somewhere in the region of 9.22 quintillion. Let’s now lay it out in simpler terms. A total of 9.2 quintillion seconds will be equal to about 292 billion years. Now that’s quite a figure. The good news is, if you are a bit proficient in your basketball facts, then your chances of making 63 correct predictions significantly improve.
Additionally, it’s pretty rare to have someone fill out the scores randomly without doing some background work. The NCAA recently revealed a statistic based on what they found from the data entries. On average, a single player has a 120.2 billion to one of perfectly picking out everything in the bracket correctly. If you put that into context, the odds are much better in comparison to the 9.22 quintillion.
And even though that borders on reality, the number is still incredibly high to have any chance of becoming a possibility. You can try and visualize that number in terms of other more relatable experiences. This will help you understand just how astronomical these numbers are.
A 120.2 billion to one chance can be likened to other equally impossible things to happen in real life. For illustration purposes, take a look at the pro basketball players drafting exercise. Every year, we get about 540,000 participants’ trying out their luck in basketball in their high schools in the United States alone. And that’s just for one season.
Interestingly, only one out of 35 players eventually make it to playing basketball in their respective colleges. Out of the 75 players that play in college, only one senior player is picked and drafted to play in the NBA basketball league. Looking at it from another perspective, it is clear to see that out of 3,300 basketball players in high school, only one of them makes it to the NBA drafts.
Realistically speaking, those are some very impossible odds. And even with that picture in your mind, those odds are nothing compared to the odds of picking a perfect bracket. The odds of a player getting drafted to play in the NBA are still 36 million times lower than getting all 63 game predictions correct.
Another way to get these odds into context is by considering a five-card poker game. The chances of coming across a royal flush are 854,318 to one. This is one of the rare occurrences you can ever come across in a poker game. In context, the chances of completing a perfect bracket are 185,000 times higher than getting a royal flush.
A meteorite hitting you from outer space seems unlikely but not impossible. The odds are stacked at one to 1.6 million. Compared to striking a perfect bracket, the odds are about 75,000 times higher. Despite all these odds being stacked against them, people still what to keep trying to put their luck. Gregg Nigl is the only person in history to have come closest to completing the impossible.