Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bracket Busters by Joshua Liao

Bracket Busters

                Every year, millions of individuals across the United States fill out a bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament, only to cry out in horror as favorites lose and underdog teams pull out improbably upsets. This year was no different. Third seeded Iowa State lost in the very first round of the tournament, shocked by the previously unheard of University of Alabama-Birmingham. Powerhouse Virginia lost to seven seeded Michigan State in the Sweet Sixteen. Mighty Kentucky didn’t even make it to the finals after many had predicted them to win the entire tournament. So why then do we fill out brackets, even though they will be reduced to a pile of tears and incorrectness in just a matter of weeks? There are 68 teams in the tournament and the odds of getting every single team right is about 9 quintillionth. That’s a 9 with 18 zeroes. The exact number is 9,223,372,036,854,808. Most calculators can’t even get that high! Therefore, the possibility of your bracket being correct is just about zero. Nevertheless, with a little luck and extensive knowledge about each team in the tournament, you might just be able get close. The winning bracket this year submitted in the ESPN tournament challenge guessed 61 out of 67 games correct. When we see others come this close, it inspires us to try again next year, believing once again that this just might be our year.

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