Filling out the NCAA bracket if you are basketball-challenged - News, Weather & Sports

Filling out the NCAA bracket if you are basketball-challenged

(Source: RNN) (Source: RNN)

(RNN) - March Madness is here, somebody at your office talked you into throwing a buck into the office pool, you don't know a basketball from a cantaloupe and now you have to fill out this bizarre-looking bracket like you knew what you are doing.

What now?

Take deep breaths and savor this comforting thought: with the expansion of this year's tournament to include 68 teams, there are more than 147.57 quintillion different ways to fill out the bracket. One quintillion is a 1 followed by 18 zeroes, a number so enormous that it could take 30 or 40 years for the federal deficit to reach that level. If each of the 300 million people in America filled out 100 brackets, the odds of a perfect bracket are … well, still super low.

Your chances are at least as good as America's First Fan, President Barack Obama, who publishes his NCAA bracket each year on the White House website.

Don't worry about looking dumb – just have a plan and stick to it. Here are a few suggestions of ways to have fun that will give you something to talk about with the other hoop-heads in the break room.

Coin toss every game: heads you lose; tails, you probably lose, too

Don't do it (see above for randomly generated bracket likelihoods). Use the $1 entry fee to buy a beverage and a pack of crackers out of the snack machine.

Who's got the toughest mascot?

A Tiger can eat a Bulldog, but might have a hard time catching a Golden Eagle. A Musketeer could shoot a Gator, but if he missed or his musket misfired – and muskets are notoriously unreliable - that Gator could bite his leg off. Some esoteric arguments arise: would a Cowboy sink or swim in a Crimson Tide; could a Blue Devil use his evil powers to subdue an entire pack of Wolverines; can a Commodore triumph over a single Orange? (Dick Vitale thinks so).

Did you like that movie 300? Then Michigan State ("This! Is! SPARTA!) is your team.

These are the kind of tough choices you're going to have to make, and be prepared to support them. It might be just as easy to do research.

But if you want to have a chance of winning this thing, we suggest you look upon Tar Heels, Buckeyes, Jayhawks and Wildcats as fierce beings capable of overcoming adversaries of all kinds.

Uniform color: get the blues

The last eight national champions have worn blue as their primary school color. Of the 27 champions crowned since the 64-team bracket was adopted in 1985, 19 have worn blue. Of the rest, there have been five predominately red teams, with some green and orange sprinkled in.

Boring actual math: statistics don't lie… much

To save you the trouble of going to Wikipedia and cutting and pasting, we have done it for you:

Since the inception of the 64-team tournament in 1985, each seed-pairing has played a total of 108 first-round games, with the following results:

1. The No. 1 seed is 108–0 against the No. 16 seed (100%).
2. The No. 2 seed is 104–4 against the No. 15 seed (96.30%).
3. The No. 3 seed is 92–16 against the No. 14 seed (85.19%).
4. The No. 4 seed is 85–23 against the No. 13 seed (78.70%).
5. The No. 5 seed is 72–36 against the No. 12 seed (66.67%).
6. The No. 6 seed is 72–36 against the No. 11 seed (66.67%).
7. The No. 7 seed is 65–43 against the No. 10 seed (60.19%).
8. The No. 8 seed is 51–57 against the No. 9 seed (47.22%).

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