Check out your March Madness chances with local mathematician

What are the chances you will create the perfect bracket for this year’s March Madness tournament?
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - What are the chances you will create the perfect bracket for this year’s March Madness tournament?

A local mathematician breaks it all down for us, and the results don’t look promising.

We’re just two days from March Madness. But if you or your office puts together brackets to see who can predict the national champion, it’s probably already started to consume your life.

But what are the chances you predict every single game correctly? We talked to an expert to find out.

Neal Smith, an associate professor of mathematics at Augusta University, says, “Well the bad news is the odds are low simply because there are so many, there are so many brackets that are possible.”

Smith wrote it out for us. 9-quintillion... 223-quadrillion... 372-trillion.. 36-billion.. 854-million.. 775-thousand.. 808 possibilities.

He says you’d have to be lucky to pick the right one. However, Saint Patrick’s Day is this week, which could be the extra luck you need.

“Impossibly lucky is probably the way to say it,” Smith says.

So what if you fill out every possible bracket? If you do that, one’s bound to be right.

“No one’s lifetime is long enough to even consider, or get close to filling out the number of possible brackets,” Smith says.

Smith says even if you could do one bracket per second, it would still take more than 200 billion years to fill out all of them. And the tournament would already be over by then.

He says, “The reason why the tournament is fun, and the reason why it’s hard to pick a bracket is that the math shows that upsets are going to happen.”

Smith says some upsets are more likely than others. Like a 12 over a 5, or a 13 over a 4, but the thing is there are 63 games. And no one’s ever picked them all correctly.

Can you? The math says probably not.

You can watch the tournament live right here on News 12 starting Thursday at noon.