The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

March 19, 2014

Can classes yield a billion-dollar bracket?

(Continued)

Bergen calculates that someone with knowledge of basketball — say, someone with the rudimentary smarts to go with every No. 1 seed in their first game, where they are 116-0 over the last 29 years — still only has a 128 billion-1 chance of being perfect.

Buffett's contest is capped at 15 million entrants, so, Bergen says, if all 15 million sign up and they all have some knowledge of basketball, the odds are still 8,500-1 against a perfect bracket. That's more than a 99.99 percent chance that everyone will get at least one game wrong.

Bergen says you'd have a better chance of buying one Mega Millions ticket and one Powerball ticket and winning both in the same week.

All of which reinforces the fact that about the only sure thing in March Madness is that there are no sure things.

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