Whenever the NCAA Tournament rolls around each year,
we know that March Madness has arrived. This is now the official name
for the college basketball championship, as teams battle for national
supremacy, in what has become one of the most thrilling and popular
sporting events in the United States. The greatest players in the NBA
started out here, before going on to become famous all-time greats and Hall of Fame legends.
But what about those of us who participate in what has become a
tradition for millions of Americans? Filling out March Madness brackets
has become something of a national phenomenon, say Forbes. While fans
of basketball put their knowledge of the game to good use, trying to
methodically calculate which teams will perform well, others just try
to guess the best they can and hope for the best.
The Random Chance of Guessing Well
When it comes to statistics and probabilities, few are more keenly aware than one of America’s most popular online sportsbooks. Betway offer the latest odds for basketball games, whether it’s for the NBA or the NCAA, plus a host of competitions taking place elsewhere around the world.
Opening weekend was filled with POSTERS and UPSETS! #MarchMadness
Entirely familiar with the numbers which surround
sports, a recent blog from Betway also highlighted the statistical
chances of March Madness bracket predictions. The aim is to predict all
63 games correctly, and, to date, nobody has ever correctly predicted
every result. Indeed, they estimate the chances of that ever happening
to be a whopping one in 9.2 quintillion.
To put such a huge number into context, the same blog pointed out that
9.2 quintillion seconds is the equivalent of 292 billion years.
Considering the fact that according to scientists, the universe itself has only existed for around 13.8 billion years, the probability surrounding March Madness predictions really does pale into insignificance.
Does Better Knowledge Improve Chances?
While it’s fair to say that random chance from
guesswork is one thing, what about predictions made amongst avid fans
and followers of basketball? Recent data suggests that each year,
around 73 million people fill out more than 170 million March Madness
brackets. Many of them do so via mainstream media websites, such as
ESPN, CBS Sports, and Fox Sports.
These Cinderella teams are moving on to the Sweet 16:
✨ No. 8 Loyola Chicago ✨ No. 11 Syracuse ✨ No. 12 Oregon State ✨ No. 15 Oral Roberts
However, a large number also do so via the official tournament website. According to some interesting statistics published at the NCAA.com this year,
while nobody has ever managed to successfully predict all 63 March
Madness games, the longest verified streak of correct predictions was
49 games. That was by a man from Ohio during the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Keener knowledge of college basketball history and competitions will
undoubtedly help, with any successful predictions, yet the NCAA itself
admits that picking all 63 winners is practically impossible. Amongst
registered bracket entries for their own March Madness predictions
games, they estimate participants having a one in 120.2 billion chance
of getting all 63 results correct.
More Chance of Becoming a Pro Baller
Whichever numbers you cling to for the chance of
making successful March Madness predictions, whether it’s the one in
9.2 quintillion odds mentioned by Betway, or the optimistic one in
120.2 billion shot estimated by the NCAA, both are next to impossible
to reach in reality. Actually, the average high school basketball
player has more chance of reaching the NBA.
Amongst around 540,000 men’s high school basketball hopefuls each year,
just one in 35 progresses to NCAA college teams. Moving on, less than
one in 75 NCAA players makes it all the way to the NBA.
As the numbers would suggest, most of us have more of a chance of
becoming pro ballers, than successfully predicting March Madness
results. Just ponder on that for a while.