NCAA Bracket: What Are the Odds of Getting It Perfect?

By Paul Biasco on March 18, 2013 12:09pm | Updated on March 18, 2013 12:15pm

CHICAGO — The odds of predicting a perfect NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket are less than 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

That's 92 followed by 17 zeros.

In case the thought of that huge number is too much to contemplate, a DePaul University mathematics professor has broken down the math in an easy-to-follow video.

Jeff Bergen, the professor, goes further to presume the fan filling out a bracket knows a thing or two about basketball, such as that a  No. 1 seed has never lost to a 16 seed and that a No. 2 rarely beats a No. 15, and concludes the odds of a perfect bracket with some knowledge at 1 in 128,000,000,000.

If every person in the United States filled out a bracket at those odds, the chance that one would be perfect is less than a quarter of 1 percent.

Although the Chicago area is void of a tournament team, some nearby schools such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Marquette and Indiana will be playing and have a slight shot at the title according to famed statistician Nate Silver, whose FiveThirtyEight mathematics showed up political pundits during last fall's presidential election.

According to Silver's calculations Indiana has a 19.6 percent shot at winning the NCAA championship; Wisconsin has a 1.5 percent chance; Marquette has a 0.7 percent chance and Illinois has a 0.1 percent chance.

For those planning on filling out a bracket, do so by 11:15 a.m. Thursday.

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