As discouraging as the title of this article sounds, the above is actually pretty sound advice as you really do have a better shot at making it into the NBA than picking a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket.
It’s way easier to comment on, criticize, predict or bet on sports than to play them. Yet, when it comes to scoring a perfect March Madness bracket, one is actually more likely to become an NBA player than to complete such a feat.
If you’re still around the age where an NBA career is actually a possibility, you really should put more time into working on your game. Of course, you have to make time for other things and if watching college basketball and getting in on the bracket action every year does it for you, then, by all means, go ahead.
This piece is by no means an attempt to get you to stop making NCAA predictions; not that it would work if it were anyways. But it should serve as encouragement.
As Betway has observed, one is 36 million times more likely to make it to the NBA than they’re likely to pick a flawless bracket as the odds of high-school players reaching the NBA are 3,300 to 1. That does seem like a lot (well it is), yet when compared to the odds of a perfect bracket, it seems pretty doable.
The odds of anyone scoring a perfect bracket? 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1. So how about we work on that jumper?
“Whether you’re a college basketball fanatic who puts months into researching potential champions, upsets and Cinderella stories, or a casual fan who picks winners almost at random, the likelihood is that you’ve never come close to a perfect March Madness bracket,” an excerpt from Betway’s article reads.
“Like sports betting, for many attempting to nail the bracket has become a become a huge part of enjoying the NCAA Tournament. A look at the unthinkable odds of correctly predicting all 63 games of the tournament shows why – as far as we know – nobody has ever pulled it off, and why it’s almost certain that nobody ever will.
“The chances of correctly picking all 63 games at random are a ridiculous one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s 9.2 quintillion.
“To put the size of that number into context, 9.2 quintillion seconds is the equivalent of 292 billion years.”
One is also more likely to win the lottery, have quintuplets, get struck by lightning, or get struck by a meteorite than… you know what.
As it stands, no perfect brackets remain for the current tourney. The three remaining baskets were made invalid after 10th-seeded Maryland beat No. 7-seed UConn on Saturday, leaving 28 the closest anyone came this year.
The best bracket of all time, at least since the NCAA started recording them in 2016, belongs to Greg Nigl. The Neuropsychologist, who hails from Ohio, went 49 for 49 in 2019. No one is known to have ever gone farther and we already know no one’s going to do it this year.
Nigel made four brackets for the last NCAA tournament but his record-setting one almost didn’t make it as he was ill nearing the deadline.
“It’s funny, the one that I’m perfect in was the one that I wasn’t really checking, because it was just amongst just a few friends,” he explained to NCAA.com in an interview. “And honestly, I don’t even know if my other friends filled one out. I might be the only one in the group who filled one out, I don’t know.
“But yeah, I did four. And I almost didn’t fill that one out, because I was actually sick on Thursday, and I filled it out Thursday morning, right before the deadline, and I almost didn’t do it. I was lying in bed, I was sick, and I called into work. I almost went back to bed and didn’t fill it out, but I did it anyway because I felt bad because it was my friend’s [group].”
Given the odds, we are unlikely to ever see a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket. They don’t call it March Madness for nothing, right?
You’ll have an easier time with fantasy sports, even predicting the Premier League goal leaders for the next several years, than getting a bracket correct. If you aspire to be a professional basketball player, you’re also better off focusing on what could be a future NBA career.