For anyone feeling even the least bit confident in your NCAA bracket, you probably shouldn’t, at least according to Professor Jeff Bergen of DePaul University.
The mathematics professor explains that there are 63 games played in the tournament and because each game has two possible results, the easiest equation to break the problem down into is 2 to the 63rd power, or ‘2 x 2’ done 63 times.
This math problem comes out to a little north of nine quintillion, the official number being 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.
Now that you’ve thrown every bracket you’ve ever made into a trash can and hate the NCAA Tournament, there is some good news.
Relative good news, that is.
Bergen notes that for those that know a little something about basketball, like No. 16 seeds don’t beat No. 1 seeds and No. 15 seeds almost never beat No. 2 seeds, this helps your chances improve to roughly one in 128 billion (nine zeros for those counting).
This encouraging 128 billion number is further improved, as the professor explains that if everyone in America knew a bit about basketball, thus increasing their odds at picking correctly, then there is a .025 percent chance of someone predicting a perfect bracket.
Still feeling good about that office pool?
Yeah, me neither.