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Duke Math Professor Says Odds of a Perfect Bracket are One in 2.4 Trillion

Math Professor Jonathan Mattingly

Bracket math isn’t an exact science, but for years mathematicians have told us that the odds of picking a perfect NCAA tournament bracket are a staggering 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (that’s 9.2 quintillion).

According to Duke math professor Jonathan Mattingly, the average college basketball fan has a far better chance of achieving bracket perfection. Taking into account the fact that a 16 seed has never beaten a one-seed (meaning your bracket should have four guaranteed wins) and adjusting probability based on seeding, the odds of picking all 32 games correctly is actually one in 2.4 trillion.

Using a different formula, DePaul mathematician Jay Bergen calculated the odds at one in 128 billion. Either way, V. Stiviano has a better chance of becoming President of the United States than anyone on Earth has at filling out a perfect bracket.

Story by Nick Schwartz, and posted online: